Riding a solar Armadillo cargo bike from Switzerland to China
Patrick Perret, from Switzerland, decided to combine making a statement and do a grand adventure together with his children Yoann and Emilie. He says:
I think it is necessary to realize that moving with a clean vehicle is essential if we want to provide a healthy life for our children. Currently 80% of cars move with only one person in them. Why move 1 ton of scrap to transport 80 kg? 90% of the energy consumed is used to move the car and maximum 10% for the person inside.
For everyday journeys, for example to get to work, it is quite possible to use a 4-wheeled, 80 kg vehicle in which one is safe, operating with clean energy. In addition, it brings considerable benefits regarding cost and parking.
We couldn't agree more! He continues:
Of course, the icing on the cake of the demonstration of the clean vehicle is the Adventure.
The Silk Road is an amazing journey for my children and myself with great emotions and memories.
In addition to the daily school education that I will strive to give them, my children will enjoy this journey for an education and an open mind that will give them a different vision of life.
To be honest we were a little hesitant about bringing children on such an adventure. Until one of our employees, Olle, who took the Armadillo to Gotland this summer, said that he would have absolutely loved if his dad had brought him on such an adventure when he was a kid! And now we also see in the reports that the kids are indeed enjoying a fantastic adventure with their dad!
Patrick chose to use the Armadillo as his base vehicle. He came, joined by Emilie and Yoann, to Gothenburg and assembled it himself. Back in Switzerland he added child seats and solar panels, decreasing the need for power outlets and providing shade. The Armadillo is also towing a bike trailer.
After some delays, Patrick, Emilie and Yoann departed from Switzerland in the beginning of July. When this article is written it is beginning of November and they have just entered India.
They usually ride 60-120 km per day, and stay for a few days when they find a spot the children likes. The solar panel roof charges the batteries to extend the range possible to travel between power outlets. Every day the sun top up the batteries with 60 km of extra range. The record so far is 953 km on one battery charge!
Follow and encourage!
Patrick is posting updates on his personal Facebook page. It is possible to follow without connecting as Facebook friend. He is showing all messages to his children, so be sure to cheer them on if you like what they do!
Also, you can follow them on a live GPS Map