The Northern Echo
When it comes to buying a car, you’ve got a few options for what’s gonna power it. If you go for something that’s powered by fossil fuels, then you can decide between gasoline or diesel. If you’re thinking of being more eco-friendly, there’s hybrids and 100% electric cars like Teslas. But what if I told you that those weren’t the only options?
At some point or another, we’re gonna have to move away from the traditional combustion engine due to environmental effects and supply issues, and if we don’t want to end up in the scary wasteland of
Mad Max, some strangely sustainable alternate methods of propelling cars are going to have to be adopted.
Turns out that bumper sticker stating “Ass, Gas or Grass – no one rides for free” wasn’t that far off.
The AIRPod Compressed Air Manufactured by a company called Zero Pollution Motors, this small car uses compressed air to propel it. It takes 2-3 minutes fill the car with compressed air, and it comes in a 2-seater, a 4 seater, and a cargo version.
After debuting on Shark Tank, this car should be hitting the US market in mid 2019.
Quant-E Sportlimousine Sea Water The Quant-E Sportlimousine uses something called an ionic-flow battery. The fuel cell uses sea water, as well as other electrolyte fluids that are combined to create electricity. They figure the car can go for 370 miles on a single charge, with four motors (one for each wheel).
It also takes 2.8 seconds to go from 0-60. The fastest production cars can do it in 2.7 sec, so that’s not bad.
Carpuccino Coffee-Powered This 1988 Volkwagon Scirocco was built as an experiment, and runs on ground coffee. The car was built by a BBC1 show to participate in a 210-mile trip, and ended up costing close to $2K to buy enough coffee to fuel it, which is 50x more expensive than if you just bought gas.
That said, if done correctly (and in this case, it wasn’t), coffee can actually be a practical biofuel.
The Fuel Film
Algeus Algae This Prius uses a mix of electricity and Alge fuel, and can use either/or to propel itself. The company is hoping to built a algae fuel production factory so they can get more of these sustainable cars in the market.
Toilet Bike Neo Poop This bike is manufactured by a company called TOTO, known for making porter-potty’s. This 3-wheeled bike is powered by manure and livestock waste, but it’s not a far stretch to get to the point where you won’t need to pull over for that bathroom break.
Honda FCX Clarity Hydrogen This car has an estimated range of 366 miles, which is the longest range of a zero-emissions car, and uses Hydrogen to power the battery. While the hydrogen fuel is a cool idea, there’s a huge drawback – auto manufacturers haven’t figured out a gauge to accurately read the fuel range properly, and there are only hydrogen stations in California.
Chrysler Turbine Tequila According to Jay Leno, a former President of Mexico in the 60’s had this car modified to run off of Tequila. At best, it could hit up to 200 mph, but had shitty mileage, because you needed the good Tequila to make it go.
Wood gas Generator Wood This truck (and other vehicles like it) converts timber into wood gas, which is nitrogen, carbon monoxide, hydrogen and methane. This combo can be used to power an internal combustion engine.
This type of engine has been around since the 1870’s, and used all over the world. In fact, this type of engine is still in use, as it’s relatively efficient and clean-burning.
Soybean-Powered bus Soybeans Soy beans can be converted into bio-diesel, and has been powering vehicles for the past few decades, especially busses. It’s relatively easy to convert the buses to run on this fuel, and offers a lot of long term savings.
Chrysler Turbine Car Jet Fuel Built back in the 60’s, this retro-futuristic car had a jet-powered turbine to make it go zoom. It actually performed quite well and was stable and vibration free, but they were forced to cease production by the government.
Hemp-Powered Car Hemp The very first hemp powered car was actually developed by Henry Ford in 1941. Not only was the car hemp-ethanol fuelled, a lot of the car’s plastic body was constructed from industrial hemp fibre, which was 10x stronger than steel at the time.
Sadly, it never went into production because the US had a ban on hemp at the time. Sounds legit.
Coal-Powered Car Coal Coal-powered stuff was all the rage during the industrial revolution, but it didn’t stop there. In the 1950’s, GM started testing coal for automotive use and tinkered with that idea until the 80’s. In fact, two cars were produced that ran on coal: The 1978 Cadillac Eldorado and the 1977 Oldsmobile Delta 88.
The idea never went anywhere, because the cars were clunky when starting and weren’t all that easy to maintain.
Les 7 du Quebec
Water-Powered Car Water There’s a whole lot of controversy over water-powered cars. They exist, and people have successfully made them, but for some reason, they don’t go anywhere, or the investors and inventors go missing. True story.
Cooking Oil Olive Oil/Canola Oil If you’ve got a diesel engine on your car, then you can pretty much convert it to run off of old waste oil. Sure, you might smell like a french fry factory while you drive, but you’ll save serious cash at the pumps.