In in Fribourg, in Switzerland, Mark Muller, a Swiss engineer, is planning to take a 40,000 km trip around the world in this car, which is powered uniquely by the wind and the sun. This is the Icarus project, which is also supported the Yverdon enginnering school. The aim is to complete the journey in this car without emitting a single gram of CO2.
In the day, the solar panels power the electric motor. And during the night time, a wind powered generator can be raised to re-charge the batteries.
The trailer carrying all this equipment was built especially for the project so it has to be approved for road use before the journey can begin.
Says project developer Marc Muller: “There are lots of uncertainties because even getting this far has been difficult and has taken a long time, and then there’s the journey and all the things that could go wrong: theft, accident, break-down… lots of things.”
It’s the first time that a wind and solar powered car has tried to make such a journey. Marc and his co-driver will cross 30 countries and report from on places linked to sustainable development.
Back in Fribourg, engineering student Sarah Delacolombaz is also working on the Icarus project, designing the most efficient and lightest possible wind turbine to be used on the trailer.
The team hopes to start the journey this spring. And contrary to the project’s namesake, Marc is confident that he can achieve his aim – travelling without fosil fuel, but without burning his wings!