From the Cannabis Car to Climate Solutions With Bruce Dietzen

From the Cannabis Car to Climate Solutions With Bruce Dietzen

<![CDATA[Nearly seven years ago, Bruce Dietzen had an idea: attempting to make a lighter, stronger car using hemp. The idea came after reading “The Emperor Wears No Clothes” by Jack Herer, which includes information about the hemp plant and its various uses. Mentioned in the book is Henry Ford’s Model T 1941 car, which Dietzen cites as an inspiration. The car contained cellulose fibers derived from hemp, wheat straw, and sisal. “When I read that [book], I thought, ‘If Henry Ford did it in this old-fashioned way, which [used] a thermal compression type of technology, and newer technology uses woven fiberglass and carbon fiber, using woven hemp instead might work better.’ And lo and behold, it did,” Dietzen says. Thus, the “Renew Sports Car” was born, and the first of two prototypes launched in 2015. But a lot has changed for the creator of the Renew Sports Car since then, with his sole focus shifting away from just hemp cars to how this versatile plant can help “save an inhabitable planet,” Dietzen says. The Cannabis Car Dietzen started with a deconstructed first-generation Mazda Miata and made the car’s body panels and upholstery with 65% woven hemp and 35% bio epoxy. “It still had a gasoline engine, and I burned a biofuel in it,” he says.  He adds that the car’s hemp fiber body was lighter compared to those built with aluminum, which is commonly used as an auto body material. He also says that hemp is more bend resistant than steel—one of the most common metals auto manufacturers use.  Dietzen adds that while production of traditional automotive  materials, like steel and carbon fiber, tend to contribute CO2 to the atmosphere, hemp cultivation has been shown to sequester carbon, making it a more sustainable alternative. Dietzen’s original goal was to create a “carbon-negative” car by 2025, but…

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