Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Car made made from carrots, powered by chocolate

The British-built ecoF3 racing car has a steering wheel made from carrots, a bodywork crafted from potatoes and a soya bean seat. It uses plant oil-based lubricants to grease its moving parts and boasts a biodiesel engine capable of running on chocolate extracts and vegetable oil.

It can reach 145mph and races in Formula 3. The car's bodywork was made by mixing vegetable fibres with resins and it its the first Formula 3 car built from eco-friendly materials. The ecoF3 is currently ineligible to compete in next season's championship because the engine's unusual fuel means it fails to meet regulations.

James Meredith, project manager of the WorldFirst team from Warwick University, in Coventry, West Mids, which designed and built the car, said the car breaks new ground. "It's been very exciting working on the project and important for our team to develop a working example of a truly green motor racing car. "The WorldFirst project expels the myth that performance needs to be compromised when developing the sustainable motor vehicles of the future."

Team WorldFirst also includes Dr Kerry Kirwan and Dr Steve Maggs. Their collaboration has achieved spectacular results paving the way for motor racing in the future. The WorldFirst car proves that the practical application of sustainable and renewable materials can spearhead the innovation needed in the “championing of green technology” by motor sport.

Green technology can often be viewed as being a bit old fashioned, contrary to this, the biggest environmental gains can come from simple, common sense means. In WorldFirst’s case these common sense developments have been applied in ingenious ways. Whilst road car manufacturers focus on adjusting their engine technology in order to adhere to new EU emission strategy, the WorldFirst team has striven to lead the way in engraining sustainability into every aspect of its car design. The end result demonstrates that green innovation can be exciting and be effectively utilised in cutting edge applications.

Now motor sport isn't green, but this is an interesting way to develop new technologies. We can't produce enough vegetable oil to replace diesel, but this will reduce emissions; along with more public transport and electric cars. Using waste oil for fuel is very green, at the moment much of it is thrown down the drains because people have to pay for it to be collected. Local authorities should be providing collection places, and helping to filter and process used (not waste) vegetable oil.

I've been driving on veg oil for 4 years, by converting my diesel car with dieselveg. Maximum allowable veg oil usage in Litres before having to register or pay fuel duty to UK Revenue & Customs is set at 2500 Litres Per Year.

BBC news video

1 comment:

Adrian Windisch said...

see also http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8031737.stm

And I was interviewed about my own vegoil powered car today by BBC Radio Berkshire.