a) Definition of a Hemp Car
A hemp automobile is a vehicle whose most parts are crafted from hemp. A traditional car consists of approximately 55% steel in its body weight. A car also has over 30,000 car parts. If just half of its steel body or three quarters is replaced by a carbon-negative material, then it will be a big stride in reducing global warming. The good thing is, a car made of hemp does not compromise on any features to bring efficiency and effectiveness to the automobile industry because they are technology-based.
Reasons to Opt for a Hemp Car
Hemp material has been proven to be 10 times stronger than steel, additionally, it can bend without breaking. Hemp is also lighter than steel or fiberglass, making it a good material for car manufacturing because it reduces the overall weight of the vehicle. More so, hemp can withstand more weight than steel.
Also, following the hemp 2018 legalization, hemp material for making hemp cars is expected to be more readily available and eventually cheaper in cost than steel. Above all, hemp is a renewable resource. The plant takes a short time to mature. The crop also works better than traditional forests in removing carbon dioxide from the environment. The plant uses a few pesticides and little water during farming. Another advantage of hemp is that it is good at combating soil erosion. That makes hemp cars biodegradable and planet friendly. Above all, the processing of hemp fiber into hemp products does not use tons of chemicals.
Past and Recent Hemp Automobiles
The first hemp car was the Ford hemp car invented by Henry Ford in 1941. The Henry Ford hemp car was also referred to as the soybean car. Nobody knows what happened to Henry Ford’s 1941 hemp car design. But the car’s invention came at a controversial time. It was at the same period that hemp growing was restricted by the government of the USA. The main idea behind designing the models was to have planet-friendly products. Steel was being rationed by the then government of USA and there was a need to develop an alternative material. Here are the exact words of Henry Ford: “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
Recent developments of hemp cars include BMW’s 2013 i3 Electric Car. The car is a carbon-negative designed to weigh less than 800 pounds in comparison to similar brands in the market. Kestrel is a hemp model of Canadian Motive Industries. The manufacturer replaces fiberglass body parts with a material made with hemp and other materials. Also Renew Sports car is another model of hemp cars made by Bruce Dietzen. The car is making headlines across the world because of its planet-friendly features.
b) History of Hemp Cars
Indeed history is repeating itself in the vehicle industry with the re-invention of hemp cars. Henry Ford’s hemp automobile took researchers 12 years to develop it. The car was different from traditional vehicles in other feature too. Ford’s hemp automobile weighed less by 1000 pounds. In addition, it was designed to run on bio-fuels. Most of the steel parts that are characteristic of traditional vehicles were replaced by hemp material. The only steel in the car was its tubular welded frame. The engine of Ford’s Hemp vehicle was invented by Rudolf Diesel. Rudolf Diesel was renowned for his earlier contributions to the invention of diesel fuel.
c) The Future of Hemp Cars
There is a lot expected in car inventions and also hemp inventions in the near future. The future car inventions will focus on two main features namely, sustainability and technology-based. Besides, as the old adage says, the journey of a thousand miles begins but with one step. We anticipate a lot of innovations will follow the hemp car in the mechanical industry. We believe that since the first hemp cars started running quite recently, the vehicles are still being tested for efficiency and effectiveness. Therefore, in the future, there will be no doubts as to the possibility of hemp cars replacing traditional cars. We also anticipate that the technology will be borrowed by other inventors in the mechanical industry including airplanes, bicycles, industrial machines, and motorcycles.
We also expect many farmers in the USA and globally to start cultivation of industrial hemp following the legalization of hemp in the USA in December 2018. In addition, just as researchers have many strains of corn that vary in the amount of time they take to grow, they might come up with a hemp variety that takes less than three months to reach full maturity.
Since the world is now digital, it is quite easy to spread messages. Organizations that are well informed about global warming will use social media platforms to educate the masses about the need to use carbon-negative products. In turn, this will make hemp-cars the favorite among many car owners in the years to come. More so, we anticipate the demand for hemp cars to be consumer and government driven.
What’s more, we believe that hemp cars will be cheaper than current hemp models. Cheaper cars will be as a result of large scale production of the vehicles. Also, most mainstream car manufacturers will have hemp models on offer.
It is also likely that in the future, hemp cars will not compromise on the type of fuel to use. They will either be powered by hemp bio-fuels or solar power. Hemp bio-fuels are better than fossil-based fuels by far and much better than other bio-fuels currently being used in some countries in the world. This is because more players will join the hemp revolution. The result will be more hemp seeds available for the large scale industrial manufacture of bio-fuels. Also, more players will mean that investors will invest in the manufacture of hemp bio-fuels.
Not forgetting that future cars are expected to be more advanced than current vehicles. Hemp cars will integrate the technology of future cars, for example, more comfort, self-driving features. They may be reconfigurable, have car to car communication, automatic brakes among other features.
d) Frequently Asked Questions
Which one is stronger, hemp or steel?
Hemp material has been proven to be 10 times stronger than steel
Which cars are cheaper, hemp cars or regular vehicles?
At the moment, most hemp cars are being custom made. Also, the demonization of the hemp crop made the hemp fiber to be unnecessarily expensive. For that matter, hemp cars are not cheap, they are more expensive than traditional steel vehicles. The good thing is that we expect the situation to change in the near future.
Who invented the first hemp car?
The car called the soybean car was invented in the year 1941 by Henry Ford who was a renowned car manufacturer.