On the latest episode of “Jay Leno’s Garage,” the former late-night host and car nut drove an automobile that is made from woven hemp, which seems to be a step in the right direction.
Last week, an episode of Jay Leno’s Garage saw the host discover and drive the Renew, a sports car made from woven hemp, which results in a vehicle that not only emits less of a carbon footprint than an average car, but also one that is lighter and stronger than most.
The manufacturing of an average car sees about ten tons of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere, which is even before its the road, where it will emit another six tons each and every year. That is one of the goals of producing a vehicle that is carbon neutral, which can be done by using woven hemp instead of steel.
By using woven hemp, the car will also be ten-times stronger than the average vehicle, which the creator, Bruce Dietzen demonstrates, by banging repeatedly on the hood that is made from the hemp.
“Maybe we’ll hit a couple of cars and see what happens, then we’ll really see how strong it is,” Leno joked, when he hops in the car to take it for a test drive. Of course, everything – including the car – runs smoothly.
Even though the car is more practical – not to mention, more eco-conscious – than the average car, the Renew’s hemp structure does have some downsides, which include that it doesn’t always receive the respect that it should.
It’s kind of a double edged sword. The marijuana connection garners the interest, but then people don’t take you seriously. – Leno
But Dietzen responds by saying that “[Y]ou could smoke all the hemp you could want and you won’t get high.”
Speaking of being high, Leno also notes,
Bruce was not high when he invested $200,000 to build this prototype… no one said investing in the future is going to be cheap.
But given that the standard model costs just $40,000, it might not be too expensive to invest in the future of automobiles and the planet.