BOISE, ID. – Boise State University students broke the land speed record in a vegetable oil-powered truck over the weekend.
We’ve been following a small group of Boise State engineering students called Greenspeed since summer. That’s when they set out to build the world’s fastest veggie oil powered vehicle. Their first two attempts to break the record of 98 miles per hour fizzled out at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. Greenspeed founder Dave Schenker says they went to El Mirage, California over the weekend to try again.
Dave Schenker: “It was incredibly nerve wracking sitting on the starting line because we never actually traveled on vegetable oil before so we didn’t really know how the engine would perform at the top end.”
Their modified Chevy S-10 with a Dodge engine shattered the old mark – twice. Their top speed of 155 miles per hour is nearly 60 percent faster than the previous record. But Schenker says veggie diesel is not just for high performance. He says he sees and smells modified engines across the Treasure Valley.
Dave Schenker: “The folks doing it are using used vegetable oil and so if they get the oil from a Chinese restaurant or from a burger joint, or a fish fry kind of place, it’s all going to have their own distinct smells.”
Schenker started the project to prove biodiesel engines can perform as well as gas diesel. That’s why Greenspeed will raise the bar and try to beat the gas diesel record of 215 miles per hour this summer.
(This was first reported for Boise State Public Radio.)
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