Green renewable energy sources, such as electricity, are at the heart of alternatives to gas-powered vehicles. A lot of possibilities fall into this category, including algae. That’s right – algae. To prove a point on this particular bizarre fuel choice, the company Sapphire Energy just completed a cross country trip in a partially algae-powered Prius.
This 2008 Toyota Prius wasn’t exactly stuffed with raw algae into its fuel tank. The hybrid, rather, was fueled by an algae-based gasoline made from the algae, CO2 and sunlight. The algae was refined via a specific process the company designed. This “bio-fuel” was supplemented on the Prius by a plug and extended battery pack, making this particular car a plug-in electric hybrid (PHEV) which ran in electric mode only in the city and “hybrid” on the highway. Sapphire says this Algaeus fuel, as it calls it, helped the Prius to achieve an average of 147 mpg city in PHEV mode and 52 mpg highway in hybrid mode. Sapphire worked with Toyota engineers as well to pull this cross country trip off.