Marijuana's fibrous cousin hemp has a long history with auto makers. in 1941 Henry Ford unveiled a car body made primarily out of organic fibers, hemp included. seventy years later, the world's first production-ready biocomposite electric car—with hemp as the "bio"—will finally hit the streets. The Kestrel, a three-door hatchback, is made of a "hemp composite as strong as the fiberglass in boats, yet incredibly lightweight," says Nathan Armstrong, the president of Motive industries, Kestrel's manufacturer.
Whereas a comparably sized Ford Fusion weighs 3,720 pounds, the Kestrel will be just 2,500 pounds with the battery. this "might be the sweet spot for electric vehicles," Armstrong says, because the car's low tonnage means a fuel-efficiency increase of 25 to 30 percent.
To make this resilient, lightweight compound, hemp stalks are combed and rolled into a mat that is infused with a polymer resin. the hemp makes the biocomposite's flexibility similar to the carbon fiber used in racecars.
Hemp grows fast and it's cheap, which should keep the Kestrel's production price around $25,000. A prototype is nearly complete, Armstrong says, and Motive plans to have thousands of its hemp-mobiles on the road by 2012.
This is kind of like when Cheech and Chong were driving that van made of weed. LOL!
You beat me to the punch Brian, that's exactly what I was thinking. Nice Dreams!
Ok, what about recycleability? I understand that it's light, renewable and all that, but is it biodegradable, what is the polymer resign made out of?
...maybe its made from the resin of marijuana....ha! that would be a gas
YOU dont recycle it you just smoke it :D i could see stoners chiping off pieces of their car till they got a convertabe ( i was kidding but it would be funny)
huh. I always thought of hemp as a fabric.
Woah..... That's heavy....
Read The Emperor Wears No Clothes by Jack Herer to educate yourself more on the many uses of hemp industrially.
I wonder if it passes crash safety tests? How can its body crumble predictably like sheet steel?
I would imagine, that much like fiberglass, it has a certain amount of bend and then splinters and shatters.
No doubt it could pass safty standards. The panals of a car offer little protection and only some cushioning. The frame (which I am assuming is NOT hemp-based) is where the strength and compression are.
I would worry about how well it would hold up in sunlight. When the paint breaks down on metal, the resulting rust is a clear signal of when and where to sand and paint. Would you be able to so tell with the polymer resin? or would you get something akin to dry-rot?
Duuuude... id totaly like hot box that weed machine...
"sometimes it takes a thousand notes to make one sound" -Buckethead
This is the new (old--ask a Native American from 100 years ago metaphorically speaking) litmus test now. Can we eat it?
Everything we make now has to be edible and not kill us.
This is the new (old) rule. If I take a bite out of my car, will it kill me?
Why use up the forests which were centuries in the making and the mines which required ages to lay down, if we can get the equivalent of forest and mineral products in the annual growth of the hemp fields?
- Henry Ford
Hemp (Cannabis sativa) is the source of one of the longest, strongest natural fibers on earth, two to three times stronger than cotton.
It can be grown in just about any climate and soil condition, without the need for chemical pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and fertilizers. It is excellent for reclaiming otherwise-unusable land. It has even been shown to clean up toxic soil.
Hemp has strong mold, bacteria, heat, and U.V. resistant qualities.
Hemp is the world's most versatile fiber. Anything that can be made from wood, cotton, or oil can be made from hemp. Important uses include:
Rope & twine
Paints & sealants
Plastics & polymers
Fuel & lubricants
Body care products
Hemp is the oldest cultivated fiber plant in the world, as old as agriculture itself.
Hemp (ma) was used in China as early as 4500 B.C. for ropes and fishing nets. Later it was also used for paper, cloth, food, and oil.
Qaneh at Exodus 30:23 referred to cannabis oil used in a holy ointment. (It is usually mistranslated as calamus.)
Hemp seed oil is said to burn the brightest of all lamp oils, and has been used since the days of Abraham. Scythians purified and cleansed themselves with hemp oil, which made their skin "shining and clean."
Hemp was used in northern Europe by 400 B.C. for rope and cloth. The English word canvas comes from cannabis.
Until the late 19th century, most paper was made from hemp fiber.
The first Gutenberg bible was printed on hemp paper.
Most sails and ropes of the 16th through 18th centuries were made from hemp. Much of the world's lamp oil was from hemp seed.
In Elizabethan England, farmers were fined for not growing hemp. In 1640, it was required that every citizen in Connecticut grow hemp.
The war between The United States and Great Britain in 1812 was partly about access to Russian hemp, as was Napoleon's 1812 invasion of Russia. Hemp was Russia's primary trade crop in the 18th and 19th centuries.
The first drafts of the United States' Declaration of Independence were written on hemp paper.
The first American flag was made out of hemp cloth, as were the first blue jeans.
Benjamin Franklin owned a mill that made hemp paper.
George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew hemp. In 1791, Jefferson said, "Hemp is of first necessity to the commerce and marine, in other words, to the wealth and protection of the Country." In 1794 Washington said, "Make the most of the Indian Hemp seed and sow it everywhere."
The "Marihuana Tax Act" of 1937 effectively ended hemp production in the USA, except for a brief revival for textiles and rope during World War II. (The perfection of a mechanical decorticator had in the 1920's made hemp a viable challenge to the petroleum and timber industries.)
In 1941 the Ford Motor Company produced an automobile with a plastic body made from sisal, wheat, and primarily (70%) hemp. The plastic withstood blows 10 times as great as steel could without denting. Its weight was 2/3 that of a regular car. Its engine was designed to run with hemp-oil fuel.
"Why use up the forests which were centuries in the making and the mines which required ages to lay down, if we can get the equivalent of forest and mineral products in the annual growth of the hemp fields?" --Henry Ford
"Hemp is the standard fiber of the world. It has great tensile strength and durability. It is used to produce more than 5,000 textile products ranging from rope to fine laces, and the woody 'hurds' remaining after the fibers have been removed can be used to produce more than 25,000 products." --Popular Mechanics, 1938
In 1999, North Dakota, Minnesota, and Hawaii legalized the growing of industrial hemp. Other states are urging the federal government to allow it. The USA is the world's largest importer of industrial hemp products.
("Industrial" hemp resin contains less than 1% THC, the main psychoactive compound in "medicinal" hemp.)
Hemp paper is longer lasting than wood-pulp paper, stronger, acid free, and chlorine free. (Chlorine has been estimated to cause up to 10% of all cancers.) Hemp paper can be recycled 7 times, wood pulp 4 times. Making paper from hemp uses only 1/5 to 1/7 as much polluting, sulfer-based chemicals and requires no chlorine bleach.
Hemp fabric requires fewer chemicals than cotton and is stronger and longer lasting.
Hemp particle board may be up to 2 times stronger than wood particleboard and holds nails better.
Hemp products are resistant to ultraviolet light.
One acre of hemp, in annual rotation over a twenty-year period would produce as much pulp for paper as four acres of trees being cut down over the same twenty-year period.
One acre of hemp can produce as much usable fiber as two acres of cotton.
5,000-10,000 cancer-related deaths are caused yearly from pesticides and herbicides. Nearly half of all of the use of such pollutants in the USA is for cotton alone. Hemp needs no pesticides or herbicides and is naturally mildew resistant.
Cotton requires extensive water subsidies. Hemp requires less water than cotton and grows in cooler climates.
Hemp is an excellent rotation crop: It crowds out weeds and its deep tap roots break up hard pan soils.
Anything made from a hydrocarbon (petroleum) can be made from a carbohydrate (plants). Hemp plastic is biodegradable, petroleum-derived plastic is not.
The industrial use of fossil fuels contributes to global warming by rapidly increasing the amount of CO2 in our atmosphere; hemp-derived fuels maintain the earth's natural O2/CO2 balance.
Hemp can produce 10 times more methanol than corn, the second-best living fuel source.
The hydrocarbons in hemp can be easily processed into a wide range of biomass energy sources, from fuel pellets to liquid fuels and gas. Development of biofuels could significantly reduce our consumption of fossil fuels and nuclear power.
The sulfur from oil burning causes acid rain; hemp burns cleanly and sulfur free.
Hemp seed is 30% oil, is more nutritious than soy bean, contains more essential fatty acids than any other source, is second only to soy beans in complete protein (but is more digestible by humans), is high in B-vitamins, and is 35% dietary fiber. Hemp seed does not contain THC.
"I feel the industrial hemp crop could very easily be the soy bean crop of the new millennium." --Jeffrey W. Gain, USDA
Industrial Hemp Information Network www.hemptech.com/index.html
Hemp Industries Association www.thehia.org/index.html
see:the documentary "The Union"
it casts a natural light on the subject overlooked in the matter of our interrelatedness.
hear:Hugh Downs commentary on hemp, ABC News, NY
read: Mr. X by Carl Sagan
The criminalization of the world's most useful and versatile plant, Cannabis/Hemp/Marijuana/Ganja, was Unconstitutional ... a crime against humanity and nature. ~ DNA
I wonder how long it takes to decompose...
DaviDHA in comment said, "Qaneh at Exodus 30:23 referred to cannabis oil used in a holy ointment. (It is usually mistranslated as calamus.)" This perceptible understanding of the Word cannot be perfected without the additional cognate that follows Qaneh (KNH) the Bosem (BSM). The cognate Bosem (BSM) is spice. Therefore, the corrected term here is KNH BSM or cane spice, the spice of the cane. KNH BSM can properly recognized as the hashish and a chief trading good or principal 'spice' throughout history and referred to earlier in the same text from which (among other powerful alkaloids) the holy anointing oil of Jehovah was brewed. The commentator here is correct that all references to the cognate KNH are to the hemp, cannabis or "marijuana in the Bible" (This is a searchable URL in Google for a Word study in cognate KNH, BSM & MKNH). Jesus is the Anointed!
Thank you Mr. Kottler (and DaviDNA in the comments) for helping spread the truth out about the potential uses for hemp as a renewable natural resource.
Its potential as a Trillion Dollar Crop are documented on my website www.HempFarm.org.
Check out the article on Henry Ford's hemp based car "grown from the soil": http://hempfarm.org/FordHempmobile.html
And the 1938 Popular Mechanic's article describing Hemp as the new "Billion Dollar Crop": http://hempfarm.org/BillionDollarCrop.html
I wonder when I run out if I could just smoke A body part
Requires petroleum based fertilizers to grow.
Nice try though.
Hemp can save America, and its economy!
I believe this is a good idea. As long as this new body isn't mated to sub-standard electric motors and wonky controls I would most definitely be interested in investing in at least one. The automotive industry needs to take more ideas like this and make them realities.
Hey World ,
This is another Step for all Hemp/Marijuana Advocates ...As soon as we can Educate the rest of our Nation on all the Great Things that are Created from the Hemp Plant , The Better Off this Great Nation will be ...
P.S. AND IF YOU RUN OUT OF WEED , YOU CAN Smoke your Car ...
Of course it's from the Resin of Hemp . why screw up a good thing with other Chemicals ... I want what you Guys are Smokin ...
Whomever said this --->Requires petroleum based fertilizers to grow.Nice try though.<--- is an Idiot ...You need Soil,Sun and Water , That's all ... Doesn't need any Fertilizer ...
Brian P beat me to the punch line about Cheech and Chong!
I can not believe the childish,moronic and totally inaccurate comments here!Hemp is NOT marijuana!NO...you can't smoke the car although some of you idiots have obviously been smoking crack.No...hemp does NOT need petroleum based fertilizers!
so many numbskulls here NO YOU CANNOT SMOKE HEMP AND GET HIGH
typical 20th Century mentality of Hemp, grow up already.
next thing you know they will build them out of cr@p
oh thats already been done the fiat 500
Learn all about Hemp and it's many uses at our educational website - HempSolutionsUSA dot com
We are dedicated to educating people about this amazing plant!
Hemp Solutions USA