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Patio Kings: Rock'n'Roll, Funk and Fuel

Patio Kings' percussionist Jon Moore at the wheel of the grease van.
Petra Mayer, NPR News /
/
Patio Kings' percussionist Jon Moore at the wheel of the grease van.
Fueling up from a grease barrel found behind a Washington, D.C., restaurant.
Petra Mayer, NPR News /
/
Fueling up from a grease barrel found behind a Washington, D.C., restaurant.

On the surface, the Patio Kings look like any other rock band on tour. With 25 cities and dozens of smoky clubs on its calendar, the band has traveled the country in a 1997 Chevy extended cargo van to spread sounds of soul and funk. What is different is how the Kings are fueling their van: vegetable oil.

The van is equipped with the Greasecar Vegetable Fuel System, a kit that allows diesel engines to run on vegetable oil. By using Greasecar, the band not only helps to save the environment, but also saves a lot of money. The only challenge comes when it's time to fuel up, but as the band has discovered, most restaurant managers are more than happy to let you haul away their old grease. NPR's Petra Mayer joins the band for a ride in the van.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Petra Mayer died on November 13, 2021. She has been remembered by friends and colleagues, including all of us at NPR. The Petra Mayer Memorial Fund for Internships has been created in her honor.