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Power Of One Solar Car Reaches Los Angeles After Breaking World Distance Record, Heading to Washington, DC

Marcelo da Luz and his Power of One solar car (earlier post), recently arrived in Los Angeles after traveling more than 12,500 miles. In the process, he reached the Arctic Circle, and broke the world distance record for a solar car.

The Power of One journey symbolically began 12 June 2008 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada at Seneca College—one of the project’s greatest supporters. The actual drive began in Buffalo, NY. The original plan was to drive the solar car from Buffalo, NY to Inuvik, NT and back to Buffalo, NY. However, according to the project website, communities in Alaska and Washington invited the solar car to visit them and so it did.

In its journey to Los Angeles, it crossed the continental divide 8 times, traveled more than 1,200 miles on gravel roads, took on snow, ice, and the low angle of the Northern hemisphere during the wettest summer of the past 30 years.

The project relies on support from communities and sponsors, including individuals who “adopt a kilometer”, and volunteers to drive the support van. Marcelo, a former flight attendant for Air Canada, is preparing to leave Los Angeles en route to Washington DC.

The Power of One solar car can travel more than 300 miles on a sunny day, go from 0 to 50 mph in six seconds and has a top speed of 75 mph. The three-wheel vehicle (two-front, one-rear) is 5.0 m in length and 1.8 m high. It uses a 3.996 kWh Li-ion polymer pack with EP Kokam cells (3.7V, 40Ah) and a 7.144 m2 solar array producing about 900 Watts to power a brushless 84-108V DC New Generation Motors motor.

(A hat-tip to Jim!)



Things like this will really advance the cause of all sorts of electric cars. Research and miles is the only way to come to an optimal solution.


I have to question how a 12,500 mile record beats the 32,000 mile record set my Solar Taxi?

James White

Marcelo's Xof1 solar car can only be charged by the sunlight that strikes his car. The Solar Taxi was not powered entirely by sunlight. The Zebra batteries in the Solar Taxi were frequently recharged by plugging them into an electrical outlet at night. When there was not enough sunlight to power the Solar Taxi, they used coal power in China and India to charge their vehicle. Just because they have a building in Switzerland that feeds solar power into the grid does not make their car 100% solar powered. An all-electric car, without any solar modules mounted on it could make the same claim that it is solar powered. I applaud the incredible accomplishments of the Solar Taxi, but Marcelo and his Xof1 rightfully hold the title for the longest distance travelled by a purely solar powered vehicle.

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