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Dude, Where's My Kestrel?
August 23, 2010 3:54 PM   Subscribe

Canadian carmaker Motive Industries Inc has announced a new electric vehicle, the Kestrel, with body parts made of a hemp composite.

"As a structural material, hemp is about the best," Armstrong said, as it has about twice the strength of other plant fibres. It doesn't require much water or pesticide use, and grows well in Canada, providing a high yield per hectare. "Plus, it's illegal to grow it in the U.S., so it actually gives Canada a bit of a market advantage."

Related news stories here and here.

Hemp, is there anything it cannot do? previously. And previously. And previously.
posted by chavenet (40 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Gentlemen, we've finally done it: we've built the ultimate punchline.
posted by verb at 3:58 PM on August 23, 2010 [6 favorites]


So... it's an electric Trabant, then?
posted by hippybear at 4:00 PM on August 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


Test markets in British Colombia have been positive, I hear.
posted by spoobnooble at 4:05 PM on August 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Haven't these guys seen Up In Smoke?
posted by doctor_negative at 4:06 PM on August 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is LITERALLY the plot of a Cheech and Chong movie.
posted by Kirk Grim at 4:06 PM on August 23, 2010 [12 favorites]


I was thinking more Goodtime Slim, Uncle Doobie, and the Great Frisco Freakout.
posted by Gator at 4:08 PM on August 23, 2010


And the only emission is bong water.
posted by hal9k at 4:08 PM on August 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Much like "carbon" bikes, this is a fancy way of saying it's made of plastic.
posted by GuyZero at 4:09 PM on August 23, 2010


Great, now emergency vehicles will need to carry more specialized equipment, like a "roach clip of life."
posted by Muddler at 4:15 PM on August 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


Wake me up when it runs on Funyuns and Cool Ranch Doritos.
posted by jquinby at 4:21 PM on August 23, 2010


OH MY GOD FINALLY

THE WEEDCAR
posted by p3on at 4:23 PM on August 23, 2010


Wow, someone finally listened to my dealer!
posted by condour75 at 4:25 PM on August 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


My dealer is also my car dealer.
posted by vidur at 4:26 PM on August 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow. That's pretty funny.
posted by delmoi at 4:28 PM on August 23, 2010


I love how every comment so far, more or less, is a joke. We laugh at "reefer madness" today, but the effects of 50 years of propaganda and lies about hemp and its cousin marijuana are amazingly durable.
posted by cell divide at 4:30 PM on August 23, 2010 [12 favorites]


cell divide, I don't think anyone here is suggesting that Mary Jane is a Killer or anything like that. Just that, you know. You combine 'Hemp car' and 'Electric car' and you have the nexus point of every suburban hippie joke ever.
posted by verb at 4:37 PM on August 23, 2010


cell divide, everything is funny when you're as high as us.
posted by TrialByMedia at 4:40 PM on August 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


This sounds like the rantings of the kind of grub that you used overhear while in line for concert tickets. "The death dealers don't want us to have it, man, because it can, like, stop war and shit. And you can make as much paper with one acre of it as 1000 acres of trees. And you could totally build a zero-emissions car with it!"
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:52 PM on August 23, 2010


Kestrels are OK. They're kinda slow, but they deal pretty good damage and they're cheap. You have to be able to fit a Micro Auxiliary Power Core and a Ballistic Control System II to really wring the best performance out of them, but combined with an Afterburner II and Small Shield Booster II, they're a reasonably good PvP frigate.

But I'd still just move on up to the Drake battlecruiser, because by the time you cost out the Tech II fittings, it's almost as cheap and you've tripled your shields and firepower, admittedly at the expense of speed of signature radius.

Sorry, what?
posted by BitterOldPunk at 4:57 PM on August 23, 2010 [9 favorites]


Hey, the hemp mats are made right here in town. Three cheers for local industry!

Actually, what really sounds interesting is Project Eve. Are more electric vehicles going to be made in different parts of the country?
posted by Kevin Street at 5:10 PM on August 23, 2010


I always thought the Kestrel was a handsome motorcar. Almost bought one once but couldn't cllose the deal.
posted by maxwelton at 5:22 PM on August 23, 2010


Seriously though, how is hemp more 'natural' than glass or carbon in a composite material? Perhaps less energy is expended making the fiber? I guess carbon starts with a petrochemical-based stock, so there might be an advantage there. It seems like the difficulties with recycling current composites would apply to a hemp/epoxy or hemp/polyester composite as well. Most composites are well over 50% resin unless they are engineered for high-performance duty.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 5:32 PM on August 23, 2010


Oh, hey, there are jokes about getting high here, too.

What about the fact that Kestrels vomit up a composite of bone and other organic matter? There must be some thing there. Nothing? Crickets? 'cause they eat those, too.
posted by poe at 5:35 PM on August 23, 2010 [1 favorite]



Oh, hey, there are jokes about getting high here, too.


Yeah, how clever. Even the word "hemp" invokes hackneyed jokes about getting stoned and "having the munchies" from this crowd. Duh. Gimme a fuckin break already.
posted by Liquidwolf at 6:08 PM on August 23, 2010


Yeah, the hemp is grown in Vegreville, which is not exactly a hotbed of drug culture. It's Easter eggs and trucker caps there, not hedonism and bongs.
posted by Kevin Street at 6:18 PM on August 23, 2010


Just that, you know. You combine 'Hemp car' and 'Electric car' and you have the nexus point of every suburban hippie joke ever.

This is exactly like evaluating the car on its merits, only the opposite.
posted by DU at 6:33 PM on August 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


U.S. reacts to Canada's acceptance of hemp growing by banning the importation of Kestrel electric vehicle in 4,3,...
posted by notreally at 6:37 PM on August 23, 2010


neato!
posted by tarantula at 6:41 PM on August 23, 2010


I expect that Jay Leno will be beating the last few jokes out of this tonight.
posted by bonobothegreat at 7:00 PM on August 23, 2010


Say what you will, guys, but Dr. Bronner's is really good soap. If hemp's half as good at other things as it is at being soap, I think the status quo is right to be afraid.

BTW, almond is the best scent it comes it. It's the green one.
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:07 PM on August 23, 2010


So now you can set your car on fire to collect on insurance fraud - AND GET HIGH. I'm surprised there haven't been more jokes in this thread, come on people!
posted by hellslinger at 7:11 PM on August 23, 2010


if the driver of this HEMP car is arrested there should be a fight between
tow drivers to impound the car and lose it in the tow yard's inventory.
posted by tustinrick at 7:21 PM on August 23, 2010


Puts a whole new spin on the phrase "rolling a joint".
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:50 PM on August 23, 2010


The only thing hemp can do is shut down the commuter bike path to downtown Seattle. Damn hippies, get a job!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:45 PM on August 23, 2010


So now you can set your car on fire to collect on insurance fraud - AND GET HIGH.

Uh, you guys know you can't get high from burning hemp right? That hemp is made from the fibrous parts of the plant that have no THC, the shit you don't smoke?
posted by Rhomboid at 12:13 AM on August 24, 2010


I was disappointed that the story was about a Canadian carmaker tand it wasn't about Malcolm Bricklin.
posted by Space Coyote at 1:42 AM on August 24, 2010


I'm really impressed by the versatility of hemp. I've seen it used as building materials, mattress stuffing and other things. It's just got an iffy reputation.

That said, I'm very curious how they manage to get the properties that a car hull needs out of hemp. I'd also like to know how much this is going to cost and whether there's a market for it, or if this is more of a gimmick.

Well, have to wait to autumn, I guess.
posted by Omnomnom at 3:43 AM on August 24, 2010


It does 0-60 in .. what's the big rush, eh?
posted by MuffinMan at 3:46 AM on August 24, 2010


The perfect gift for any musician.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:02 AM on August 24, 2010


Dude, Henry Ford was making cars out of hemp plastic 69 years ago. Somehow, instead of a renewable-resource based plastics industry, all we have to show is 7 decades of dumb pot jokes.
posted by Enron Hubbard at 5:40 AM on August 24, 2010


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