A bus powered by cow dung has set a new land speed record of 77mph.
The British Friesian Cow bus serving the town of Reading, Berkshire has set a new speed record for a regular bus. The bus colored black and white to look like a cow, is fuelled by biomethane compressed natural gas derived from cow manure.
UK Timing Association confirmed the record during a speed test at Bedford’s Millbrook Proving Ground.
The stinker of a bus turned out not to be a stinker after all when it was seen doing laps approaching 77mph. Trevor Duckworth, the chief timekeeper described it as “quite a sight”. He said it was the first time a bus had driven on the track. The record was officially set at 76.785mph.
Motor Torque reports:
Normally speed limited to 56mph, the bus would not be recognised as a Guinness World Record unless it reached a speed above 150mph, according to chief executive of Reading Buses Martijn Gilbert.
Chief engineer John Bickerton stated that the company wanted the “world’s first service bus speed record” in order to bring to light the viability, power and credibility of buses that are fuelled by cow dung.
He continued: “We’ve laid down a challenge for other bus operators to best our record and we had to make it a bit hard for them.
“Most importantly we wanted to get the image of bus transport away from being dirty, smelly, and slow. We’re modern, fast, and at the cutting edge of innovation.
“It was an impressive sight as it swept by on the track. It sounded like a Vulcan bomber – the aerodynamics aren’t designed for going 80mph.”
The bus’ fuel is made from animal waste that is broken down in a process called anaerobic digestion to produce biogas, which is then liquefied, Gilbert said.
Then, it is stored in seven tanks that are fixed inside the roof of the cow-coloured bus.
The name of the vehicle, Bus Hound, was inspired by the British Bloodhound supersonic car, which aims to go beyond 1,000mph and break the world land speed record in 2016.
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