Bovine biofuel, follow the electric road, PGA tour winner scores Bronco restomod

Kristyn Lapp

Biofuel’s next frontier might be … Milk?

Intake: Michigan dairy farmers and a Canadian distillery plan to invest $41 million in a plan to transform milk into biofuels. According to Automotive News, the Michigan Milk Producers Association, a cooperative of more than 1,000 dairy farmers, has created a joint venture with Dairy Distillery of Ontario, which produces a milk-based vodka called Vodkow. The partnership plans to add onto a 30,000-square-foot facility in southwestern Michigan so it can process a byproduct called milk permeate into 2.2 million gallons of ethanol annually for use in cars and trucks starting in 2025, Crain’s Detroit Business reported. That amount of ethanol, when blended with gasoline, can offset 14,500 metric tons of carbon a year.

Exhaust: By using technology developed by Dairy Distillery, which began turning milk permeate into vodka in 2018 and into hand sanitizer during the COVID-19 pandemic, Michigan dairy farmers hope to create more value for the milk being processed from their cows. “There’s only so much vodka people can drink, and there’s so much of this stuff out there,” Dairy Distillery founder Omid McDonald told TV station WOOD in Grand Rapids, Mich. “We said, ‘Well, what other high-volume uses are out there?’ And that’s when we started looking at biofuel.” — Steven Cole Smith

Electric road allows EV to drive 1,000 miles without plugging in

Electreon wireless charging

Intake: An experimental road in Israel fitted with wireless charging has just powered a Toyota RAV4 Prime for 1,207 miles. Although RAV4 is a hybrid, its internal combustion engine never fired up, despite the car’s battery pack being a relatively small 18.1-kWh in capacity. On a normal road, that would give the Toyota an electric driving range of around 40 miles, but on the test route developed by Israeli firm Electreon, it covered more than 30 times the distance. Admittedly this wasn’t a very high-speed exercise as it took more than 100 hours to complete, with 55 drivers each taking a turn on a short oval track. During the test, 241.69 kWh of electricity was wirelessly transmitted and 823 lbs of CO2 was said to be saved compared to a combustion-powered car.

Exhaust: Could electric roads be the answer to our future clean transport needs? On the positive side, EVs would need much smaller batteries, making them lighter and more efficient, but on the negative side, it would be an unfeasibly large and expensive infrastructure project to add wireless charging to the entire road network. Nonetheless, a trial is due to take place on the outskirts of Detroit, while in Europe there are plans to build a 1800-mile United Nations International E-Road network, with the first stage in Sweden. — Nik Berg

BMW ready for in-car gaming

BMW 5 Series in-car gaming

Intake: BMW is partnering with the gaming platform AirConsole to bring a “unique kind of in-car gaming to the road for the first time in the new BMW 5 Series,” the company says. It allows the driver and passengers to play so-called “casual games” while the vehicle is stationary as a way of passing time while waiting for the vehicle to charge, for example. In addition to the new BMW 5 Series, the AirConsole app will be successively offered in other BMW vehicles.

Exhaust: For the in-car gaming experience, the players simply need their smartphone, which acts as a controller, and the BMW Curved Display. After starting the AirConsole app in the vehicle, the connection between the smartphone and the vehicle is intuitively established by scanning a QR code on the Curved Display. The AirConsole app supports multiple players simultaneously. The rear passengers can also participate in in-car gaming during stops. It is possible to play alone or with all vehicle occupants together or in competition mode. — SCS

PGA Tour player scores 1973 Bronco restomod for tournament win

Intake: Argentinian Emiliano Grillo took home a lot more than just a $1.56M check for his first-place victory this past weekend at the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas. Grillo, who birdied the second playoff hole on Sunday to edge out American Adam Schenk for the victory, also won the keys to this sweet 1973 Ford Bronco restomod. The Bronco, built by Bryan Rood of Classic Ford Broncos, features a 5.0-liter Coyote V-8 making 465 horsepower, a 10-speed automatic transmission, a push-button four-wheel-drive system, and loads of cosmetic flourishes to make it unlike any other Bronco out there. The interior is awash in leather-wrapped seats accented by the Scottish royal tartan that matches the blazer that is also awarded to the winner of the tournament. The win Sunday was Grillo’s second, with the first coming eight years prior at the Open at Silverado Country Club in Napa, California. “The wait was definitely worth it,” said Grillo. “It was long, but it was worth it. Happy to be champion in Colonial.”

Exhaust: The Charles Schwab Challenge has a neat history of giving away sweet rides to its winners. Last year, Sam Burns scored this 1979 Pontiac Firebird, and the year prior, Jason Kokrak took home a 1946 Dodge Power Wagon. — Nathan Petroelje

BMW thinks motorcycle steering might be a little too simple

Intake: Thanks to a patent application, we now know that BMW Motorrad is at least considering a future where motorcycles steer with both wheels. The patent drawings feature a long, low, chopper-like design that is even longer and more laid out than the current R18. The designs hinge around the rear suspension and allow the rear wheel to angle in a manner that counters the front wheel. This alone signals that the design is likely targeted at low-speed maneuvers like tight parking spaces. This could open the door for more factory custom-looking machines with less compromise in function from owners.

Exhaust: Patents being filed does not mean we will ever see this technology on the road. All-wheel steering is still uncommon in automobiles, where the weight and complexity are much more widely tolerated. The various designs in the patent all have additional problems to solve in order to be useful, so we are thinking this patent is just locking in the idea rather than a hint at something we will see on a production bike anytime soon.  — Kyle Smith




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    The first hack on the BMW will be to defeat the ‘stopped’ requirement, just like NAV and other hacks. I can hardly wait to meet one of these zig-zagging on the highway.

    The cluelessness of moves like milk into bio fuel underscore our K-12 trailing 16 other modern industrial nations. UN and other vetted studies show animals raised for meat and dairy produce more greenhouse gas than all the world’s cars, trucks, buses, trains, planes, ships combined.

    Every poll of the nation’s and globe’s scientists shows them agreeing our by far biggest problem remains overpopulation; their words, “bigger than climate.”

    The only way to preserve what’s left of our decimated planet a n d a future we can still enjoy our internal combustion hobby/collector/old and remaining i.c. cars is to revise our antiquated, agrarian tax code enacted when more babies meant more hands to work the family farm, half of all children not surviving age four, to instead encourage having only “one or none,” and adopting, and to get on a plant-based vegan diet, which hasn’t slowed the world’s leading Formula One driver, Lewis Hamilton, in the least.

    A byproduct of something no physician not overtly or covertly funded by the dairy/beef industry recommends. Every vetted international and med school study agrees a plant-based vegan repast the best deterrent against heart disease, stroke, inflammation, cardiovascular woes, diabetes, cancer, dementia, Alzheimer’s. Since this forum’s sponsored by an insurance company, it should be easy to grasp that public or private insurance, consuming animal and dairy products costs us all staggering money.

    Some of us would rather not subsidize hidebound stupidity, but retain more of our hard-earned coin for our autoholia, before internal combustion cars become the convenient whipping boy/ready target, easier to attack than mindless procreating, heedless consumption, the sources of our woes.

    Simple is not always EZ. But those of us who’ve spent decades rejuvenating old automobiles do not shy from a challenge. Neither should you.

    Instead of a barbaric one or none policy, how about mandatory IQ tests for the whole world, everyone that gets below an 80 is removed from the gene pool

    Playing video games on the car screens. Such a great idea. The Ultimate Videogame Machine? So not just Tesla drivers can keep their eyes OFF the road while being driven. Awesome. /sarcasm

    BioFuel Milk? So how much is my gallon of milk going to cost at the grocer if this happens?

    Electric roads? You think it costs too much for your local governments budget on roads, just wait for this to break it wide open. Not likely to happen.

    Like a modern trolley car but instead of overhead wires, it’s wireless underground charging? They should put flexible lightweight solar cells/ panels on the roof, hood, trunk, and ‘shoulders of the fenders and doors for all day in the sun charging, while driving or sitting still.

    re: wireless charging. A wireless “launch pad” at intersections would improve the range of cars, trucks and busses that used it. Motors make great torque at zero RPM but use a ton of juice doing it.

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