By Mike Santora | August 1, 2023
The solar-powered butterfly is a 30-foot-long tiny house in the shape of a butterfly, which charges the electric vehicle it tows. The tour is focused on reaching millions of people, alerting them to the companies and individuals that are integral in transitioning societies away from fossil fuels towards clean energy technologies. Presently on a four-year journey around the world, the SolarButterfly plans to identify, record, and publicize at least a thousand climate protection pioneers and their solutions.
Since the start of the tour on May 23, 2022, in Geneva, the SolarButterfly has traveled more than 17,000 miles and visited 27 European countries. Hundreds of projects have been reviewed, suggesting that global warming can be stopped and that the technology is readily available.
According to the SolarButterfly team, “In 2025, a very important thing will happen, first, we will go to Australia, Africa, then South America. It is our goal to be at the 10th anniversary of the Paris Agreement. Our aim is to be in Brazil where the climate conference is held and to present 1,000 solutions from around the world that can be used to battle climate change.”
Local political leaders and the public attended the event where guests were able to tour the SolarButterfly which is equipped with a uniquely designed large solar panel array that unfolds into giant butterfly wings. The vehicle is the first to be built largely out of Ocean PET—plastic bottles gathered at sea and then processed for reuse. With over 900 square feet of solar panels, the vehicle produces enough energy to travel up to 150 miles per day.
Taunton Mayor Shaunna O’Connell spoke highly of the SolarButterfly project saying, “This is an extraordinary project when you consider the innovative thinking, the scale of the project, the participation, and the many components that had to be put together to make this initiative successful. We are thrilled to welcome the SolarButterfly to Taunton at maxon, a business leader in our community.”
maxon, is a corporate sponsor of the project and hosted the SolarButterfly and crew on July 28th at their Taunton, Massachusetts facility. At the event, CEO maxon group, Eugen Elmiger explained that, “Supporting the Solar Butterfly project illustrates our dedication to being responsible to our environment and society around the world. Our hope is to inspire more people to be climate pioneers and help us find more climate change solutions.”
Chris Blake, maxon USA’s CEO, was proud to have the SolarButterfly at maxon’s Taunton facility and spoke for a few minutes about maxon’s commitment to the climate change project through example. “Our Taunton facility was built in a sustainable manner from the beginning. We generate all our own electricity using the solar roof panels. Excess energy gets put back into the grid, but what’s important is that we operate at net-zero electricity. This is true for many of maxon’s locations around the world.”
Senator Marc Pacheco also focused on maxon’s contribution. “We have a tremendous challenge ahead of us and are thankful to maxon for their facility here as well as their corporate philosophy toward social responsibility. I want to thank the maxon team for providing leadership in corporate America to show people how it can be done if they choose to do it.”