Fast Company

Motive Industries' Cannabis Composite EV Satisfies Your Need for Speed, Weed

Motive Industries recently announced plans for Canada's first biocomposite electric vehicle--made of hemp. Will cops have automatic probable cause to search it?

Motive Kestrel

In a move that will only strengthen the association between potheads and environmentalism, Motive Industries recently announced that it is working on Canada's first biocomposite electric vehicle. The biocomposite in question? Hemp.

The vehicle, dubbed the Kestrel, gets its hemp from Alberta Innovates Technology Futures (AITF), which in turn purchases its cannabis stock from an industrial hemp farm in Vegreville, Alberta. Beyond the novelty factor, hemp actually makes sense as a vehicle material--it's lightweight, renewable, and as strong as glass composite.

No word on when or if the Kestrel will go into production, but Motive plans to begin testing later this year. And no, blowing up the car won't get you high. Here's hoping Motive's next step is to manufacture a hemp composite car that runs on hemp fuel.

Add New Comment

3 Comments

  • Jim Hartzfeld

    To add to Thomas's comment, yes, industrial hemp is an amazing fiber for a wide range of properties. As I remember, it was declared illegal through regulatory action around 1950, when the new "miracle fibers" made out of plastic (nylon and polyester) were trying to break into mass markets. Little scientific evidence supported the anti-marijuana demagoguery aligned with the business interests of the new chemical industry giants. There's not enough THC (happy drug) in a bale of hemp to cause anyone a buzz and natural cross pollination between between this species and the recreational variety would cause the THC in pot to plummet. Feel free to check me on this and correct any misconceptions.

    Well intentioned as they are, folks like Woody Harrell don't help the cause of those that see this product as a potentially great replacement for tobacco and other non-food Ag crops in terms of ecological, economic and public health benefits. No politicians will touch it fearing to be labeled as a supporter of drug legalization. If anything, there seems to be more logic to promote wide-spread cultivation of industrial hemp as a pot eradication strategy. I don't know if it continues, but states used to get big bucks for documented pulling of "ditch weed" from road and fence ways. After all it looks somewhat like pot.

    Unfortunately, the ridiculous (and frankly embarrassing) policy decisions resulting from gross scientific ignorance fueled by corporate self interest (money translated as "free speech") is not only a product of the last decade.

    BTW, I'm not a pot smoking, left wing fanatic. I've never smoked the stuff and am a registered republican working for a multinational textile company seeking to become more sustainable. Our policies around industrial hemp are 60 years of tomfoolery wrapped around stupidity. I see no logic to support it.

    Sorry to rant. Other comments are welcome. Have I missed something?

    Ecojim

  • Gregoire Bolduc

    I had no idea that hemp was as strong as glass composite! I knew it made for strong rope, but wow...

    What happens if one catches on fire? lol

  • Thomas White

    Two thoughts..

    Henry Ford actually was the first to conceive of a Hemp car. Who knows, maybe the potential threat to oil interests could have predicated the banning of Hemp being grown in the U.S.

    Hemp as commercialized isn't going to give you a high. It is perhaps one of the most useful of all plants. So the fact you sensationalize Hemp as Marijuana is continuing the public relations campaign the DEA propagates that robs us of this vital plant.

    Thomas White