Environmental & Energy Management Newsletter

The George Washington University
Engineering Management & Systems Engineering Department (EMSE)
Environmental & Energy Management Program (E&EM)
Spring 2009 (Volume 9, Number 2)














GW Event Features Solar Taxi to Promote Global Climate Change Awareness

On September 3, 2008, the George Washington University and the Swiss Embassy hosted Swiss adventurer Louis Palmer as he became the first person to travel around the world in a solar-powered vehicle. Palmer and his "Solar Taxi" team delivered a lecture and answered questions about the car at GW during the Washington, D.C., stop of his international tour.

Photo: Solar Taxi

Palmer started his trip around the world in his solar-powered vehicle, dubbed the "Solar Taxi," on July 3, 2007. Before arriving at GW, Palmer drove across Europe, the Middle East, Asia and New Zealand in a car that runs entirely on sunlight.

The Solar Taxi is a two-seat, three-wheeled vehicle that pulls a trailer covered in solar panels. The trailer is equipped with high-efficiency solar panels that generate nearly 50 percent of the electricity needed to run the car. The other half of the electricity is generated through solar panels on top of the vehicle and reaches the Solar Taxi through the grid. The grid works like a bank, from which Palmer can withdraw his earlier solar energy deposits when traveling at night or on a cloudy day.

It took three years to build the Solar Taxi. The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and three Swiss universities of applied sciences were involved in its construction, integrating top-notch technologies such as a flexible steering-wheel that allows the passenger to take control of the vehicle.

Photo: Solar Taxi Zooms Across GW Campus

A fact sheet on the solar taxi project can be seen by clicking on the following link:

Solar Taxi Fact Sheet





Jonathan P. Deason, Ph.D., Lead Professor