What if a plant could solve all of the world’s problems? Designed in Canada, by Calgary-based Motive Industries, the Kestrel is the world’s most eco-friendly car. Made primarily from hemp, the three-door hatchback has a top speed of about 90 km per hour and is powered by a motor made by TM4 Electrodynamics Systems, a company based in Quebec. At the moment, the car needs to be recharged every 160 kilometers, but don’t let these initial statistics fool you. Though hemp production is still controversial, it’s hard to argue against how versatile, cost-effective and environmentally-friendly hemp as a building material is. As companies are putting more efforts and creative energy into eco-friendly solutions, creating emerging auto careers in this field, hemp production definitely shows tremendous potential.
The oldest record we have of hemp farming is from 5 000 years ago in China. For thousands of years, most ropes and the sails of ships were made from hemp. If the material is easy to manufacture and distribute, then why is hemp production still restricted by law in the United States? It’s a complicated question. If a car made entirely out of hemp sounds familiar to you, it’s because it’s an idea that has been around for a long time. In the 1940s, Henry Ford spent many years researching a car made from hemp that would run on hemp bio-fuel. Sadly, hemp production was declared illegal. Some say this is due to the link between hemp and marijuana, while others claim that big companies at the time pressured the US government to declare the material illegal, as hemp production was a powerful threat to their business.
Luckily, in Canada, the government is interested in exploring hemp farming and the material’s potential benefits for the environment, which is why our country is the ideal environment for developing and producing the Kestrel. The body of the car, made by infusing hemp stalks with polymer resin, is safe, strong and impact-resistant. Compared to steel, the material can also help the car perform better at the level of fuel efficiency. Moreover, hemp production complies with every eco standard we have today!
While the Kestrel still isn’t ready for production, it’s attracting a lot of attention from global investors and countries as far away as India. The car is expected to be priced at around $25 000, an investment that could be well worth it considering the rising price of gas. The lightweight, durable material means fuel efficiency gains estimated at 25-30%. Watch this video for more information: