The Model T and Ford’s Hemp Car
In 1904, Henry Ford founded the Ford Motor Company and, by October 1908, he released the Model T, revolutionizing the automotive industry forever.
While the story of Ford’s rise to success with the Model T has been popularized throughout American culture, one of his most revolutionary accomplishments was kept in the dark.
In 1941, shortly after launching the first Ford V8, Henry Ford constructed a vehicle that was made almost entirely of hemp plastic and was even designed to run on hemp-oil fuel.
After witnessing the impact of mass producing automobiles first hand, Ford realized the negative impact it could have on the environment long term and feared the harsh realities of metal scarcity America would eventually face.
As a farmer, Ford understood the unique potential offered by Hemp and believed that a shift towards plant-based vehicles could avoid both of these problems.
Why Ford’s Hemp Car Never Reached Production
It was a perfect solution, however, there were many companies that had gained huge amounts of wealth and power with the boom of the automotive industry who didn’t view this the same way.
Unfortunately, they were able to undermine Ford’s project and his hemp car never reached mass production.
As Ford’s fears of the automotive industry’s negative impact on the environment are now becoming a reality, it appears his prediction has come true.
While mass-producing Ford’s hemp-based vehicle could have helped us avoid many of the environmental issues we face today, it’s never too late to shift in the right direction.
Ford’s vision for a sustainable vehicle is more important now more than ever.