Knesset Speaker takes a spin in solar-powered car

"This is so much fun," Rivlin says taking a ride in the solar-powered Solartaxi designed by Swiss engineer Louis Palmer.

Rivlin in Solartaxi_311 (photo credit: Lahav Harkov)
Rivlin in Solartaxi_311
(photo credit: Lahav Harkov)
Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin took a joyride in a solar-powered car on Tuesday morning, as Swiss engineer Louis Palmer and his Solartaxi visited the Knesset.
“This is so much fun,” Rivlin said with a grin, after driving in a circle in front of the Knesset. “I hear this can go up to 90 kilometers per hour.”
Palmer drove his vehicle, which has a solar-panel-covered flatbed attached from behind, on a 60,000 km. world tour before reaching the Knesset, where he was a guest of the Internal Affairs and Environment Committee, as well as the Knesset Social Environmental Caucus.
The officials that have driven the Solartaxi include UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, Prince Albert of Monaco and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
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Rivlin said that the Knesset has begun to implement environmental policies in Israel, beginning with installing solar panels on the Knesset roof.
“The sun not only nourishes life, but the possibility of movement, energy and quality of life. Every MK should know that there is a life without gas.”
However, he joked, “MKs won’t agree to drive this car, unless it’s in addition to the car they already get.”
On a more serious note, Social-Environmental Caucus co-Chairman Dov Henin (Hadash) said that “the time has come for the solar-energy revolution to reach Israel.
The sun’s energy is free, we have a lot of it, and it’s too bad that we don’t use it more.”
Palmer said he felt at home in Israel and that “the Knesset and the people of Israel understand that they can become a model for the world in use of solar energy.”
Knesset Internal Affairs Committee Chairman Amnon Cohen (Shas) seemed skeptical about the Solartaxi’s potential, saying sarcastically: “I’m sure it’s very easy to park – especially in reverse.”