Algae-Powered Hippie Car Attempts Cross-Country Trek On 25 Gallons Of Biofuel

Algae-based biofuel is a relative unknown with actual potential for future use, as we've said in the past, and biofuel producer Sapphire Energy has unveiled a modified Prius they'll run coast-to-coast on 25 gallons of Algae fuel... sorta.

The Prius in question is a bit of a ringer to begin with, dubbed the "Algeus," it was unveiled in San Francisco and it's equipped with battery-charging solar cells on the roof, a higher capacity nickel metal hydride battery, and a plug-in system to charge everything up. With a claimed 150 MPG, they're starting off with a significant leap in fuel economy to start. But still, they're using a completely renewable, Earth-safe alternative to petroleum-based fuel, right? Sort of. That 25 gallons of fuel they expect to run through the unmodified engine on their (slow) ten day coast to coast trip is but a mere 5% actual Algae biofuel, mixed with, you guessed it, good old gasoline.

We could be super cynical about this, but if we put things in context, the same change introduced to the US fuel supply would reduce consumption by 164,049,250 gallons of gasoline a year, about an 18 day supply. So, yes, this is blatant headline grabbing by Sapphire Energy, but it's also an indication of the potential for little steps to add up. [Inhabitat]