Yes, yes... A car made from hemp? It's a subject we have discussed a few times: hemp-powered cars and car panels made from hemp fiber, and it looks serious: Ford, teaming with the UK's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and hemp fiber supplier Hemcore are developing a plant matter used to build auto bodies. The DEFRA is investing half a million pounds (roughly a million dollars) in the matter, because the resulting material can be useful in not using petrochemicals and metals to build cars and is biodegradable. The manufacturing process itself is claimed to save energy (that's what I meant with less smoke).
Hemp fibers (grown from specific varieties, not all hemp is the same) have been traditionally used to make baskets, shoe soles and even paper and physical properties make them potentially suitable for lots of duties.
There was a prototype in 1941 with a plastic body made up from plant material. Our colleagues at Autoblog wonder how much hemp can raise the price if this comes to a successful end, thinking about the effects of E85 had on the market, the so-debated tortilla
- Ford's bio-foam and bio-plastics: Plants aren't just for fuel anymore
- Look at the time ... a brief history of hemp and cars
- Anthony J. Gerst from Planetsave.com gives his opinions on hemp's suitability as a fuel source