BMW, one of the largest car manufactures in the world, is utilizing industrial hemp based biocomposites in their “i3” electric car. By lowering the weight of the BMW i3, engineers of the vehicle have increased the distance that the electric car can travel. The BMW i3 is said to be made from 95% recyclable materials.
Hemp can be used for a variety of industrial applications but, one of the most exciting and rapidly expanding is the use of hemp fibers as a reinforcement in bio-composites. Plant materials such as soy, canola, or corn can be mixed with hemp to achieve a 100% biocomposite but, German car companies like Mercedes Audi, and BMW choose to blend plant based materials with thermoplastics to achieve superior composites that can hold any shape and a resulting material that is 2-3 times stronger than steel.
Hemp bio-composites can be modeled into almost any shape to create a variety of different products that include interior substrates, furniture, surfboards, kitchen counters, flooring for houses and a number of other finished goods.