A coffee-powered car, dubbed the "car-puccino," went on a 250-mile road trip yesterday from London to Manchester. The vehicle, powered by nothing more than coffee beans, burned the equivalent of more than 10,000 espressos during its journey.
The car is part of a showcase for alternative fuels at the annual "Big Bang: UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair." It is the creation of engineer Jem Stansfield, presenter of the BBC show 'Bang Goes The Theory.' The car, formerly destined for a scrap heap, began as a 1988 VW Scirocco bought on eBay for £400 (roughly $600). A furnace built into the back of the car roasts coffee grounds to generate flammable vapors that fuel the engine.
The car was cheered through the streets as it battled endless traffic jams and eventually made it to Manchester last night. The journey took approximately 17 hours and was interrupted by some hiccups along the way, as well as for a coffee refueling stop every 60 miles. The UK's Telegraph reported, "by lunchtime it seemed more likely to be using decaf." Francesca Bennett, a member of the team responsible for the car, responded by saying: "It's not the most reliable form of transport, but we knew that.This is the first time this has been done and it wasn't about reliability. It was about energy and making people think about how they use it."