UK Launches Eco-Friendly Car Fueled by Human Waste

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From the bathroom to the open road — could the Bio-Bug be the most sustainable car yet? Photo:

First we had the car fueled by coffee beans, now we have a car fueled by something far less pleasant but just as effective – human sewage.

It might sound gross but the team behind the Volkswagen Beetle Bio-Bug believe it will overtake the electric car and pave the way for a green motoring revolution, thanks to its reliability and the fact that it looks and drives like a regular car.

As reported by BBC News, the car was developed by Mohammed Saddiq from the sustainable energy firm GENeco, to make use of the extra biogas they had at Wessex Water‘s sewage plant in Bristol.

“We decided to power a vehicle on the gas offering a sustainable alternative to using fossil fuels which we so heavily rely on in the UK,” said Saddiq.

The convertible car can run for a whole year, using the human waste from just 70 homes. “It is probably the most sustainable car around,” adds Saddiq with pride.

The cool looking car, which has a top speed of 114mph, uses unleaded petrol but automatically switches to methane when the engine gets warm enough. Should the methane tank run out, it reverts back to petrol automatically. There are no stinky exhaust fumes and while humans exist, there’s no chance of running out of fuel — ever.

Built by the Greenfuel Company, which specializes in converting gas cars to run on liquefied petroleum gas, GENeco are so pleased with their Bio-Bug, they plan to convert their own fleet of company cars to run on the biofuel and plans are already in place to start using food waste in addition to human waste.

Jonathon Porritt, founder of Forum for the Future, a British nonprofit organization specializing in sustainable development, said the car is leading the way for eco-motoring, saying in a statement: “On first hearing of the Bio-Bug, some people will smile, and some people will go ‘yuck’! Either way, what I hope they realize is that this is exactly the kind of innovation we now need for a more sustainable world.”

It certainly gets a thumbs up from us!

Story by Monique Jessen, originally published on August 6, 2010 on Tonic

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