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The Solar Car Seen 'Round the World

A globe-trekking "solartaxi" paid a visit to UCLA, where more feasible and efficient solar panels are being developed.

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By Judy Lin

Published Jul 23, 2008 2:59 PM


A Swiss schoolteacher doing his part to change the world pulled his "Solartaxi" up to the curb on July 22 at UCLA's Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, the latest stop in his 50,000-kilometer, around-the-world drive to draw international attention to the present-day potential of alternative energy sources.

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Louis Palmer, who launched his journey last July from his hometown of Lucerne, Switzerland, talked with students, faculty, media and others who gathered to take a look at — and take a ride in — the unique vehicle. The low-slung two-seater has the look and feel of a sports car, but its top speed is only about 55 miles per hour. What's more, it tows a flatbed trailer-sized panel of solar cells that sucks up sun power.

These limitations aside, the car offers Palmer the ability to accurately boast: "I have not paid a single cent for gasoline after driving two-thirds around the world so far!" (Ocean crossings, however, are made by ship.)

Read the full story at UCLA Today.

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