Another day, another golf cart size, three-wheeled solar-powered car with style ripped from the 1980's. At least with this one, the Solar Taxi, there's a record at stake, as Swiss "adventurer" Louis Palmer is taking the car on a trip across the planet without using a drop of gasoline. He'll be the first to do it, and we're hoping his example will inspire more alternative energy cars (hopefully a few have that elusive fourth wheel). The 35 MPH top speed is going to be a tough sell with us Yanks. Palmer, my man, haven't you heard? Women and men alike get hot and bothered by power and speed.
The Solar Taxi gets its juice from a $5,000 solar panel trailer provided by German company Q-Cells. Weather permitting, the trailer provides the Taxi with 60 miles of oompf. Longer runs are powered by a pair of $15,000 250-lb. recyclable batteries from Zebra Battery. They store energy from the sun and from whatever electrical socket Palmer can find at night (it's just like searching for a socket at a conference, but bigger, and people will still manage to trip awkwardly over the cord).
Altogether, Palmer said the rig gets about a 200 mile range between charges. As of this weekend, Palmer and his crew had traveled 27,000 miles across 28 countries, so that's a lot of stop and go driving—or is that charging?