Swiss man produces solar-powered car

A car with Swiss license plates cruising along roads on the sunburned hills of Merced County isn't exactly common sight. An even less common sight is a solar-powered car that produces zero carbon emissions.

That's exactly what a small group of residents saw Friday, as Swiss schoolteacher and world traveler Louis Palmer rolled into UC Merced with his Solar Taxi.

The 36-year-old Palmer is five months away from circling the globe in his solar powered car -- a trip that will take him across 40 countries and 36,000 miles. The United States is the 28th country he's visited in the Solar Taxi -- and he's driven more than 23,000 miles.

And while Palmer's trip will probably make him the first person to travel around the world in a solar powered car, his true mission is to show people that automobile travel is possible without spending a single cent at the gas pump -- or negatively impacting the environment.

In the age of global warming and sky-rocketing gas prices, Palmer said his unique mode of transportation only makes sense.

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