Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Hemp Cars Would've Saved Millions of Lives, Trillions of Dollars

Henry Ford wanted to make cars from hemp and other farm grown products. He spent over a decade creating models that are estimated to be three times "greener" than today's electric cars based on how they were built and powered.
This is a picture of him in 1941 trying to dent his plastic car with an ax. He's hitting the car with an ax to make a point. Ford demonstrated these car panels were about 10 times stronger than steel, thus much safer.
Since 1941 there have been approx. 3 million car crash fatalities in the US alone. How many of those victims would have survived if hemp plastics could have been used by auto makers? Ford also wanted the cars to run on hemp and other biomass fuels. Instead we ended up with foreign dependency on petroleum. It's hard to quantify how many trillions of dollars we have sent to nations in the Middle East and elsewhere to supply our dependency on petroleum based fuels and plastics. To think we could have grown all our fuel and building materials right here by US farmers.

Canadians may see Kestrels on the road in the near future. These are proclaimed as the world's most environmentally friendly cars, made from hemp and powered on electricity. In Canada it's legal for farmers to grow hemp, something the US government still considers a Schedule 1 drug, as dangerous as heroin and cocaine even though hemp doesn't have enough THC to make anyone high. Is this a case of stupidity, corruption, or both to classify hemp as a Schedule 1 drug?

Hemp car (on left) is a Mercedes wagon that runs on hemp fuel. The car toured America and Canada making appearances at many alternative-energy, environmental, and hemp-legalization events. The car toured for several months and over 13,000 miles emphasizing the utility of industrial hemp.

Bruce Dietzen of Florida made this red, sporty hemp car for the chassis of a Mazda convertible. Dietzen hopes his environmentally friendly automobile will help debunk the taboo behind the cannabis plant and its uses. He had to import the hemp from China, because growing hemp is illegal in the US although importing it is not. (Think of the irony there.) Dietzen says, "We can make everything out of plants. That's what Henry Ford was really out to tell everyone when he created his first cannabis car."

The BMW i3 will be the first mass production car with most of its inner structure and body made of plant-based plastics. The unprecedented use of strong yet lightweight Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) makes the i3 one of BMW’s lightest vehicles, contributing to both performance and efficiency. It's an electric vehicle, yet still one of the fastest BMW models off the line. The CFRP is 50% lighter than steel and is actually the secret to this vehicle's remarkable performance and efficiency.
Shown on the right is a BMW door panel made from hemp. In the near future we should see hemp plastics emerging in every field as more and more governments recognize the idiocy of keeping this plant illegal. Way back in 1938 Popular Mechanics proclaimed hemp a billion dollar crop that could be used for over 25,000 products ranging from dynamite to Cellophane.

Going back a bit further, Thomas Jefferson said, "Hemp is of first necessity to the wealth and protection of the country." Jefferson and other US Founding Fathers grew hemp as it was a mandated crop in much of Colonial American history. It was mandated because it could be used to make pretty much everything. The Founding Father's probably never imagined that hemp would, or could, become illegal.
Let's hope it isn't too late to correct a tragic mistake that has cost this nation and the world more than anyone can quantify.

Got an opinion or idea on this? Leave a comment.


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  3. Also, in order to get the car you want, you may sacrifice quality and end up with a car that does not run nearly as well as one that was within your predetermined price range. Cars in Namibia

  4. Henry Ford the pioneer that he was, couldn't stop the Financial Conspiracies of his day or ours. Petroleum was seen as Liquid Gold and Steel was seen as the Industry of the Future. Then there was "Planned Obsolescence" - a vehicle made of Hemp theoretically would last a lifetime, where one made of steel would have to be replaced every so many years. Even today, any research conducted with Hemp or any other promising material or fuel, has to come from Private Money - the Government nor the Financial Industry would fund it, due to it's lack of return, both on Jobs and the overturn or return of capital.

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  8. Better late than never. The idea of Eco-friendly vehicle was itself a revolution in changing the environmental condition of the world. Thanks for writing such an inspiring and knowledgeable article.

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