The Solar Shuttle – solar-powered 42-passenger boat


March 16, 2007

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March 17, 2007 Designed by SolarLab founder Christoph Behling, the SolarShuttle is the UK’s largest and most advanced solar boat. It was launched last July, and operates on the ecologically-fragile Serpentine Lake in one of the oldest parks in the world, London’s Hyde Park. Entirely pollution-free and silent running, the exquisitely beautiful SolarShuttle can carry 42 passengers in all daylight conditions, has reserve power for night-time running and even generates surplus energy that can be fed back into the national grid.

SolarLab Research and Design, the world’s leading designer of solar boats, has been awarded the prestigious Travel + Leisure 2007 Design Award for ‘Best Transportation’. Topping an impressive group of international designers the SolarShuttle was described as “the innovation of the year – it’s unique, and very modern.” by Sheila Bridges. The Interior Designer and TV Host formed part of an illustrious jury which included Yves Béhar of Fuseproject, handbag designer Kate Spade and Robert A.M. Stern, Dean of the Yale School of Architecture.

Able to carry 42 passengers, entirely pollution-free and silent, the SolarShuttle eliminates the production of 2.5 tons of carbon dioxide emissions every year compared to a similar sized diesel boat. The SolarShuttle can operate in all daylight conditions, stores reserve power for evening cruises and even generates surplus energy that can be fed back into the national grid. “We are thrilled to receive this award and to be recognised alongside such a fantastic group of designers.” says Christoph Behling. “As the showcase for the future of solar transport in the UK, the SolarShuttle demonstrates that using design alternative energy transport solutions can be beautiful as well as sustainable. Hopefully the extra exposure and recognition from this award will really push this kind of innovation forward.”

SolarLab is a London-based sustainable design consultancy for renewable energy innovation. It was founded in 2006 by Christoph Behling, an award-winning product designer for global brands including TAG Heuer and Nokia who has spent the last 10 years transforming his visionary solar concepts into reality. With an international design team, SolarLab combines award-winning product design and cutting-edge technology with a vision for the future of renewable energy, delivering revolutionary transport and product solutions. It is SolarLab’s belief that change needs to be inspired and not forced. We hope that people who use our designs will not only be convinced, but will be seduced that a sustainable future will be more, not less, exciting.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, (Australia's largest Telco), (Australia's largest employment site),,, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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