I will admit that most days, I am powered by little other than a bad sense of humor and a very strong cup of coffee. Who knew that there were mechanical contraptions that rely on caffeine to operate as much as I do? They say that a good cup of java increases creativity, and it looks as though there are a couple of inventors and engineers out there who have been hitting the percolator pretty hard.
Lean, mean, bean machine- Surprisingly, there are a number of coffee-powered vehicles out there in the world, and some of the best of them were built by Martin Bacon and his team out of Manchester, England. In February, their Bean Machine set a Guinness World land-speed record for a coffee-powered vehicle. Commissioned by the Co-Operative Food to commemorate their 10th anniversary to switching to fair trade joe, the converted Ford F100 burns waste coffee chaff pellets in a process called “gasification” to run. Clocking in at 65mph, the truck not only publicized the non-profit’s commitment to ethical beans, but also gave two trembling thumbs up to the gasified automobile as a viable form of green transportation.
Espresso on the go- I’m not going to lie, there have been times when I have been on a bike and thought to myself, “This commute would be a heck of a lot easier with a shot of espresso or two.” Clearly, I am not alone. The Velopresso is a pedal-powered mobile coffee shop designed by two Royal College of Art students, Amos Field Reid and Lasse Oiva. Constructed on top of an old tricycle frame, the gears have been re-engineered to either push the cart forward, or power the coffee grinder. Hot water is provided through an on-board boiler fueled by a gas canister. The team is currently considering using recycled coffee grinds in ethanol production to make an even more eco-friendly configuration.