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China, Australia plan car fueled by cooking oils

Drivers of a planned Chinese economy car may not have to worry about running out of gas - as long as there is a grocery store nearby. The car, which is on the drawing boards, can run on soybean or vegetable oil as well as more conventional power sources such as diesel fuel.

Protech Capital Investment, an Australian company, said yesterday that it has signed a letter of intent with China's state-owned Jiangsu Automobile Company to build the car.

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Clive Coogan, chairman of Protech, said a prototype model would be prepared in the next six months. The car, expected to cost below $2,275, will have a top speed of 50 miles an hour.

Mr. Coogan, who is also a physicist for the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, said the engine and transmission parts would be built in Australia and the body in China.

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