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Canadian “hemp car” to be on the market by 2013

Meet the Kerstel and its hemp composite body

Meet the Kerstel and its hemp composite body

Soon, you’ll be able to drive hemp. Literally, thanks to the Kestrel car, named after the colorful raptor.

Right now, Canadian company Motive Industries, Inc., is testing the materials for a biocomposite hybrid electric car made from hemp and other natural and synthetic fibers. If all goes according to plan, Motive will finish its prototype mid-2011, and make the car available to the public in late-2012 or -2013, according to Nathan Armstrong, Motive’s president.

The material used to manufacturer the body is impact-resistant composite from hemp mats; these are supplied by Alberta Innovates-Technology Future (AITF), while hemp is grown in Vegreville, Atlanta. Here’s the kicker, AITF is Crown corporation, owned by the Canadian government.

“Plus, it’s illegal to grow it in the U.S., so it actually gives Canada a bit of a market advantage,” said Armstrong to the CBC.

The four-passenger, three-door electric vehicle—created to showcase new automotive technology coming out of Canada—can reach speeds of almost 85 mph. It’s the result of Madbolg.audubon.com

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