Blue Oval signs deal to develop hemp-based green car parts
17 July 2007

Ford is all set to go green with a new kind of high-brid – partly made from hemp, the non-psycho-active form of cannabis.The UK division of the Blue Oval has signed a £500,000 deal with Defra (the department for environment, food and rural affairs) to develop a recyclable car made of hemp.Hemp was traditionally used to make ropes and papers – its strong fibres give it remarkable durability. For this modern cannabis-car, however, it would be blended with polypropylene to make an easily mouldable plastic substitute.It is most likely to be used inside the car to replace plastics, but there are many potential uses, including the making of body panels.Apart from its strength and durability, the hemp-based material is much lighter than equivalent materials, and uses less energy in its creation.Henry Ford himself first dabbled with hemp in the 1930s, and in 1941 revealed a prototype car that used hemp body panels, for which he took out a patent. The car's panels were exceptionally strong and resilient to bashing, but the technology never took off.

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