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Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011
Neo bike uses gas not feces: Toto
Toilet Bike Neo, a three-wheeled motorcycle with a toiletlike seat, is not a "poop-powered bike" as reported by Huffingtonpost and other English-language websites, toilet maker Toto Ltd. said.
Toilet Bike Neo, the sole purpose of which is to advertise Toto's environmental activities, is powered by biogas fuel made from livestock waste and household wastewater. The trike carries two tanks containing biogas behind a toilet lid.
However, a rider sits on the pottylike seat, which may have misled online journalists and bloggers.
"Lots of English websites wrote misleading articles," Toto spokesman Takuji Yano said.
Headlines on online news websites include "Poop-Powered Bike: TOTO Releases Motorbike Toilet That Runs On Feces" and "Japanese toilet company creates poop-powered bike" and "Toto Toilet Bike Neo, powered by poop, will tour Japan."
Kitakyushu-based Toto began an advertising campaign on Oct. 6 in which a TV celebrity embarks on a Toilet Bike Neo trip from Kitakyushu to Tokyo, about 800 km. The tricycle is scheduled to get refueled a couple of times and arrive in Tokyo on Nov. 2, Yano said.
Two full tanks give the bike a range of about 300 km. The refueling spots are so-called eco-stations where engineers capable of handling high-pressure gas are on standby, he said. The bike has a top speed of 80 kph.
Yano declined to identify who came up with the design of the bike, which was not made for commercial sales.
Toto is also airing a TV commercial boasting footage of the bike's journey.