Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A solar what???!!!

Well, I'm sure you heard about the Earth Hour happening last Saturday in many parts of the world. So, you might ask me if I had played my part in the "International" event. Well, my answer is......No, simply because I was rushing for a paper to be sent to my supervisor and I need the air in my room to be well-circulated throughout the whole process. But anyhow, I'm sure that my usual power-saving practice is more than enough to cover the 'sin' that I had committed on that day :-p.

So, what do I gotta say today? Well, I was hanging out at the foyer of my campus (the campus I'm studying in la) when I stumbled upon this thing...

Yup, you saw that right. It's a doorless solar car with a trailer attached at the back where the 6m^2 of solar cells are resting (I mean working to collect sunlight :-p).

Once it's parked outside the Common Study Area (it's the library), I managed to capture better photos of it

Not bad for a solar car! It's doorless, it's a 2-seater and it's a 'convertible'!!! Well half actually, as the canvas is pulled down to cover yourself when it's raining....but hey, it's still a half-convertible :-p. And most of all, it has 3 wheels....now where to get that in KL?? Come on! So what about the interior? Tada!!!

It doesn't have a radio and an air-cond system for very obvious reasons. But it comes with a very nice horn, one that sounds like a buzzer we used to build our electronic circuits back in Kemahiran Hidup during our highschool days. And the most interesting thing is that the steering wheel can be adjusted to either lefthand/righthand drive on the fly!!! Serious!! Just pull the clamp and you can 'steer' the steering wheel along the rail....so you can have it in the center too if you prefer the driving position ala McLaren F1 :-p. But 'do not judge a car by its canvas' here as this little 3-wheeler can go up to 90km/h in straights!!! And on a full charge, it can travel up to 400km. Not bad at all...a 100% clean car without compromising too much on performance.

And the man behind this invention is Mr Louis Palmer who goes around the world picking people up to ride with him (that's why they call it a taxi) and showing the car to the world that we don't need a single drop of petrol to travel. It's an eye-opener listening to his presentation about the awareness of Global Warming and why he is doing this 'adventure', and with his constant compliments on the car - "It works like a Swiss clock!". Well, since he is a Swiss himself, we can't blame him...:-p But I do admire his courage to promote Global Warming Awareness around the world and that efforts should start NOW before it's too late. And I truly hope that my country will have this solar car in the near future, but since we are still making money from harvesting petroleum, I doubt that will happen anytime in the near future or Petronas will run out of business real fast :-p.

So let's do our part in 'Giving Mother Nature a Break' - Mix FM. Even a weekly Earth Hour in every household is a good start. You can take your children to the park for a walk during that one hour so you won't feel the air-cond-less ;-)

For more information on the Solar Taxi, log on to www.solartaxi.com

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