Barbados Solar Powered Auto Breaks World Record For Distance

Barbados Registered Vehicle In The Snow!

Barbados Registered Vehicle In The Snow!

Well… It Is REGISTERED In Barbados. That Makes It Ours, Right?

By a strange turn of international law, the world distance record for solar powered vehicles now belongs to Barbados.

Sort of.

A Canadian – an Air Canada flight attendant named Marcelo da Luz – set the world record for distance traveled in a sun-powered car. He broke the current record of 15,070 kilometers (9364 miles) on October 30, 2008 in Victoria on Canada’s Pacific coast.

To break the record, da Luz traveled for three months starting in Toronto, Ontario Canada and motoring (humming?) through New York State, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Montana, Manitoba Canada, Saskatchewan Canada, Alberta, Yukon Canada past the Arctic Circle to Inuvik NorthWest Territory, Yukon and Alaska.

Bajan Sun Powered Vehicle

Bajan Sun Powered Vehicle

How Does Barbados Come Into This?

Mr. da Luz is a Canadian. His solar-powered vehicle “Xof1” was built in Canada and his journey was conducted entirely in Canada and the United States.

But his vehicle is registered in Barbados.

The Ontario Province authorities would not register a solar-powered vehicle and allow it to travel on the public roads, so Mr. da Luz took advantage of a wee bit of international law that basically says if a vehicle is registered in one country, other countries must allow it on their roads even if it doesn’t meet their vehicle standards.

Back in April of 2007, Xof1 was shipped to Barbados where it was inspected and then licensed by our country. Thus, when Mr. da Luz broke the world record, he did it with a Bajan solar-powered vehicle…

Sort of!

At the time the vehicle was registered in Barbados, Mr. da Luz wrote the following on a Yahoo! solar car group

“Hello Solar car enthusiasts,

As you may already have learned from the project website “news update”. XOF1 is now licensed and registered as a regular vehicle in Barbados.

The past two years I tried to work with various Canadian governments (Ontario, Northwest Territories, Alberta, etc…) to get the proper permission to drive the solar car on public roads without any success.

The project (car and driver) moved to Barbados got licensed and registered, it can now be driven on public roads not only in Barbados but in most countries including Canada protected by the 1949 International Traffic Treaty that overrules local laws.

Interesting enough, regular vehicles are not inspected in Barbados. However, due to XOF1’s high profile it got inspected. In fact, the licensing chief officer demanded all inspectors to check the solar car before allowing it to be licensed. After some modifications done to the vehicle it got approved.

XOF1 have also raised it’s international profile, we had the car on display at NextFest in New York as well images of XOF1 along with half scale model will be in display for the opening of the first Science Center in the Philippines. It is being used to promote the First International Alternative Congress in Brazil…”

Further Reading

Globe & Mail Newspaper: Powered By The Sun

Xof1 Website

Xof1 Blog (rather dated)

Interior photo click on thumb…



Filed under Barbados

12 responses to “Barbados Solar Powered Auto Breaks World Record For Distance

  1. Bajan Youth

    this is kool, lol talk about loopholes in the law

  2. yatinkiteasy

    Wonder why we didnt see any of this in 07 when the car was in Barbados??…
    There is a Swiss young man called Louis Palmer who is at the moment shattering all records with his solar powered car…its called the ‘solartaxi”
    The following link has the story and videos…

  3. John

    It is great to see the car, you don’t see many like that on our roads …..

    ….. and I don’t mean to be negative but I can’t help but ask …… who was the minister?

  4. sungirl

    and the next question is.. did he pay his road tax this year… and what’s his registration plates number.. that would be interesting..

  5. 197

    BFP is quirky. Do we love them? YES!

  6. Hants

    Barbados should be using “Solar energy” for more than just heating water.

    Hopefully our moneyed “entrepreneurs will seize the opportunity.

  7. The Scout

    I would like to suggest to our government that instead of spending so much money trying to find oil off Barbados that we take advantage of our natural resources i.e wind and sun. Clean alternative energy is the order of the day, invest in it, also give households and manufacturers incentives for creating and using such projects. We have abundance of both here and we also have the technology to develop these projects. Please invest in them.

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