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Kids Build Soybean Fueled Sports Car 558

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the why-give-up-a-cash-cow dept.
Sterling D. Allan writes "High school students from West Philadelphia High School have designed a sports car that can go from zero to 60 in four seconds and get more than 50 miles to the gallon on soy bean oil. CBS News reports that this unlikely car was the star last week at the Philadelphia Auto Show. Once again, are we seeing the fabled instance of revolutionary technology coming not from the big corporations, but from some unlikely garage. Maybe these guys will open source their design."
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Kids Build Soybean Fueled Sports Car

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  • I hope that car doesn't have smelly gas like I do from soybeans
  • I did a quick search for soybean oil and it was $8.99 (USD) for a single gallon (cheaper than the organics I saw). We're going to have to bring down the price of soybean oil first for this to be viable. I'm sure large scale production and consumption would help things along.

    Anyways, its cool to see technology like this floating about. It's too bad the higher institutions of learning aren't seeing developments like they should be.

    Now I also wonder what the emissions are like on these things... That is after
    • We're going to have to bring down the price of soybean oil first for this to be viable.

      No we don't. We just have to wait for the price of the oil we currently use to increase to $8.99. It will eventually. At that point, an even cheaper alternative will be present, or we can switch to soybean oil (or soybean oil with a combination of other methods).
    • I did a quick search for soybean oil and it was $8.99 (USD) for a single gallon (cheaper than the organics I saw). We're going to have to bring down the price of soybean oil first for this to be viable. I'm sure large scale production and consumption would help things along.

      If the "50 mpg" estimate is based on actual real life road testing, rather than the artificially inflated numbers that hybrid cars carry, it's not that bad. This is roughly twice the mileage that most cars get, so either soybean oil

    • by God'sDuck (837829) on Wednesday March 01, 2006 @02:01AM (#14824374)
      I did a quick search for soybean oil and it was $8.99 (USD) for a single gallon
      you mean, it's 8.99 for a FDA-approved *edible* gallon in an individual container. a 5-gallon keg of XXX smushed-from-the-ugly-plants could be cheaper.

      it should also be noted that their car is getting 50-miles-to-the-gallon with an engine big enough to do 0-60 in 4 seconds. cut that engine down for 80mpg, then hybridize it for 120mpg, and $9 a gallon for oil suddenly sounds a lot less (7.5 cents a mile as opposed to 8.3 cents for a 30mpg car at $2.50 a gallon for gas)
      • Um, it's a diesel. (Score:5, Informative)

        by Andy Dodd (701) <atd7@@@cornell...edu> on Wednesday March 01, 2006 @09:49AM (#14825868) Homepage
        For various reasons, diesels do not have nearly the efficiency penalty that gasoline engines do when operating at low loads. As a result, resizing the engine to be smaller won't really help that much. Plus most of the acceleration comes from the electric motor I suspect, just as it does with most other hybrids.

        BTW, the main reason diesels are so much more efficient than gasoline engines is the way they are throttled. In a gasoline engine (Otto or Atkinson cycle), if the fuel burns too lean (too much air), the combustion temperature increases significantly and increases NOx emissions, and more importantly, tends to melt parts of the engine. The result is that to throttle down a gasoline engine, you can't just remove fuel - you need to remove AIR and adjust fuel delivery as appropriate, by essentially choking the engine's air supply. Thus at low loads the engine is essentially breathing through a tiny straw, and paying penalties in pumping losses.

        Diesels, on the other hand, usually do not have any throttles in their air intake, they CAN be throttled simply by adjusting fuel supply. (I'm not sure why it is that they don't have to deal with lean burning, I'm guessing that one reason is that fuel is injected during the combustion cycle, rather than being premixed prior to ignition.) Since the engine never has to breathe through a straw (Although I think some large trucks do have options for switching a restrictor into the exhaust to allow for engine breaking), it can operate much more efficiently at low loads.

        Diesels also happen to have higher peak efficiencies, but that doesn't affect choice of engine sizing nearly as much as the lack of pumping losses at low loads.
    • Industrial soy oil is way cheaper. If soy oil works, so could a lot of other oils that are currently used for all sorts of purposes.
    • The answer to that is that we squeeze all of the
      slashdotters and slashdaughters that attempt
      "first post" until the soy leaks out.

      There are about 50 gallons in each firstposter
      ( I read it on slashdot, so it must be true ),
      and it works great in cars. ( doesnt work for
      food, the smell is aweful ).

      I think we can get prices down to about $1.29,
      even with us exposting half what we make.

      Soy-lent green. It's people*

      *well, OK, first posters, they kinda *look*
      like people.
    • I did a quick search for soybean oil and it was $8.99 (USD) for a single gallon (cheaper than the organics I saw). We're going to have to bring down the price of soybean oil first for this to be viable.

      I think that since the biggest market for soybean oil is for human (and animal?) consumption that the refining process is more expensive than it has to be--fuel grade soybean oil using exising technology might be a bit cheaper, plus there is economy in scale--much larger batches would be produced/distributed
      • they could be future Nobel candidates IMO.

        No, they couldn't, but that's just because of how Alfred Nobel wrote his testimony - the prizes are awarded in the following areas: physics, chemistry, pshysiology/medicine, literature, and finally, the peace prize. None of them really seem appropiate. Possibly, it could be awarded the Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, for making a big-scale effort of avoiding a worldwide recession, but that also seems a bit far-stretched.
    • by MtViewGuy (197597) on Wednesday March 01, 2006 @11:13AM (#14826391)
      This is why if the USA is going to produce biodiesel on a large scale, it cannot rely on plants such as corn, peanuts, soybeans, sugar cane/beet, or plant waste.

      The best solution is to use oil-laden algae, which can create biodiesel fuel and heating oil several hundred times more on a per pound basis than from plant sources. A company called GreenFuel Technologies is looking at using the exhaust emissions from coal-fired and natural gas-fired plants to "feed" vertical tubes of oil-laden algae, which can grow these algae at very fast rates. Also, the "waste" from the processing can be used to make animal feed, plant fertilizer and/or ethanol fuel!
  • "Maybe these guys will open source their design."

    As opposed to what? Weld the hood in and equip each car with a self-destructing anti-tamper device?

    • ....that went around the net for years. This could be the very car. Does it only run on Microsoft roads? Does it sometimes just stop and require you to restart it?
    • They don't need to. That's what patents are for (assuming this car design is new, non-obvious and useful).
    • Probably the OP meant making the drawings open sourced and available under no-cost licensing for anybody to use... ;-)

      Also, they don't really have to weld the hood shut. There is only a single car available - it would be quite sufficient to lock the garage door properly...
  • by bagboy (630125) <neoNO@SPAMarctic.net> on Wednesday March 01, 2006 @01:45AM (#14824312)
    and suggest continued research into alternative fuels. While soybeans are a good renewable source of fuel, it is unlikely we could power enough automobiles for the population of the US or the world for that matter. There just isn't enough farmland to produce the crop needed for this kind of fuel source. Perhaps a combination of fuel cell/bio could be developed for reduced consumption.
  • No... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Joe5678 (135227) on Wednesday March 01, 2006 @01:45AM (#14824315)
    Once again, are we seeing the fabled instance of revolutionary technology coming not from the big corporations, but from some unlikely garage.


    No. While this is an amazing thing for these kids to do, I'm sure it's far from revolutionary. The article is pretty sparse on details, but it sounds like they just pieced it together. So probably the reason for the great acceleration and fuel mileage is that it's super light from missing a bunch of important things, such as safety.

    Those solar powered vehicles are great, infinite mpg, but if you turn too sharply you're sure to splatter yourself on the pavement which is one of the reasons everybody isn't driving one, not because the big oil companies won't let you (although I'm sure they prefer that you don't)
    • This car is powered by an AC Propulsion AC-150 power train http://www.acpropulsion.com/Products/AC_150.htm [acpropulsion.com]. That's what makes it fast. Notice that the powertrain was not made by them. The engine is a slightly modified VW 1.9L TDI diesel. The car's chassis is a K1 Attack with carbon fiber body panels which were donated.

      There is really almost no design in this thing, these are all off the shelf parts that you could buy today, and put togeather tomorrow. Plus you would be safe in this car.

      The down side is that
      • There is a HUGE price difference between a protoype and a production model...a factor of at least ten, if not a hundred.
    • Re:No... (Score:3, Informative)

      by dbIII (701233)

      So probably the reason for the great acceleration and fuel mileage

      When you optimise for a specific situation instead of general performance you can get good results. An Australian artist developed a simple engine modificatation which dramaticly improved the idling fuel efficiency of an engine on a test bed but gives no advantage in a vehicle. I've seen an electric motorcycle with amazing acceleration made by engineering students - but with a top speed of 65km/h and not very good battery life. They could

    • Once again, are we seeing the fabled instance of revolutionary technology coming not from the big corporations, but from some unlikely garage.

      No. While this is an amazing thing for these kids to do, I'm sure it's far from revolutionary.

      Right. There's nothing new about diesel sportscars. Audi's latest Le Man's car is a diesel [topgear.com].

  • Cute story, but... (Score:2, Informative)

    by heli_flyer (614850)
    This is a cute story, but really.. o Will this car pass crash testing? o Will this car pass emissions? If you don't need to pass crash test and emissions, heck...you can just put an engine on a go-kart and do 0-60mph in 4 seconds. This story is only a half-step above the recent perpetual motion machine stories.
    • Emisions I'm curious about but I like this for the 'garage tech' media-bubble angle. It's got everything:

      Dropout students go straight A
      Bad guys (big oil)
      Philly (tenuous Rocky ref: cue: Gonna Drive Now)

      Hoping for the all-in-one grease/solar/bio/gas-if-need-be transition vehicle (from a Southern California garage most likely) but for timely media hype this story is good; get kids working on something besides beats. Not that big oil has anything to worry about - nothing ever gets started in a garage ... hold o
    • This story is only a half-step above the recent perpetual motion machine stories.

      This story is a half-step to a story of a car that goes 0-60 in 4s at 50mpg of biodiesel and passes emissions and crash testing.
      The points are valid but not show-stoppers. This is a working prototype, a point about half-way between the idea and a final product, and more importantly a point beyond most stumble-and-crash obstacles, that is ones that make the final product impossible. Now that they have something to show, they can
  • I like the idea that it is alternatively fueled, but that's nothing new.

    However, you take away safety requirements, and I will make you a fast high mileage car.

    Big Deal.
  • Food-as-fuel (Score:3, Insightful)

    by caitsith01 (606117) on Wednesday March 01, 2006 @01:48AM (#14824330) Journal
    I hate to sound like a World Vision commercial, but how the hell can we justify trying to use food as a fuel for our cars when there are millions of people in the world starving?

    'Biofuels' are not only an incredibly inefficient use of farming land promoted largely by farmers eager to drive up the price of their produce, they are also a startling example of just how completely oblivious we are to the needs of human beings unfortunate enough not to live in modern technologically advanced nations.

    I say, screw the car. Send the soybeans to Africa where they would quite literally and without any doubt whatsoever save lives.

    Cue vitriolic abuse from 'realists'...
    • Re:Food-as-fuel (Score:3, Insightful)

      by donglekey (124433)
      People are starving because of corrupt governments, broken supply chains, and poverty, not because the world can't produce enough food to feed everyone.

      Biodiesel is not much more expensive than regular diesel gasoline, I think it is around $3.50-$4.00 a gallon.
      • But farming is an enviornmentally destructive process... REALLY bad. Biodiesel is a great idea if we are talking about making it out of waste products that we weren't going to use anyway (corn cobs, human and animal wastes, etc.), but as a end all replacement for fossil fuels, it is a bad idea. Soil can be depleated, natural land clearcut to make room for more farmland, water sources being overused for irrigation, fertilizer and pesticide run off... farming just isn't an enviornmentaly friendly process peop
        • Biodiesel is not only easier to store than electricity, it's also easier to come up with. Solar cells are inefficient and expensive; on the other hand, everybody knows how to plant rapeseed and get oil from it. It's not an end all replacement, but there's no such thing. It can be part of a solution, though.
      • I just did a quick search, and regular diesel is around $2.25-$2.75. That's a significant difference, maybe not for the average consumer, but for things like shipping companies, that's a big cost. The fact is, if everyone was willing to pay a fair bit more for everything to have cleaner air, we'd have it. People aren't.
    • Yeah but you might need a nutritionist to know just how bad soybeans are for you. And by the way if you feed starving people you get (guess what?) more kids! What a nice endless cycle you propose to have.............
      • Indeed. As cruel as it sounds, that's an excellent argument to just let them starve. It's not as if we'd be able to get enough food over (to the right people - as was noted, it's largely the corrupted goverment's fault) for them to lead a death-by-natural-causes life. If you think realistically, sending over the food is probably more wasteful than dumping it into your car, because you're really just prolonging the inevitable. Of course, the fact that you've got a large population in an area (mostly) poo
      • And by the way if you feed starving people you get (guess what?) more kids!

        Actually... 3rd world countries tend to have very high birthrates because

        1. A high percentage of children die young
        2. Children help their family to do labor
        3. They don't have access to condoms and/or birth control
        4. All of the above

        When income levels rise and child mortality rates improve, birth rates drop.

        Most first world countries have very very low birth rates and population growth is mainly driven by immigration and immigrant's high birth r

        • The pessimist in me tells me that it's more because a)their religion dissallows the use of condoms (the pope is pro-aids :( ) b)when you have such high mortality rates, you need to have a large progency ('s why fish produce thousands of eggs)
      • And by the way if you feed starving people you get (guess what?) more kids!

        Yeah? What's the birth rate in Japan these days?

    • You're only half correct.

      It turns out that biodiesel isn't all that hot ecologically. Why? Because excess corn is a lousy way to make biodiesel. Countries are plowing down rainforrests to plant palm trees to make palm oil biodiesel.

      Nobody's going to starve over biodiesel, we'll be plowing down rainforrests to make room for the crops.
    • We're throwing out so much food in the farmer welfare programs. Send that food to Africa and use the soybeans for oil. It would probably be more nutritious.

      • Soybeans are quite nutritious and an excellent source of complete proteins and fiber. Like almost any rich and high protein food, they should probably be eaten in moderation because large amounts are potentially harmful to long-term health (reduced mineral absorption seems to be a common theme in available research, but the research is inconclusive), but to imply that any other food produced by American farmers is likely more nutritious than soybeans is simply untrue. Soybeans are among the most nutritiou
    • Send the soybeans to Africa where they would quite literally and without any doubt whatsoever save lives.

      Actually, the US regularly produces surpluses of food. This drives down prices and hurts farmers both here and in poor countires. Using farmland to produce renewable fuels would reinvigorate the American farm which is in crisis and soak up excess production in America expanding demand in poor countries where the majority of the population are poor farmers.

      Here [foodfirst.org] is an article about that and a quote about f
    • Whether we use biofuel or not, we're wasting enough resources to feed the world a hundred times over anyways. Just think of all the money, labor, and goods we spend on fossil fuels, not to mention the cars themselves, the roads to drive them on, and basically every other modern convenience. Heck, why are we posting on Slashdot about this instead of going to help those people right now.

      I mean, in a way I feel your pain, but at the same time why suddenly get up in arms now when we've already (yes every last
      • They were shut down, however, because they were not licensed to serve food publicly. And getting a license was not straightforward or cheap, I am told.

        One news camera and they'd be back up and running with donations from all over the world the next day.

        • Re:Food-as-fuel (Score:4, Interesting)

          by spun (1352) * <(moc.oohay) (ta) (yranoituloverevol)> on Wednesday March 01, 2006 @04:42AM (#14824888) Journal
          As one of the people involved in this fiasco, let me fill in the details. The group is called Food-Not-Bombs. When I worked with them, we would get donations from supermarkets, wholesale food distributors and bagel shops. We would take the food to volunteer's kitchens and cook soup, usually around 15 gallons. Then we would take it to city hall or the UN plaza and feed people. Right in public where the tourists could see them. Frank Jordan, San Francisco's mayor of the time, was trying to sweep the homeless under the rug. So he was pretty pissed about the whole thing.

          What they said was, you can't serve food in public without a permit. And, by the by, they did away with the permit process. Oh, you could still feed people in public if you had a permit, but no one could get one. We kept doing it anyway. So he called in the special squads.

          I've watched these goons slam my friends into the ground and drag them off by their hair. For feeding people. They dumped the soup in the gutter, in front of all the hungry people. They poured bleach on the bagels. So we got creative. We would stage five or six fake servings, and while they were hassling the people with the empty buckets, the real serving would go on quietly. Or we would stand in the fountain and serve. The cops hate to get wet.

          There were plenty of cameras. I still have tapes. I could show you one where they slam this cute little 5'1" girl down onto the pavement and stand on her back while cuffing her hands behind her, then nearly dislocating her shoulders dragging her off by the cuffs. Fun stuff, but oddly none of the monied interests that own the media had any desire to show those videos.

          Sure, there was a big backlash against dear old Frank, and some people even credit the bruhaha for helping get someone else elected. Unfortunately, that someone was Willy Brown, a slick machine Democrat who knew that if he just made things very difficult without actually using the sort of over the top fascist antics that Jordan had, eventually the silly hippies would get bored and go chain themselves to trees somewhere, which is exactly what happened. At the height of Jordan's repression, Food not Bombs served twice a day. Last time I checked, they were serving twice a week.
    • I hate to sound like a World Vision commercial, but how the hell can we justify trying to use food as a fuel for our cars when there are millions of people in the world starving?

      There is a substantial surplus of calories today, and the world has never had a higher number of calories per person as this year. The problem that leads to starvation in some areas of the world is a failure of distribution, usually because local despots create an economy where all resources go towards military superiority, leaving
    • There's plenty of food, the usual cause of starvation nowdays is government denying food to portions of their own population.

      Mr. Dictator would rather feed his army, than the people who might depose him.
    • Re:Food-as-fuel (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Spy Hunter (317220)
      Wow, so many questions here could have been answered had there been any real technical information in the article. As it turns out the power plant is an ordinary VW engine which can run on ordinary diesel in addition to various biodiesels including soybean-derived ones. Here's the kind of info I wish Slashdot would put in their articles:

      The high school kids have a website [penn-partners.org] and picture/video gallery [gambitdesign.com]. The kids didn't build the car from scratch; it is a kit car [k-1attack.com] based on a Honda Accord chassis. It uses a 1

  • I don't understand why they went for soybean oil. It isn't cost effective yet, so why? A car that can do 0 to 60 in 4 seconds and gets 50 mpg is worth buying, even if it does not have anti-lock brakes, etc. Using soybean oil before gas becomes more expensive than soybean oil is a premature optimization. Of course, if gas prices double in the next few years, all sorts of alternative fuels may become reasonable, and it is possible that could happen according to some forecasts.

    As for open sourcing the desi
    • Well, "open source" isn't much of an issue. It seems the frame is a kit, the wheels and suspension from a junk honda, the diesel a Jetta TDI, and some custom mods to make it all fit together. Seems more like fitting an AMD64 system into an Apple PowerPC case. It isn't really a new invention, just a different way of putting random parts together.
    • This article [philly.com] explains why they used biodiesel. Basically they entered the car in the "Tour de Sol" and the race rules required that they not burn gasoline (or diesel in this case). The interesting thing about this design is that it is built around an existing kit car. Heck, the thing's probably street legal.

    • As for open sourcing the design, why do you begrudge them a profit? You think these kids don't need the money? I do free software because I choose to, but the data don't support the hypothesis that it is a practical way to make a living.

      The answer is, because the profit would (and most likely will) come from some big$$$ oil companies, who will buy the patent, the project and silence, and this will be the last we see of this car. There -already- are quite a few revolutionary alternative fuel/power technologi
  • The article is sorely lacking in good pictures. Surfing around, the Philadelphia Inquirer has a much more thorough article here. [philly.com]

    They've also got a flash presentation with exploded diagrams of the structure of the car. http://www.realcities.com/multimedia/philly/inquir er/KRT_packages/archive/graphics/hybrid_car/index. html [realcities.com]
    • Thanks, you beat me to the "submit" button. I had the same links.

      The kids did a fine job, but they didn't do anything "revolutionary". A big auto company did the R&D on the engine (courtesy VW/Audi)and the frame and body are from a kit car. A wonderful hack job (and I mean hack in the most complementary way).

      I assume the nice acceleration specs are from the light weight (I presume, I don't believe it has safety features like airbags, and probably no A/C) and the fact that it also has a 200hp
    • Ahhh... thanks for the links.

      West Philadelphia High School's Academy for Automotive and Mechanical Engineering

      I read about a hybrid put out by the "Academy for Automotive and Mechanical Engineering" but didn't realize it was the same highschool kids.

      They're using a 200 HP electric motor under the hood and a 1.9 liter VW turbo-diesel in the trunk. The article I read said it puts out close to 400 peak horsepower AND will comply with 2007 EPA standards.
  • They built a small car that runs on Diesel. Hardly revolutionary. Oh, but they used soy diesel so it's revolutionary. AWSOM!!!
  • by Shihar (153932) on Wednesday March 01, 2006 @02:03AM (#14824378)
    I have a plan for a truck that can drive thousands of miles on less then one gallon! Granted, it is a gallon of plutonium, but less then one gallon!

    While it is commendable that these kids put together a working car that runs off soybean oil, this isn't a case of "the man" ((TM)) ignoring innovation for evil gasoline powered cars. Soybeans just are not competitive with gasoline. In fact, the entire idea of using crop land to meet our energy issues is a horrible idea in general.

    Don't take me for a tree hugging hippy when I say this, but farming is a necessary evil. Don't get me wrong, I love farmed foods. I merrily buy my vegetables without bothering to glance if it is organic or not. I do recognize though that there is a price that comes with this. Very little land in the world can renew itself year after year. Farming by its very definition sucks up nutrients from the ground to be hauled off. Even organic farming is grossly destructive to the ground. More then one civilization in the world has simply collapsed because the soil died. There are entire continents, namely Australia, where there is absolutely no natural soil renewal. Farming almost always has a very high ecological cost. This isn't a trivial cost that we associated with other renewable energies like windmills where a handful of birds die. These are very serious nation threatening costs.

    Certainly you can use fertilizers to keep the soil alive. With good farming practices like what are seen in the US and much of the first world you can keep the land fertile almost indifferently. Even so, these nations pay a heavy cost to keep their farmland fertile and watered. The environmental damage outside of the farm can be serious. When lesser educated farms in third world nations use these methods to keep the soil alive the result can be catastrophe for the environment.

    We don't want more land to go to farming. We don't want more third world nations to burn down their trees to try and feed the agro business. Resorting to farming as a source of energy should be the last resort we fall back on, not the first. Algae, solar collector making, and wind power to make more fuel? Great. Creating a greater demand for farm land to make more fuel? Terrible idea.

    So, congratulations to these kids for making a fun proof of concept, but this isn't the future of fuel.
    • Very little land in the world can renew itself year after year. Farming by its very definition sucks up nutrients from the ground to be hauled off.

      Except that soybean, being a legume, with the help of rhizobia bacteria, will fix nitrogen and leave it in the soil, thus IMPROVING the soil.

      Search "Legume Inoculants" for more info.

  • This story is actually quite old. Here is much more detail from May 2005:

    http://www.xceedspeed.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=2 6857&sid=e282f1c82635fb59cb7a4e36afedb380.nyud.net :8080 [xceedspeed.com]

  • Sounds like it's basically a Diesel most of which will run on vegitable oils. It's the performance that sounds impressive. Diesels have a lot of power but aren't known for their 0 to 60 abilities. Just good to see one of the excuses for gasoline disproven. Soy oil is expensive but if you compare the mileage against a normal sports car it isn't that far off. The problem is demand. There isn't enough soy oil produced on the planet to keep the US in fuel. The biodiesel itself would likely come from multiple so
  • The car is built up from a K1 Attack kit, which is a European competitor to the Lotus Elise. The Attack began as a kit car, and they've only recently started selling already-built cars in Europe. The only way to get them in the USA is in kit form. The most immediately noticeable difference between the Elise and the Attack is that the Attack has no roof (and I presume no heat or A/C) and is strictly a fair-weather car. The Attack is far from being able to pass US safety regulations (bumper, crash testing
  • by borgheron (172546) on Wednesday March 01, 2006 @02:41AM (#14824537) Homepage Journal
    I'm sure in about a week we'll see something like "Kids who made soybean powered car exposed as hoax." (this message paid for by the Oil Producing Companies of America)

    GJC
  • I mean, it's great to have a nice design that does good in the wind tunnel.
    But we Americans need to transport many big boxes. Therefore a cubic shape is ideal. The Hummer was a little big, and the Scion/Squarion was a little small. But a perfect cube would be the ideal shape. It is obvious how the SUV positively differentiate themselves from Minivans. They are squarer(?).

  • Does it have a fartpipe?
  • are we seeing the fabled instance of revolutionary technology coming not from the big corporations

    Inventions do not come from corporations. The modern workplace is simply incompatible with entrepreneurial thought. Period.

  • You simply don't get it, do you?! Bio-diesel is not about how much you spend on gas.

    BIO-DIESEL IS ABOUT CLEAN ENERGY!

    While petro-diesel adds extra amount of CO2 (carbon-dioxide) to the atmosphere it causes the green-house effect that heats up the Earth, melts the glaciers, the icecap on the poles, dries out lakes, kills species. Yes, the green-house effect is caused by YOU, too!

    Bio-diesel is clean. The soy (peanut, canola, ...) plant through the process called photosynthesis emits O2 (oxygen) and collects t
  • Maybe these guys will open source their design.

    What TF? No, I hope these guys do not Open Source they design, you see, neither Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Michael Dell nor Marcus Samuel made their buisness by giving away their technology.

    I hope these people can get some funding and maybe start a company, who knows, it may become a good energy source.

  • This is hardware, you want to know how it works, take it apart and look!

    Now, if you're wondering whether or not they'll take out any patents on it, that's an entirely different question - and in fact, in order to patent something, you have to "open source" it; how it works is *in* the patent.
  • even more info (Score:2, Informative)

    Incase you guys missed it http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/13796737.htm [philly.com] this isn't the first car like this and it's not a completely new or radical design.. it's just not popular yet

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