car condition
very good
team mood
very good
very good
country flag Australia

Newest Video (20.12.2008)

View more videos »


patronage unep

About Solartaxi

Welcome to the first world tour of a vehicle powered only by solar energy!

Upcoming events

Lichtbildarena Jena
OLMA St Gallen / GTH

Team Members

Palmer Louis


Palmer Louis
initiator & tour director & driver
When the whole worlds is talking about Global Warming, it's time to show the solutions!

Solartaxi Latest News


Energieminister Moritz Leuenberger hat in Freiburg ...

08.04.2009KURIER - AUSTRIA

Der Wettermann: Selbst fährt er ein ...


Solartaxi sets world record, reaches home ...


People (210), Passengers (93), Events (60), VIPs (55), Team (53), Media Events (71), Funny (76), Highlight (22), Landscape (63), Solutions (57), City (71), Animals (43), Taxis (6), Breakdowns (18), Global Warming (8), Police (37), Schools (42), Rainbow Warrior (32), Switzerland (1), Austria (1), Angélique Kijo (1), on Times Square (1), Gisèle Bündchen (1), (1), Angelique Kijo (1), Canada (1), United States (1)

Cows and other Climate Killers19.02.2008

Tags: Australia       Comments: 0

Picture of the day

In bone-dry Australia even dairy cows are competing for water. At the Sustainable Living Festival Solar Taxi driver Louis Palmer feels the new political winds of climate protection blowing.

I'm still wondering whether Australians are indifferent to the environment and climate protection, or whether they're really doing something about it right here and now. At the Sustainable Living Festival in Melbourne, the mood one of optimism.

We've been here for three days and the stream of visitors shows no signs of drying up. Everyone wants to know how they can get solar cells that generate not only electricity but also money. There's now a hardly a newspaper published without a feature about Australia's transformation into a country of solar power users.
Australia is changing. The country is currently preoccupied with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's apology to the Aboriginal population. Until 1969, the government and churches (officially) pursued a policy of taking Aboriginals' children away from them. Most Australians think last week's long awaited "sorry" was well overdue. A new political wind is certainly blowing here and some say that the past eleven years of political standstill are finally over.

Dairy Cows Under Fire
Wandering among the tents at the Festival, I see a plastic cow bearing the slogan "Milk sucks". Robin, the cow's owner, says, "It takes 16,000 glasses of water to produce one steak. Rainforest is being cut down to make room for cattle and methane gas is also causing the greenhouse effect. Not eating meat and drinking milk would be a real contribution to climate protection!"
The world's driest continent is still drying out, so any means of boosting water supplies or saving water is being considered. Melbourne's reservoirs are now only one-third full and population growth and eleven years of drought are further decreasing their levels. Anyone found watering their garden with drinking water has to pay a hefty fine and anyone building a new house has to be able to collect rainwater for the toilet and garden.
But the city needs still more drinking water and a gigantic desalination plant is to be built to provide it. Linda and Betty, who are collecting signatures against the project, are outraged. "Just imagine; a plant as big as 400 houses collecting 1.3 billion litres of water a year from the sea and using three million litres of chlorine to make it drinkable. Victoria's electricity consumption will increase by two percent. There are other ways of doing things, like saving more water or repairing old pipes that leak water into the ground." I've already seen their "Stop Desalination" flag outside lots of houses in the area. Indifferent? Not a bit of it.

Worrying Knock in the Rear Wheel
What I have been indifferent to recently is the knocking in my back wheel. We couldn't decide where it was coming from - the engine mount, the motor shaft, the swivel head, or the annular gears? Ahead of us stretches the Nullarbor Plain, 1,200 kilometres of empty, dead-straight road across the arid plain between Adelaide and Perth. One thing is clear - sooner or later the motor or wheel bearings will break if we don't fix the problem - preferably not on the Nullarbor! Thomas changes the chains and as I set off over the West Gate Bridge towards Adelaide I hear only a hum. The problem seems to be solved.
Next day I park the Solar Taxi at a petrol station next to a huge, double-storied cattle truck. Its driver, Brian, is transporting calves 900 kilometres to an abattoir. Two dogs peek out of the trailer. "I need the dogs to get sheep onto the truck. They're great. You should see ‘em work", says Brian. "I only put in 1,200 litres", he adds with a shrug, as if he's not sure how long that will last. "That's 1,800 dollars on my credit card for a single tank. Last year I only paid half that. Transports like this now cost a third more than they did a year ago."
After three days driving I finally reach Adelaide in time for the Australian GT car racing championship called "Clipsal" and the Solar Cities Congress.


Add comment: