Car made of vegitables reach 240 kms per hour

THE tyres are made of potatoes and the brake pads from ground cashew shells.

The body was created from hemp and rapeseed oil, and it runs on fuel made from fermented wheat and sugar beet.

Yet despite the greenest of credentials, this mean machine is capable of an impressive 240km/h.

The one-seater racing car - called Eco One - has been built by experts from Warwick University to dispel the perception that "green" motoring means dull little electric runarounds or filling your fuel tank with chip fat.

The academics behind the project hope cars made in such a way will one day be a regular sight on Grand Prix circuits and that their ideas will be adopted by the mass automotive industry.

Eco One was designed by Dr Kerry Kirwan, a researcher at Warwick Manufacturing Group, the university's academic department that provides solutions to industry, and built by student Ben Wood, 23, over two months at a cost of $46,500.

Mr Wood said: "All the plastic components can be made from plants and although the chassis has to be made from steel for strength, steel is a very recyclable material.

"If we can build a high-performance car that can virtually be grown from seed, just imagine what's possible for the average family car."

Powered by the engine from a Triumph Daytona motor-cycle, Eco One does 0-100km/h in under four seconds.

Zoe Howard, head of communications for Warwick Manufacturing Group, said: "It demonstrates that not all eco cars have to be small and electric - they can be high-performance too."

The car has sparked interest in the motor sports industry, with several potential collaborators keen on developing the technology.

"The motor sports industry knows it's got to be greener. And the concept is transferable into cars for the race track or the motorway.

"The main message is how cutting edge technology is making high performance eco-friendly cars a reality, helping dispel the myth that green cars are slow and sluggish."

Eco One is 95 per cent biodegradable or recyclable, although its steering-wheel, seat and electrics are made of conventional materials.

It has not been raced competitively because, the designers say, it is in a class of its own.
Car made of vegitables reach 240 kms per hour Car made of vegitables reach 240 kms per hour Reviewed by Bobby on 12:20 PM Rating: 5

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