Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Use Your Wings Young Man

Cool story out of Atlanta and in honor of my upcoming trip there I thought that I’d share. According to the story a few days ago in the Journal-Constitution, two restaurateurs who started the Wing Street franchise have found the cost of gas used to deliver the roasted chicken flesh too expensive and found a better way.

The guts of the article are here. But they’ve outfitted one of their Jeep Liberty delivery fleet to run on recycled cooking grease. Each location produces about 36 gallons a week which is then strained cleaner then some of the gas we use in our cars today. Plus the cost (after the $5,000 outlay to retrofit the car to use the oil) is only $.67/ gallon. Note: this doesn’t include the cost to buy the oil “Fresh” which is about $6/gallon

The question is if they can do it, why can’t I? First off they get between 20-25 miles per gallon which is roughly what the E gets now (22-27 MPG). Second this stuff is supposed to be cheep…I mean at less then a dollar a gallon it’s a regular bargain.

But there is always a catch; First off the car has to already be running off a diesel engine. Regular unleaded won’t cut it at this junction (I’m screwed #1). Oh and unless you run a restaurant or can find a restaurant that will allow you to carry 30+ gallons of used oil off their premises you’ll have to buy your oil new. That’s where you really run into a problem. Even wholesale 48 oz of cooking oil will run you about $2-$3, that means that a gallon of “fuel” will cost about 3 times that or $9 a gallon. So you’ll actually end up paying more then the Europeans do. Not such a good idea after all is it?

With that said, I encourage Wing Street to turn more of their nationwide fleet over to these “grease” jeeps and other restaurant chains that offer delivery should do the same. While it won’t work for me it will work for them and that’s a little less pollution and a bit more exhaust smelling like fried chicken, which in my book is OK! Now did anybody see that car that was running on used watermelon seeds???

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