Starting in 2007, you drove around the world in less than 18 months in the Solartaxi, an electric vehicle you designed yourself. What compelled you to make that record attempt?

I wanted to show the world that a solar-powered vehicle could circumnavigate the globe, and that there’s no reason for us to keep driving around using stone-age technology like gasoline. And I wanted to show that we have the solutions to fight global warming.

Since 2011, you’ve organized the world’s biggest rally for electric vehicles, the WAVE Trophy. What does the public make of it?

Initially both the trophy and the vehicles were probably just seen as curiosities. But today there’s no doubt that e-mobility is here to stay, which may be thanks in part to our rally ambassadors.

A Swiss native, Louis Palmer was the first person to circumnavigate the globe in a solar-powered vehicle. His commitment to sustainable mobility has electrified the debate and continues to garner widespread attention.

In 2018, WAVE Switzerland made a stopover at the Zurich ePrix. What were your impressions of Zurich’s first Formula E race?

I was overwhelmed to see people turn up in such great numbers. It sent a strong message to the public that the right technology is on its way. I just hope that car manufacturers will move forward with e-mobility in passenger vehicles, and not just in racing cars.

What is your vision for the future of mobility?

For us to be driving lightweight solar-powered vehicles that weigh less than 500 kilograms and are highly efficient. Sooner or later, these vehicles will become self-driving. At that point, more and more people will be sharing a ride in these “cars.” This will free up space on our streets and make them safer, which is also good news for cyclists and pedestrians.

Making the impossible possible is a key topic for motivational speakers. What are your insider tips for visionaries?

Even if everybody laughs at you and says it can’t be done, even if you have no money and no idea how to proceed, if you have a vision, don’t give up – stick with it. And above all: be creative! There’s a solution for every problem.

You live in Lucerne but work in Zurich: what energizes you about the city on the Limmat?

I’ve never seen such a small “global city” where so much is happening. The countless cultural events and all the different possibilities generally... Everything you need to make a global city is right here.

Louis Palmer at your event

Global citizen Louis Palmer is a popular keynote and motivational speaker and appears regularly at conventions, conferences and events:

Would you like to book Louis Palmer to speak at your event in Zurich? Daniel Borchert at the Zurich Convention Bureau would be happy to help with arrangements.