• Jul 31, 2007

Faced with a bucket full of potatoes, cashew shells, hemp, rapeseed oil, wheat, and sugar beet, most of us would try and find some pigs to feed. If your name were Ben Wood, however, you'd snag that bucket, shells and all, add 20,000 British pounds sterling and make a car called the Eco One Speedster.

Designed by a researcher at Warwick University's Manufacturing Group, the department that works with industry, the car took Wood two months to build. The tires are partly made with potato starch, which creates less friction on the road. The brake pads are made from cashew shells blended into a resin, which means brake dust that doesn't hurt the environment. The body is fashioned from hemp and rapeseed oil. It's powered by a Triumph Daytona engine, which was not made from fruits or legumes, but steel. Yet that engine runs on fermented wheat and sugar beet, and still gets to 60 in under 4 and is good all the way up to 150 mph.

The car is 95 comprising things like its steering wheel, seat and electrics. It is nearly the ultimate expression of what can be done with food -- and we say "nearly" because it still has some plastic components that Ben says could be made from organic items. Ultimately, the aim is to race the car and convert many of its applications to motorsport. In the mean time, for those of you England-way, the car will be on show at the National Science Museum in London from August 28-30.

[Source: Daily Mail]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 8 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Wouldn't tires with less friction be less than optimal if you were trying to "race the car and convert many of its applications to motorsport."???

      • 7 Years Ago
      Hey you guys should start a site for just this kind of news... maybe call it autoblog yellow, no green.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Spike beat me to the FSAE comment.

      I'm currently on my school's FSAE team and I would much rather build something new and original like that.

      SAE should start a ECO Formula SAE competition. I'll be bringing this subject up at our next meeting for sure.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Less friction with the road? How the HELL is that a good quality for a racecar?!?!?!?! That means slower acceleration, less cornering, and weaker brakes! WTF. That is just dumb, IMHO.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I'm hoping they mean less rolling resistange rather than less friction, if not then yes, not idea for a race car
      • 7 Years Ago
      so... It's bringing technologies together that have already been proven in the market? Ethanol fuel, synthetic oil, organic brake pads, it's all stuff that I've used on my cars. Almost all premium brake pads are made using cashews as a base. It provides a good contact surface, less noise, less dust, and it lasts a long time.
      • 7 Years Ago
      As an FSAE team alum (go gt motorsports!) I agree 100% with the previous comments. But I would dare say that given this car's British roots, it more resembles a Formula Student racer. (Pedantic? Check.)

      As for the ECO FSAE tilt, I think the FSAE's response would most likely be: "we have the endurance race, where MPG is an important factor, so there's your eco event, next!"

      All this said, if you're in college, I highly recommend getting involved with your local Formula SAE/Student team. Don't have one? Start one. Already graduated and you happen to work in a field that could help out a team (financially or technically)? Then lobby your company to donate time/materials to either your alma mater or a local team. FSAE was one of the best experiences of my college education, wish I could have been involved for more years.
      • 7 Years Ago
      LOL tater tires and nut brakes