When I wrote about Henry Ford’s hemp car, I knew it was only a matter of time before I’d be writing about another car made from hemp.
Lotus has announced its latest eco-friendly car - made from hemp. OK, the whole car isn’t made from hemp but hemp has played a large role in it’s construction.
Lotus will unveil the Eco Elise at the British International Motor Show later this month.
With the Eco Elise, Lotus is aiming for a car that’s different to most “green” cars. While most of today’s green cars are being measured by how little gas they consume, the Eco Elise goes much further than this.
In fact, the Eco Elise project focuses on the following areas:
- Sustainable materials - using materials such as hemp, sisal, and biodegradable woolen fabrics.
- Cleaner manufacturing processes - by using a totally water-based paint system.
- Renewable energy generation - through the use of two solar panels on the hemp hard top.
- Reducing carbon miles - by using locally grown hemp fibers, as well as recycled packaging.
- Efficient driving techniques - by assisting the driver in driving more economically. A green light informs the driver the most optimal time to change gears for best economic performance.
- Weight reduction - a lighter car means a more economical car. The Eco Elise is 32 kilograms lighter than the (already lightweight) Elise S.
According to the Lotus press release:
The new green materials sourced for this car have been carefully studied to ensure that each technology used reduces the environmental impact of the vehicle. The life of the components has been analysed; during the production stage, in-use and at the end of the vehicle’s life. The technology used aims to offer lower emissions of both solvents and CO2 in the lifecycle of the vehicle, with reductions in energy consumed during manufacture.
Another great environmental achievement for Lotus is that their manufacturing plant has become more eco-friendly. In 2007, Lotus used 14% less electricity, 30% less gas, and 11% less water than it did in 2006. Lotus also recycle 57% of its waste product.