Motion Control – Giant Solar-Powered Butterfly Puts the Focus on Climate Change Solutions

Motion Control – Maxon to Host the Solar Butterfly

Motion Control – Seeking climate change solutions, the world’s largest sustainability tour is coming to Taunton, Massachusetts. The solar-powered butterfly is a 30-foot-long tiny house in the shape of a butterfly, which charges the electric vehicle it tows


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Motion Control – The SolarButterfly is focused on reaching millions of people, alerting them to the companies and individuals that are integral in transitioning societies away from fossil fuels toward 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.

The tour was initiated by Swiss environmental activist Louis Palmer who 15 years ago was the first person to circle the world in a solar-powered car. The symbol of a butterfly going through its transformation is a metaphor for his message: “While global warming is a big threat for the future of human beings, the solutions actually already exist. We want to show that lots of fantastic clean solutions are available which create jobs and save money! A transition of our society, like a butterfly, is very well possible!”

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. Nearly 140 projects have been reviewed so far, suggesting that global warming can be stopped. Some projects include a solar-powered vehicle that never needs to connect to the grid to charge its batteries; a fossil fuel-free steel plant; and a group that has produced a search engine, which already has millions of visitors, which provides information on how to reforest our planet.

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After a winter break, the SolarButterfly plans to begin again from its hometown of Lucerne, Switzerland on April 3, 2023, visiting known pioneers in the UK. After that trip, the SolarButterfly will be shipped to Halifax, Canada and continue its travels from there, across the United States and Central America to Panama by the end of the 2023.



maxon USA, a corporate sponsor of the project will be hosting the SolarButterfly and crew on July 28th at their Taunton, Massachusetts facility. Local political leaders, schools and the public are invited to attend between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. During that time, guests will be able to tour the SolarButterfly which is equipped with a uniquely designed large solar panel array that unfolds into giant butterfly wings. It incorporates a kitchen, bathroom, and living room and accommodates a crew of up to five people. 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.

If you are interested in hosting the SolarButterfly, visit our website ( to learn more. The crew is presently searching for hosts, such as companies and universities, in 100 cities between Halifax and Panama where it can charge its batteries during the day, meet climate pioneers, and be open to the public.

According to the planned route, the next phase of visits the SolarButterfly will make include five continents finishing in Paris on December 12, 2025, just in time for the tenth anniversary of the United Nations Paris climate agreement. The itinerary and time frame will be:

1. Switzerland – Germany – UK, April – June 2023
2. North and Central America, July– December 2023
3. South America – Europe – Asia – March – October 2024
4. Australia – Africa – Paris, January – December 2025

LONGi, a solar technology company, is a key partner for this project where the company makes its own contribution to green energy transformation and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A variety of other companies are helping to fund the SolarButterfly project, including maxon, Brugg Group, ELMA, myclimate, 3A Composites Core Materials, Geser Fahrzeugbau, Komax, Kyburz, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, OPES Solutions, Schindler, 3A Composites Mobility, Lucerne Business Development and Jim&Jim. Other costs for the four-year journey will be raised through crowdfunding.


About Maxon

The Swiss specialist for quality drives maxon is a developer and manufacturer of brushed and brushless DC motors, as well as gearheads, encoders, controllers, and entire mechatronic systems. maxon drives are used wherever the requirements are particularly high: in NASA’s Mars rovers, in surgical power tools, in humanoid robots, and in precision industrial applications, for example. To maintain its leadership in this demanding market, the company invests a considerable share of its annual revenue in research and development. Worldwide, maxon has more than 3000 employees at nine production sites and is represented by sales companies in more than 30 countries.

Contact maxon for more details

Comprehensive documentation and software are included with every delivery, and are also available for you to download from our website at

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