Jules Verne's Phileas Fogg, the main fictional character in the 1873 novel "Around the World in Eighty Days," was an ambitious man. His passion was to circumnavigate the globe in 80 days, but he had nothing on Louis Palmer, the Swiss teacher who built his own solar car and took it around the globe to demonstrate the power and potential of solar energy. Now Palmer has inspired others, and tomorrow five teams from four continents are starting a race around the globe with electric vehicles. Palmer says the Zero Emissions Race will feature teams from Australia, Germany, South Korea and Switzerland. Departing and finishing in Geneva, the racers will travel 18,642 miles (30,000 kilometers) on the road.
The drivers, using nothing but soar to power their cars, will stop in 150 cities including Berlin, Moscow, Shanghai, Los Angeles and Cancun, which will host the U.N. climate change meeting at the end of November. On his around-the-world journey, Palmer took his solar tax to the climate negotiations in Bali.