SOLAR TAXI

Solar taxi worth two Ferraris

13 December, 2007

BY OUR AUTOMOBILE CORRESPONDENT

Are you willing to shell out the price of two Ferraris for one vehicle? If yes, you will be privileged to drive a taxi that is set to make history with a top speed of 90 km an hour.

Designed by a Swiss teacher by the name of Louis Palmer, the taxi costs as much as two Ferraris and boasts of a speed of 90 km an hour. And, interestingly the vehicle is solar powered.

This car, a first to drive around the world without using a single drop of petrol, is helping Palmer help environment ministers and others among 10,000 delegates get around at a UN climate conference in a luxury beach resort. The three-wheeled car tows a flat-topped trailer with 6 sq meters of solar panels to generate fuel.

Palmer has so far driven around 14,400 km and has passed through 17 nations including Romania, Turkey, Syria, and India. The trip is expected to take him across Australia, parts of Latin America, the United States, north Africa, and back home in about a year’s time, said a report. The distance covered on land will be more than around the equator. Palmer is relying, however, on oil-powered ships for some stretches, such as from India to Indonesia. And, he also has a petrol-fuelled vehicle for support, including repairs.

According to Palmer, the car is 30 feet long including the trailer and weighs 700 kg. Traveling with a ‘TAXI’ sign, Palmer is also picking up passengers for free in the low-slung two-seater car. His aim is to make people realize that there are solutions for problems like global warming.

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