Coffee-Powered "Carpuccino" Infuriates Car Lovers, Coffee Lovers, Pun Lovers

Point: As my fellow Jalopnik readers would agree, the thought of an au-to-MO-bile running on some coffee beans is equally laughable and insulting. Counterpoint: As my fellow coffee drinkers would agree, this is an utter disgrace to our holy bean.

Countercounterpoint: Carpuccino? Really?

A while ago we read that coffee-based biofuels were feasible. Knowing the internet as we do, we figured it was only a matter of time before somebody took that novel possibility and turned it into an absurd reality. We were right! The Carpuccino, a 1988 Volkswagen Scirocco modified to run on ground coffee, will drive 337km between Manchester and London in the coming weeks.

The trip will require over 68kg of coffee, with the car getting a mileage of roughly five km per kilogram. The vehicle can hit speeds of 100kph, though the trip could take as long as ten hours, as the car has to stop every 100km to clean out its coffee filters (seriously).

The joke on wheels was built by the BBC1 show Bang Goes The Theory as a reminder that unconventional fuels can power vehicles. Sidebar: the Carpuccino's trip will cost up to 50 times as much as it would if it were running on gas.

All that being said, I think we can agree to set aside whatever qualms we may have with the Carpuccino in light of its similarities, aesthetic and otherwise, to Doc Brown's Mr. Fusion-equipped Delorean from Back to the Future II.

Espresso? Where we're going we don't need espresso. [Daily Mail via Green Diary]



    No, it's not infuriating to coffee lovers. But it is, to quote Rahm Emanuel, "retarded".

    There are far better examples of biofuel use out there. Unfortunately its the hokey gimmicks that get the press.

    This isn't the coffee biofuel referred to in the referenced article, which talks about using the oils in coffee to power a diesel cycle (compression-ignition) engine. Its transesterified to remove the glycerol in the oil, which can gum up the engine.

    This car is just using a gasifier to heat the coffee in absence of oxygen to extract the flammable gases and pipe it into a spark-ignition engine. You can use any dry biomass in that setup with no modification - wood dust, dead dried leaves, switchgrass, newspapers. Pretty much anything. The technology has been around for over a century.

    Why are they using coffee? Just to prove a point, I guess.

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