Hemp Cars?

by Hannah Penne
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8122263_origHemp can be grown in virtually any climate or soil condition, and grows extremely fast, yielding up to 4 crops a year. Canada, China and France are major hemp producers. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson both grew hemp. Ben Franklin owned a mill that made hemp paper. But today the United States is the only industrial country in the world where the growing of hemp is prohibited.

In 1941, the Ford motor company produced an experimental automobile with a plastic body composed of 70% cellulose fibres from hemp. The car body could absorb blows 10 times as great as steel without denting. The car was also designed to run on hemp fuel. Because of the ban on both hemp and alcohol the car was never mass produced. In 2008, Lotus Cars announced they will be using hemp in the production of body panels for their Lotus Eco Elise.


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