Solar Taxi Will Visit UC Merced on World Tour to Promote Alternative Energy

MERCED - For the first time in history, a solar-powered car is driving around the world without any carbon emissions - and it will be in Merced next week (July 18).

Swiss adventurer Louis Palmer is taking a small, blue, environmentally friendly taxi around the world. The solar-electric two-seat taxi with attached trailer is an attempt to call attention to global warming while providing solutions for oil independency.

The School of Engineeringat the University of California, Merced, is sponsoring a stop on the Solar Taxi world tour to help advocate for alternative energy. UC Merced is home to the UC Merced Energy Research Institute, which is made up of several energy-related research efforts, including projects developing innovative solar technology, forecasting solar power, and analyzing alternative fuels. The LEED-certified UC Merced campus- one of the most energy-efficient university campuses in the world - is also a living laboratory for the institute's energy efficiency and intelligent infrastructure research focus areas.

The public is invited to view the Solar Taxi during an open house on Friday, July 18 from 12:30 - 2:00 p.m. Press availability will occur during this time along with a photo opportunity with Palmer and his crew. The Solar Taxi will be parked outside the Yablokoff-Wallace Dining Commons at UC Merced.

With a full component of batteries, the Solar Taxi can travel without recharging for almost 200 miles. With additional energy from the solar cells on a sunny day, it can travel almost 260 miles. The vehicle has a top speed of 60 miles an hour and needs no gasoline at all.

By the time the Solar Taxi travels the Earth, it will have been to 40 different countries upon five continents, including the United States.

Read more about this project at


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