The newly-announced BMW i3 - an electric compact car – will contain hemp parts, furthering bringing the industrial crop into the mainstream.
The new car – which made its world debut today, and will go on sell in November – will include a range of new features meant to revolutionize electric cars. Among the features that are new compared to most other electric vehicles, is the use of hemp fibers to line the inside of the door.
According to Benoit Jacob, the main designer of the i3 line (which will include a couple varying models), the use of hemp helps to make the vehicle feel like “a small loft on wheels”. He states that the change in styles compared to their other models was intended to encourage a more “economical driving style”.
According to congressional research released last month, the market for hemp consists of over 25,000 various products, from food items to textiles. Despite this hugely diverse market, and despite the fact that America imports nearly half a billion dollars in hemp annually, the U.S. retains the illegality of hemp cultivation.