Detroit auto show: It’s hemp, not marijuana in your car

January 15, 2008

hemp.jpgWhat do MacGyver, the A-Team and the professor on Gilligan’s Island have in common? Easy; those guys could recycle spare parts to make something useful.

Well, automakers are taking a cue from those TV heroes as they increasingly use natural fibers from such materials as hemp, coconut, bamboo and kenaf in car interiors. The idea is to make the cars feel less plastic.  

“What is going to be key for cars is the way the interior feels, smells, sounds and looks like,” Philippe Aumont, a vice president at French car parts group Faurecia, told Reuters at the Detroit auto show.

Statistics in Europe show most people buy their cars without a test drive, so little things like the touch of a dashboard or feel of a steering wheel can make a difference, he said.

Kenaf, for instance, can be used in dashboards, and bamboo fibers can strengthen seats. Coconut is used in the ‘shell’ of the car interior and hemp in the lining of doors.

Hemp is the common name for plants of the Cannabis family, although the term is typically used to refer only to kinds for industrial use. In other words, it is not marijuana and therefore legal.

One comment

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man hemp seems like the wonder plant, each day I hear about something else it can do better than the manmade version. No reason businesses don’t want it legal.

Posted by led grow light | Report as abusive