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Monday, August 30, 2010

High on Electric Cars: Canada's Cannabis Cruiser

by Jessica Root - Brooklyn, NY

Image via: CBC News

Hemp isn't only TreeHugger approved. It's won this green yogini over in the health department with its number of nutritional benefits. It's an animal-free source of essential fatty acid omegas, proteins and amino acids--all-important for heart, brain and skin health.

Who knew that a spoonful of hemp powder wouldn't only find its way into my morning smoothie, or its fibers in my cute Sanuk sidewalk surfers, but possibly built into a future set of electric wheels?

Let's introduce Canada's non-smokable (industrial hemp produces very little THC) though totally cool, Kestrel electric hemp vehicle...

Hemp-bodied cars aren't new. The famous Henry Ford started experimenting with hemp and resin-based fibers way back in the day. The exploration of hemp ended however when other energy-heavy car body materials like steel and more recently, fiberglass and carbon fiber were favored for their lightness.

High on Hemp
We 'Huggers should be happy hemp is back on the scene. Unlike glass or carbon, which requires intense heating and chemical processes, hemp can grow in the sun with minimal water and pesticide use.

Three cheers to Project Eve who is spearheading the hemp-shelled car project, and to the polytechnic schools in Alberta, Quebec and Toronto who will actually build the compact, 4-passenger cars. And ten cheers to Canada for waking up and permitting the cultivation of hemp. Most of the hemp products we enjoy come from Canada or Asia.

Let's hope US follows suit and that these cars look cute! (The car's complete design will be released after Vancouver's EV 2010 VÉ Conference and Trade Show in September.)