Motive Industries, an automotive design firm in Canada, is developing the most literal of green vehicles--an electric car with a chassis made from cannabis.
The body of the Kestrel, a four-seat electric vehicle, is engineered using impact-resistant biocomposite derived from Canadian grown and manufactured hemp mats.
Its construction takes enviromentally friendly engineering one step further--the hemp fibers in the composite keep the body weight low, which reduces the energy needed to propel the vehicle while offering a renewable alternative to composites derived from petrochemicals. Aptera, a California-based EV start-up, uses silica-based fabric for its composite material that is impossible to dent with a sledgehammer, according to the manufacturer.
Prototyping and testing on the Kestrel will take place later this month. Motive's goal is to achieve a reduction in weight while maintaining the same mechanical properties as the car's glass-based counterpart. More information about the zero-emission Kestrel will be released in September at the 2010 VE Conference and Trade Show in Vancouver.