With gas prices as high as they've been, many are seeking alternatives. Hybrids are, of course, popular choices if you are in the market for a new car. But more and more people are also looking at cars powered by something else, vegetable oil.
A thousand miles to the gallon. Sound too good to be true? It's reality for Curt and Nannie Nehring Bliss. "The tolls were a lot more than fuel," says Nannie.
They just returned from a 2300 mile round trip from the Finger Lakes to St.Paul Minnesota. They only used about 2 gallons of diesel fuel. The rest of their trip was powered by vegetable oil. They get about 45 miles to the gallon of that, and the best part is, it's free.
"We have a tank in our car that is just for the vegetable oil, so we pour straight vegetabel oil into the car. The car starts on diesel for a few minutes and then when it is up to temperature and the viscosity of the oil is the same as diesel you switch to the veg oil tank and run on straight vegetable oil," says Curt.
Both Curt and Nannie work in the English department at Finger Lakes Community College. They get the fuel for their car from the school's cafeteria. "We have to filter it and once it's filtered it can go straight into the car."
The idea came a few years ago. They were in the market for a new car and stumbled upon vegpower at a festival.
"I was having my doubts this was really possible a car that could run on vegetable oil. From a restaurant fryer but when they showed us the car and took us through each step, it seemed very simple and we were sold and pretty much bought it on the spot," says Curt.
They say, having a car like this isn't all that different. "It take a little bit extra thought to do a car like this, run a car like this but it's tremendously easier than you might think, on the other hand." "There's a real satisfaction when you go on a 2300 mile trip and you end up only using 2 gallons of petroleum. So just the sole satisfaction of having a lighter footprint on the planet is well worth any amount of effort it takes on this end," says Curt
Finger Lakes Community College is happy to donate the fuel because most places actually have to pay to have vegetable oil disposed of.