Louis Palmer’s taxi cost as much as two Ferraris, has a top speed of 90 kms (55 miles) per hour yet could make history as the first solar-powered car to drive around the world.
Palmer, a Swiss teacher set off eastwards on July 3 via Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, UAE and India. His goal is to cover at least 50,000 km and to visit 50 countries and 5 continents.
"This is the first time in history that a car is driving around the world without using a single drop of petrol," he said. The car pulls a trailer with six squares metres (64 square feet) of solar panels which soak up the sun. The electricity is fed into the battery which powers the car, and can run for up to 100 kilometres (62 miles) a day.
Surplus electricity created by panels back at base in Switzerland is also fed back into the grid, so when Palmer travels by night or on a cloudy day, he can plug into the electricity supply and withdraw his earlier deposits.