It may sound potty, but a Japanese toilet company has lifted the lid on a trike that uses a rather crappy fuel source - quite literally, in fact.
Powered entirely by the excrement of animals and waste water, the 'highly efficient' Toilet Bike Neo is designed to run on biogases – fertilised, purified and compressed livestock waste and household waste water sourced from Shika-oi Town in Hokkaido and Kobe City.
The bonkers contraption, based on a 250CC trike, was created by the toilet firm partly as a PR stunt but also as part of plans to halve the company's carbon footprint. The fully road legal bike has completed around 870 miles of testing since October, proving that excrement, when placed in the hands of the right boffins, is a viable source of renewable energy.
Given that the image above shows a toilet seat attached to the trike, you might be forgiven for thinking riders can supply their own 'fuel' whilst on the move, but that's sadly not the case. Its makers have simply placed the toilet seat there to raise public awareness of the possibilities offered by alternative energy.
"The waste and household water are converted to methane gas by fermenting, and the methane gas is converted to bio-gas by purifying," a Toto engineer explained. "Which means there's no waste on board." What he neglected to tell the world was whether the exhaust emissions smell anything like the fuel did when it was originally sourced.
You might want to hold tight before you rush off and buy a cow, some feed and a few dozen buckets. Toto, which has been working on the three-wheeler since 2009, is unlikely to actually release the toilet trike. However don't be surprised if others follow in its footsteps and experiment with alternative power sources.
In August 2010, for example, Wessex Water sewage works created what was essentially a fart-powered Beetle that ran on methane gas.
Source and image: Metro UK