Ariel Schwartz

The ICARE Project: A Trip Around the World in a Solar and Wind-Powered Car

by , 01/22/10

icare, mark muller, swiss, icarus, solar, wind, alternative energy, sustainable design, eco design, green design

Forget biodiesel, hybrids, and electric vehicles–Swiss engineer Mark Muller has designed a car capable of taking a 40,000 km (24,855 mile) trip around the world using only wind and solar power. The car, built as part of the ICARE project gets its juice from solar panels during the day and a wind-powered generator at night.

icare, mark muller, swiss, icarus, solar, wind, alternative energy, sustainable design, eco design, green design

Muller’s car will kick off its trip in May, traveling through 30 countries before ending its journey in October 2011. Two journalists will ride in the car at all times. One will be part of a core group and the other will be part of a rotating team that changes depending on the continent. According to ICARE, “Through this world tour, interesting sustainable development initiatives, particularly mechanisms used to compensate for CO2 emissions, will be presented and given media coverage.” In other words, we can expect to see the vehicle used as an educational tool in countries around the world.

Want to see Muller’s futuristic car in action? Check out the video below.

+ICARE

Via Green Diary

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4 Comments

  1. tylerkaraszewski January 23, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    “Forget … electric vehicles”

    Does it use some sort of new solar panels that generate actual motion instead of electricity? If not, it’s an electric vehicle.

    And anyway, people have been taking trips around the world in wind-powered vehicles for centuries. They’re called “sailboats”.

  2. SolarHydrogen January 23, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Whilst I support the general idea of promoting sustainable development, the Swiss teacher Louis Palmer has already completed a similar 50,000km around the world journey in a solar powered ‘taxi’ in a journey that commenced back in 2007 http://www.solartaxi.com/mission/. Louis also attended the UN COP 13 Climate Change Conference in Bali, and in doing so met many high profile delegates from around the world,

    I met Louis came when he came to Australia, by attending his presentation and comparing his vehicle to those that already compete in the World Solar Challenge. This event now known as the Global Green Challenge has been run for approximately 23 years, and I suggest that it is generally more successful in promoting educational initiatives due to the requirement for both local and international College teams, to design and build vehicles that are powered entirely by the sun. I know this from first hand experience as a former solar team participant, and event observer.

    The most recent vehicles already achieve comparable speeds to typical commuter vehicles, but the challenge for those who have graduated from desiging solar cars to more everyday vehicles, is achieving a design that may meet the needs of your average family. Therefore the question needs to be asked ‘How is this project different to the Solar taxi?, and how does it encourage the public to live more sustainable lives?

    It is easy to be negative, and I am not seeking to be overly critical but unfortunately due to the often short attention span of the average punter, the considerable effort of undertaking such adventures is often forgotten once the car has moved onto the next destination. Perhaps our adventurer needs to consider this feedback in order to achieve greater impact.

  3. timothy price January 23, 2010 at 6:43 am

    It would seem that adding a means for mechanical human power would be a natural. don’t know about rules for qualifications, but as a practical matter, to have some means of adding human power would be great. A person needs exercise, and assisting on hills could save lots of time and power.

  4. Zoomie January 22, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    Um, I think the car gets its power from more than “only wind and solar power” I see peddles for foot power in the pictures…

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