Electric boats have been plying waterways in Europe since around 1890. In 1905 the 'Victory' was launched on the river Thames, at that time the largest electric boat in the world. She was 93 feet long and built of wood. The Victory could carry 350 passengers. Before the internal combustion engine became popular electric boating rivaled steam and horse drawn barges. Battery powered pleasure-boats were charged-up by steam powered generators and overhead cables. In England canals provided a comprehensive network for working narrow-boats carrying cargo. After 1905 the internal combustion engine became popular, ironically, due the the invention of the electric starter motor.
Solar boats and cars could significantly reduce the global warming that is causing climate change, if put into mass production such as to replace diesel and petrol powered vehicles.
SOLAR CIRCUMNAVIGATION EXAMPLE - The above table illustrates one of the most likely ocean awareness expedition routes showing the time elapsed in days for 7 knots average cruising speed, including times for 5 and 6 knot averages - allowing for 10% downtime and 36 days in ports. Hence, although the objective is to reduce the current solar circumnavigation record from 584 days, the event in not an outright non-stop yacht competition in the offshore racing sense. It remains to be seen how accurate such a prediction might be.
In Europe -
In the USA -
In Australia - Solar Sailor
In Japan - First Solar Pacific Crossing
In Germany : Walking with solarboats in Nordhorn
Planair in La Sagne Switzerland.
Solar energy links
SSES, Société Suisse Energie Solaire Switzerland
Service cantonal de l'Energie, Neuchâtel Switzerland
Futurebike, Human Powered Vehicles (HPV) Switzerland
A lot of links in Austria
A taste for adventure capitalists
Solar Cola - a healthier alternative