By Matthias Bank
What auto race blasts its way around the world in eighty days without leaving a trace of emissions in its wake? And, almost as astonishingly, inspires crowds to come out and cheer on a rainy weekend in Southern California?
The answer is a group of 21st century hot rods Jules Verne would have loved called the Zero Emissions Race, an international group of solar powered electric vehicles that have been driving about 11,000 miles since leaving the United Nations in Geneva. Their aim: to prove a point that instead of dreaming about 100 percent renewable energy powered vehicles for someday, we should be living that dream today.
The mastermind of the race, Louis Palmer, made a pit stop in Malibu two years ago during his Solar Taxi tour, the first circumnavigation of the globe by a solar powered car. On that trip, celebrities greeted him everywhere he went, including James Cameron, Larry Hagman, and Brian Grazer in Malibu.
Far from fretting like a Hollywood starlet past his prime, Mr. Palmer is celebrating the shift as success. He revels in the fact that people are so quickly becoming the change he hoped to inspire.
And the glittery set has not exactly cast him aside. Those checking out the Zero Race on their adventure through coastal L.A. included German mega star Thomas Gottschalk, composer and former Oingo Bongo band member Richard Gibbs, and “Who Killed the Electric Car?” filmmaker Chris Paine.
Matthias Bank is Media and Marketing Director for Renewables 100 Policy Institute, one of the event sponsors for Zero Emissions Race in Southern California. Renewables 100 Policy Institute will be re-joining Zero Emissions Race at the World Climate Conference in Cancun, where both will be advocating for a 100% renewable energy by mid-century target.
Photo caption 1."Who Killed The Electric Car?" Filmmaker Chris Paine and Plug-In America's Paul Scott welcome Zero Emissions Race to Southern California at Santa Monica Pier 2. Zero Emissions Race Founder Louis Palmer greets Southern California at Santa Monica Pier.