By Chris Reiter, Bloomberg
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) will give a new electric-powered city car a lounge feel with bench seats, naturally tanned “mocha brown” leather and hemp fibers in the floor covering to hold off Volkswagen AG (VOW)’s Audi.
BMW for the first time showed concept versions of the i3 electric city car and the i8 hybrid supercar, which Chief Executive Officer Norbert Reithofer said will cost more than 100,000 euros ($143,000), in Frankfurt today. The models, developed from scratch, will anchor BMW’s new “i” sub-brand.
“The majority of current electric vehicles are so-called conversions of traditional vehicles but conversions are always compromises,” development chief Klaus Draeger said. “We wanted to bring e-mobility to the streets without compromise.”
BMW is betting that the 530 million euros investment to set up production of the vehicles will pay off in the race with Audi, which overtook Daimler AG (DAI)’s Mercedes-Benz this year and has vowed to topple the Munich-based carmaker as the luxury-car leader by 2015. Initial volumes for the models could be in the “tens of thousands,” with the potential to grow rapidly depending on market and regulatory developments, sales chief Ian Robertson told Bloomberg TV.
By Silvia Pikal, Mobile Mag
While hemp can be used for food, textiles, paper, fabric, and fuel oil, the misunderstood crop breeds fear amongst politicians in the United States and has led to the crop being illegal to grow without a DEA permit, which is pretty hard to get. But growing hemp is legal in Canada. Canadian company Motive Industries has taken advantage of this, and have been working on an electric car made of hemp plastic. Touted as Canada’s first bio composite electric car, the Motive Kestrel’s top speed is 135 km/h, with a range of 160 km. The ultralight car is a 3 door 4 passenger electric vehicle, and packs 16 kWh of lithium battery juice to keep the car going 160 kilometers per charge.
Now Motive has announced that bio composite materials derived from hemp and flax fibre will also be used in the car’s interior. They will be used to create the headliner, door panels, door trim, floor tub and center tunnel, instrument panel and the center console panel. The prototype should be coming out sometime this year, with a production goal of 2012.
By Kevin W. McCarty, Daily Nexus
Humanity stands at a crossroads. For nearly two centuries, human civilization has seen its every facet transformed by the machinery of industrial development. During this period of rapid expansion, we have beheld the gracious power of cheap fossil fuels, namely petroleum oil, as our premier source of energy and electricity. But today we are witnessing crude oil prices skyrocket as many economists say we have already reached peak global oil production and will see increasing prices until the supply of petroleum is diminished. As a result, we must expect additional sources of renewable electrical power will sustain economic growth in the coming decades.
For most of human history, the hemp plant has been used as an integral crop of commerce and navigation. Cultures across the globe have utilized hemp as a source of food, rigging and building materials and paper pulp. It is, without a doubt, the most resilient and efficient plant the Earth has ever grown. But not until now has it become quite so necessary to realize the prohibition of hemp and cannabis must be suspended. The arguments against legalization do not stand trial when compared to the immense benefits.
Kentucky: 2011 Gubernatorial Candidate Gatewood Galbraith Gains Grassroots Momentum With Willie Nelson EndorsementSubmitted by restore on Sat, 01/15/2011 - 23:57
"Together we can restore Kentucky to prosperity." Gatewood Galbraith/Dea Riley 2011
By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Correspondent
United we stand, divided we fall: Bluegrass State, if you are tired of all the negative political rhetoric taking place in the capitol in Frankfort between both Democrats and Republicans, vote Gatewood/Riley in 2011!
Willie Nelson, creator and spokesperson of the newly formed Tea Pot Party, officially announced the group’s first endorsement for a U.S. political race: Independent candidates Gatewood Galbraith and Dea Riley for Governor and Lt. Governor of Kentucky. It is a move sure to shake up the status quo and the Galbraith/Riley ticket would be a fresh beginning for a state aiming to achieve greater economic results. Currently Kentucky’s unemployment rate is at an all time high, their poverty ranking has increasing from 15.4 to 17.3 percent over the past eight years under both a Republican and Democrat administration, marking them as the fifth poorest state in our nation.
"I am a longtime friend of Gatewood Galbraith. We crossed Kentucky in a car that ran on hemp fuel one time when he ran for governor. I think the teapot party should back him this time. He is a good man and will do a good job," proclaimed Nelson.
By USA Today Staff
Now if your car breaks down and you're stuck by the side of the road, you can try to break off a piece and smoke it.
Well, not really. But the thought -- and the jokes -- are sure to arise over the hemp-fiber car that a group of Canadian companies will try to make, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reports.
The companies are collaborating on a car called the Kestrel that will have a body made of resin-impregnated industrial hemp, a tough fiber that comes from the cannabis family member that also results in marijuana. Unlike marijuana, hemp has a very low content of THC, the chemical that makes dope smokers high. Even so, it's illegal to grow in the U.S., so the Canadians think they might have an edge.
It's not a completely new idea. That Lotus Eco Elise from 2008, shown above, also has a hemp body.
The compact electric Kestrel will be prototyped and tested later by Calgary-based Motive Industries.
The CBC says Henry Ford first built a car made of hemp fiber and resin more than half a century ago.
By Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield, Fox News
As we're faced with an increasingly large world population and ever-dwindling resources the race is on to produce cars that not only produce zero tailpipe emissions, but ones that are green to manufacture too.
But what is the ultimate material for cars? Steel is strong, but hardly light enough to make ultra-efficient vehicles. Many plastics are based on oil, and composite materials like carbon fibre are difficult and costly to manufacture and repair.
Enter the Kestrel. Designed and engineered by Motive Industries, a Canadian firm based in Alberta, the fully electric car features a body shell made of hemp--which may be better known as Cannabis Sativa L.
The hemp for the Kestrel's body is grown by Alberta Innovates Technology Futures (AITF) under license from the Canadian government.
Unlike the cannabis Californians may find available at their local medical marijuana dispensaries, hemp grown by AITF ends up on a production line, where it is turned into a composite material that has the impact resistance of fiberglass.
But unlike fiberglass, the hemp bio-composite is cheaper to produce and has fewer health risks connected with its manufacture. It is also significantly lighter than glass-based composites traditionally used in racing cars.
By Liina Flynn, Echo
Klara Marosszeky has a vision for the future that involves revamping of the local farming industry to produce industrial hemp crops. Working with farmers, she has just harvested her first commercial crop of industrial hemp and is looking for innovators who want to utilise the product.
(Tetrahydrocannabinol) content and produces the longest, strongest plant fibres in the world. It is used in many countries in the manufacture of plastics, fiberglass, fabrics, food and building materials.
“In the UK, a major car manufacturer, Lotus, is making whole cars out of hemp,” Klara said. “Everything but the engine is hemp. Henry Ford would be grinning in his grave.”
Klara currently teaches sustainability courses at TAFE and envisions hemp as the solution to many of the sustainability issues that are affecting Australia today. Not only is she trying to create a hemp industry in NSW and open the way to using hemp seed as a food product, but she is out to make housing materials affordable. After looking around for alternative products to replace our current dependence on timber, Klara spent years experimenting with hemp masonry as a building material, with very successful results. Two years ago, she was a finalist for the Northern Rivers Regional Development Board’s innovation award for her hemp masonry.
The Ford Focus is spearheading a comprehensive European Recycling Campaign, the car manufacturer has said.
The campaign has created over 300 separate car parts formed with recycling materials and diverts around 20,000 tonnes away from landfill each year.
Ford recycled materials include recycled plastics that make up 25% of heater and air conditioned housing, 50% of battery trays and recycled materials that make up 100% of fabric seat options.
Sources for this recycled material are everyday items as diverse as plastic bottles, CDs, computers and even denim jeans.
The noise insulation in all Ford vehicles is made from jeans and reclaimed car seat upholstery.
Ford is undergoing developments to create more alternative bio-based materials in order to decrease dependence on oil based products.
Ford researchers are currently developing new materials that include more natural ingredients such as soy flour, hemp and cellulose.
Ancient plant has many uses, from medicinal to industrial
By Jesse Rowland
Ever since I first learned what it was, I've been fascinated by marijuana. It's a miraculous plant that can and has been used for a multitude of purposes since at least 8,000 B.C.E.
I feel that marijuana is a vital part of the continuation of our country and the planet, and it should be fully legalized for the use of whatever people see fit, including recreational.
Cannabis can be adapted with any industry, be it agricultural, medical, construction, textile or cosmetic. In Jamestown, Va., in 1619, a law "ordered" all farmers to grow marijuana for the colony. Similar laws were also passed in Massachusetts and Connecticut in 1631 and 1632. In Virginia, during times of shortage between 1763 and 1767, you could actually be jailed for not growing it.
Henry Ford, who designed a vehicle made out of hemp fibers and powered by hemp seed oil, once said, "Why use up the forests which were centuries in the making and the mines which required ages to lay down if we can get the equivalent of forest and mineral products in the annual growth of the hemp fields?"
And it makes sense. Why, as the most powerful country on the planet, would we not utilize the most versatile plant known to man?
From drugs to oil
By Brandon Romines, Helium
Tycoons fear hemp because it could out compete products in many industries. Marijuana, the psychoactive form of hemp, is truly a medicine that has been mislabeled a drug. Not one death can be attributed to marijuana, a claim not even aspirin can make.
Industrial hemp, contains almost no tetrahydrocannibinol(THC). Hemp can be used to produce fuel, fabric, paper and even furniture. The cannabis plant is one of the most versatile plants in the world.
Though marijuana is less harmful and the effects more mild than alcohol, it is an illegal drug. Simply by smoking this plant, many chronically ill patients feel relief many prescriptions can't provide, and with none of the drawbacks.
Marijuana is not physically addictive, it has never killed anyone, and anyone who really needed it could grow it easily enough themselves. Corporations are scared of the cannabis plant because of all of it's qualities. They would make no profit if everyone could grow their own medicine!
By Fiber for Fashion, Staff
From paper, cordage, furniture, and handicraft industries, uses of abaca (Musa textilis Nee) have extended to natural fiber-reinforced plastic composite material to replace some parts of cars.
Dr. Leslie Joy Lanticse-Diaz, chair, Department of Mining, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, University of the Philippines Diliman, shared this information with natural fiber stakeholders at the recently concluded National Conference on Natural Fibers held at Dusit Thani Hotel, Makati City. The study conducted by a team of researchers led by Dr. Diaz aimed, among other things, to incorporate the natural fiber into plastic matrices for various applications.
Research results show that the fiber of abaca or Manila hemp displayed a tensile strength of up to 970 MPa, which means that 140,686 pounds per square inch of force is needed to break this fiber. Abaca fiber was also reported to reach a maximum of 3 meters that gives it the advantage of length. She explained that these were among the factors that made abaca fiber viable for automotive composites.
The researchers also concluded that weave construction and weave patterns are significant parameters to be optimized to ensure better control and consistency in the properties of the composite to be constructed with abaca as the natural fiber reinforcement.
By Paul Louis, Natural News, Staff Writer
PSA, the French manufacturer for Peugeot and Citroen, has recently initiated its Green Materials Plan. This plan intends to increase car parts made from natural materials 600 percent by 2015. They are making a few parts now that are based on flax and hemp.
PSA's Green Materials Plan focuses on three areas: Biopolymers to replace plastics derived from oil; Natural fibers from flax and hemp mixed with other materials, such as wood chips; And recycled materials from shredded plastic bottles mixed with glass fibers.
The plastic interior door panels made by PSA are already 50 percent flax fibers pressed with wood chips. Other parts, including mirror and windshield wiper mountings, use hemp instead of glass fiber in their material mix.
Oil based plastics in cars make up to 20 percent of a car's weight on average. Of that 20 percent, only six percent is currently green or cellulose based. PSA's goal is to increase that six percent to 30 percent of the plastic used.
Hemp is legal in France, so further advances with hemp for car parts may unfold. Laurent Bechin, PSA's natural-fibers specialist, pointed out that the hemp used does not produce marijuana. "It would need about two tons of this material to produce one joint", he quipped.
By Sarah Harlan, WFIE
KENTUCKY (NBC) - Some Kentucky activists said they've found a way to make cleaner fuel without depleting food resources.
A Kentucky oil awareness group is holding a series of meetings to discuss bio-diesel instead of ethanol, which comes from corn and soybeans.
The group wants to use algae and hemp instead.
Right now, it's illegal to grow the crop in the United States.
"In Jessamine County, KY in front of the courthouse is a historical marker," Harry Lee with the oil awareness group said. "It talks about the hemp crop that Jessamine County used to grow. 1850 they grew 40,000 tons, they sold it for $5 million bucks."
In the mid 1800's, three Kentucky counties produced more than half of the hemp in the U.S. used for rope and twine, among other things.
Today, studies show it could be used to make bio diesel.
By David Finlayson, Edmonton Journal
A car made of hemp may sound like someone's wacky fantasy, but it's as real as General Motors' bankruptcy.
Motive Industries in Calgary is building a vehicle using panels and other parts made of a hemp fibre material that's lighter and cheaper than glass fibre.
It's being put together to try to win the$10 millionXPrizecompetition for the car that gets 100 miles to the gallon and beats other green cars in a race.
And Motive will benefit from the $15 million Alberta Biomaterials Development Centre announced Thursday, says John Wolodko, polymers group leader at Alberta Research Council.
The structural components of the car, which will start trials in mid June, will still be made of more traditional materials, said Wolodko, whose team is helping with the Motive project.
Eventually more environmentally friendly fibres made of hemp and flax will replace glass fibre in cars and other manufacturing processes, he said.
"Some European car manufacturers are already using bio-materials."
The new centre, to be set up at ARC's agricultural research facility in Vegreville and at the University of Alberta, will also help Pildysh Technologies, which is developing portland cement blocks impregnated with bio-fibres that make them lighter and stronger.
Calgary-based Pildysh is a couple of years away from marketing a product, and vice-president Richard Bueble said the new centre should help speed the process.
What if Americans could buy cigarettes but were banned from growing tobacco? Buy bread but not allowed to grow wheat? That is the case with industrial hemp, a product in everything from car doors to milk...legally.