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VW Beetle Powered by Biogas

GENeco has converted a VW Beetle to be powered by biogas, produced from human waste at sewage plants across the UK, reports The Telegraph. The company’s Bio-Bug prototype is Britain’s first car to run on methane gas without compromising performance.

Mohammed Saddiq, of GENeco told the newspaper that drivers “won’t know the difference.”

The Bio-Bug is a 2 litre VW Beetle convertible that has been modified to run on both conventional fuel and compressed methane gas. The car is started with unleaded fuel then automatically switches to methane when the engine is “up to temperature,” reports The Telegraph. If the methane tank runs out the Bio-Bug switches back to unleaded gas.

The Bio-Bug runs 5.3 miles per cubic meter of biogas, which means that one sewage works could power 95,400,000 miles per year saving 19,000 tonnes of CO2, according to the article. The Bio-Bug emits three tonnes of carbon dioxide in an average year while a conventional vehicle emits 3.5 tonnes.

GENeco plans to convert its fleet of vehicles if the Bio-Bug trial is successful.

Several U.S. businesses including Waste Management have successfully used another form of biogas — landfill gas — to power their fleets.

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