Former Dell exec Bruce Michael Dietzen has built a roadworthy car entirely out of hemp.
The car was built upon a Mazda base frame and runs on bio-fuel made from agricultural waste — an energy source that leaves an even smaller carbon footprint than electric cars. According to Dietzen, building his “green machine” took about “100 pounds of woven hemp” and cost him around $200,000.
“I live in Florida, hemp is still illegal to grow so I had to import the woven material all the way from China because we still don’t have the facilities that can make the hemp fabrics,” he told the New York Post.
While the vehicle is definitely groundbreaking, it’s actually not the first of its kind. In 1941, Henry Ford used a combination of hemp and soybean to build a naturally sourced car.
“Cannabis hemp is still considered a dangerous drug according to the government,” Dietzen told the Post. “It’s considered as dangerous as heroin or cocaine — it’s insane! This green machine is made from three plies of woven hemp, making it lighter than cars made from fiberglass.”
The hemp-made body is also at least 10 times more dent-resistent than steel, according to the Post.
“Many states are starting to make it legal,” Dietzen said. “It’s a really great sign as we’re getting back to the point where we’re starting to make products out of industrial hemp, just as Henry Ford suggested we should do.”
If you live in Florida, keep an eye out for this baby on the roads, and if you come across it, give it a sniff and report back. I’ll bet it smells just great.