An alternative approach: Solar-powered car climbs Pikes Peak

October 21, 2010
photo - A solar and wind powered car on the Pikes Peak Highway. Photo by MARK REIS, THE GAZETTE
A solar and wind powered car on the Pikes Peak Highway. Photo by MARK REIS, THE GAZETTE 

A solar- and wind-powered car on a world tour made a stop Thursday to drive to the summit of Pikes Peak.

Marc Muller and Svetlana Dougoud of Switzerland averaged 10 miles per hour on the trip up the Pikes Peak Highway to the summit.

The drive was part of the ICARE Project, a 16-month effort in which the car will drive through 30 countries on four continents to learn about carbon dioxide compensation projects.

The car is powered by solar panels in the daytime and uses a collapsible wind turbine to charge the batteries overnight.

It departed Switzerland on May 15 and will continue its tour through October 2011.

Muller said the car has a top speed of 50 mph but its average speed is 30 mph.

The trip to the Pikes Peak summit took several hours because the car averaged 10 mph on the uphill climb.

From Colorado the team's next stop will be the Grand Canyon.

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