In Sonoma County, many individuals practice ‘upcycling’ and repurposing of goods to reduce waste. Bruce Dietzen, from Key West Florida, would fit in just fine here as he’s take repurposing to a new level: he’s started a company that builds vehicles from cannabis hemp.
According to this article from ABC News local 10, Dietzen left his job selling computers to start his company, called Renew, to create cars out of hemp in order to create a vehicle that leaves less of a carbon footprint. He states that he was inspired by Henry Ford, who built a car partially made of hemp in 1941.
He built the first car on the chassis of a Mazda Miata, and explains the process, “We take hemp fabrics, woven hemp fabric and use it just like you would if you’re making a boat out of fiberglass cloth or what have you. But instead of fiberglass cloth, we actually used hemp cloth instead.”
“Just to give you an example of how strong it is, bam, bam, bam. It’s actually 10 times more dent-resistant than steel,” Dietzen said.
The Hemp used to build this car comes from cannabis, but it doesn’t have THC in it, which is what gets users high. Also, Dietzen himself has stated that he doesn’t smoke marijuana.
According to this article in the Miami Herald, what intrigued Dietzen was the flexibility of using cannabis-based hemp, and its strength. Nearly every piece of his car that could be made of hemp is, including the body, dash and rugs. Engine parts, the car frame, windshield switches and other mechanical and electrical parts are not. Dietzen states that manufacturing a car from cannabis, and fueling it with biofuels, could have huge carbon rewards.