AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
It’s well documented that one of the biggest drawbacks to pure electric vehicles are their range. It’s an aspect that’s proving a significant barrier to mainstream consumer acceptance, nevertheless, some manufacturers continue to push the boundaries of battery technology, in an effort to make such a cars a more viable proposition.
A UK engineer has built a car that runs on coffee grinds. This brilliant idea came to fruition thanks to engineer Martin Bacon (insert your own breakfast related joke here) and a team of volunteers from Teesdale Conservation in Durham, England. Powered by used coffee grinds, the modified Rover SD1 is already breaking records.
Guinness World Records has announced that it broke the record “for vehicles that run on gas from organic waste.” It can reach speeds of up to 77.5 miles per hour, with an average speed of 66.5 mph (the previous record was 47.7 mph, set by the wood-burning Beaver XR7 in 2010). This car and its team have also broken record for the longest distance driven by a coffee-powered car (they drove it from London to Manchester, which is about 209 miles).
To get things percolating, the coffee car powers its V6 engine with an on-board wood gas generator (gasification) system. The wood and coffee grounds burn at a temperature of more than 1292 F, which produces a synthetic gas made of carbon monoxide, hydrogen, and methane that can power an internal combustion engine. Now that is one strong cup of java!
To reach its top speeds, some of the clean gas is compressed to 150 PSI and injected directly into the manifold, and its cooling system uses an intercooler with two 12-volt fans attached. The coffee car has already gone through a series of modifications, which has resulted with a weight loss of 550 pounds.
Watch of video of the coffee car in action after the jump.
Volkswagen has just surpassed Ford in the fuel-economy bragging rights race, with the new Passat BlueMotion traveling a distance of 1,531 miles on just one tank of diesel. Last year, Ford set a record with its new Fusion Hybrid, traveling a total of 1,445 miles.
The drive was performed by Gavin Conway of The Sunday Times and confirmed by the Guinness World Records.
The Passat BlueMotion uses a tiny 1.6-liter 4-cylinder TDI engine with just 103-hp. The car also features aerodynamic bodywork, a lower ride height, longer gearing, low rolling resistance tires and a start-stop system. This engine is also available in the Golf and Polo BlueMotion models, although they probably wouldn’t be able to achieve a longer distance due to smaller fuel tanks. In total, 77.25 liters of diesel was used on the trip, resulting in a total of 90 mpg – well beyond the claimed 64.2-mpg rating for the car.
Official release after the jump: