I was down in Rhode Island last month for the Apeiron Sustainable Living Festival and Renewable Energy Expo where I met Dave Nichols, a guy who has built a biomass-powered pickup truck. He's totally the Mad Tinkerer type and had a great story to tell about his work building a vehicle that's powered by just about anything organic -- think Doc Brown's car in Back to the Future 2. The black, biomass-powered pickup truck he was showing doesn't travel in time, but it can be powered by anything you find in your compost bin or garbage can.
In fact, the thing can be powered by anything this side of dirt, broken glass or rocks.
Wood chips? Yup.
Pine needles? Yes.
Wet leaves? Of course.
Cardboard? Old leather boots? Cow manure? Yup, yup and yup.
I shot a video of Dave giving the rundown on the truck, how it works, and some of the bigger issues surrounding the way we get around. It's a bit long so I broke it up into two videos. It's totally worth the watch.
Swing over to Dave's website, 21st Century Motorworks, read about his work and check out some of the stories the press have run explaining the technology.
If you're a rich, clean energy VC-type person, Dave is looking for funding to take his project to the next level. He has self-funded his work so far but he could use a couple of million to get the technology to market. Email him at The21stCenturyMotorWorks@yahoo.com
Are you on Twitter? Follow me (@sheagunther) there, I give good tweets.