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"Vege" Car Impresses Mayor

OREWA, 8th MAY 2006.
Available for Immediate Publication.

"Vege" Car Impresses Mayor

James Macdonald and son James Jr look on as Mayor John Law (right) adds his signature to the bonnet of the "Vege" car.

He thought he might hear it coming. He didn't. He didn't smell it either, though he thought he might.

What Rodney's mayor, John Law, was waiting for, and was pleasantly surprised by, was the arrival in Orewa last week of a 1993 Toyota Corona Salon powered by, of all things, 100% used vegetable oil.

The car is the brainchild of panel beater and social worker James Macdonald. Mr Macdonald is driving the car from Bluff to Cape Reinga in an effort to publicise the technology that enables a diesel vehicle to run entirely on vegetable oil or any organic oil or animal oil extract.

Along the way he is gathering signatures of support from mayors, which he intends to present to members of parliament when he returns to Wellington early this month.

He is also gathering waste vegetable oil from fast-food outlets, which are his main sources of supply. "Others look for petrol stations; I look for the nearest Fish 'n Chip shop," he says with a grin.

Mr Macdonald, who started working on the concept two years ago in the wake of the Iraq War, says the technology significantly reduces emissions and can lower fuel costs by up to 50 centres a litre. He says conversion can also extend the life expectancy of older diesel fleets that presently may not meet the emission regulations of the Kyoto Protocol.

It's a win-win situation for the country, he says.

Mayor John Law says, from what he sees of the vehicle-and what he didn't smell, "I think this (vehicle) has a lot going for it. Mr Macdonald has done an impressive job here. I congratulate him."


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