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World premiere Solar power helps cable car reach new heights

A new cable car that carries passengers up to the top of the Staubern mountain in eastern Switzerland has become the world’s first to run on solar power. 

The Staubern solar-powered cable car, which is being inaugurated from April 6-8, transports passengers from the Rhine Valley up to the Staubern restaurant and guesthouse at an altitude of 1,800 metres, situated between cantons St Gallen and Appenzell Inner Rhodes.

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The small cable car, which can carry only eight passengers, is being promoted as a model of sustainable tourism. It is powered by electricity produced by solar panels located at the bottom and top of the cable car.  Energy is then stocked in batteries, enabling the family-run cable car to operate all year.

Translated from French by Simon Bradley

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