Hemp Car

I read that in 1941 Henry Ford built a car (body) made from a biodegradable plastic, derived from Hemp. I now read a man in Miami USA has followed this idea & done likewise:
‘Bruce Dietzen, a retired Dell computer salesman, built his “Cannabis Car” out of hemp on a Mazda chassis.’

‘A man in Florida has become the latest, though not the first, to extol another wonder of the miracle plant: a car mostly made of hemp that he says can cut the carbon footprint of the planet’s estimated 1 billion cars and cover much-needed ground in the fight against climate change.’

‘Dietzen, a retired Dell computer salesman, completed the car in his garage last year after moving to Key West 16 years ago with a mini fleet of sports cars, mostly curvy Italian and British classics from the 50s that served as his models. Using the chassis of a Mazda, Dietzen built the zippy red Cannabis Car from about 45 kilograms of imported Chinese hemp. Woody material from inside the hemp stalk is combined with a resin to form a kind of super-strong plastic that is then moulded into a car body.’

‘Dietzen believes his car may be the only hemp car now in production, though by no means the first.’

‘In 1941, Henry Ford unveiled the Soybean Car. But production was derailed when World War II broke out. Exact ingredients aren’t known, though Ford historians believe the car was constructed of hemp, wheat straw and flax held together by a soybean-based resin.’

‘What intrigued Dietzen was the flexibility of using cannabis-based hemp, and its strength. Nearly every piece of his car that could be made of hemp is, including the body, dash and rugs. Engine parts, the car frame, windshield switches and other mechanical and electrical parts are not. Manufacturing a car from cannabis, and fuelling it with biofuels, could have huge carbon rewards, he said.’

‘Over its lifetime, a gas-powered car creates a carbon footprint of about 380 grams of carbon per mile (1.6 kilometres), according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. Hybrid cars are less, but still more than 200 grams. And that doesn’t include carbon created in the manufacturing process before a car even gets its first fill-up. By Deitzen’s calculations, a cannabis car, with up to 55 per cent of the car plant-based, can cut that footprint by about a quarter.’

‘But so far, the idea has failed to catch on in the mainstream car manufacturing world. In 2008, Lotus unveiled the hemp-bodied Eco Elise, but it remains a “concept car” not in production. The Canadian-made Kestrel also failed to make it onto assembly lines. European manufacturers, who pay big disposal fees for dumping rusting metal cars, have embraced more hemp in cars, but only for parts of cars. Still, five years after Mercedes introduced a jute-based door panel, the use of natural fibres in German-made cars has tripled.’

“Every bit of plastic in the world can be made from hemp instead of oil and it needs to be,” Dietzen said. “It’s one of the big ways we’re going to reverse climate change.”

* Let’s hope that the powerful corporations, that apparently put the first block on Hemp (1940s).. wake up & look at the harm it is still causing: fossil fuels & non-biodegradable plastics, polluting the environment. As Jack (The Hemperor) Herer, once said “HEMP CAN SAVE THE WORLD !”

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