Cannabis Electric Car to be Made in Canada

An electric car made of hemp is being developed by a group of Canadian companies in collaboration with an Alberta Crown corporation.

The Kestrel will be prototyped and tested later in August by Calgary-based Motive Industries Inc., a vehicle development firm focused on advanced materials and technologies, the company announced.

The compact car, which will hold a driver and up to three passengers, will have a top speed of 90 kilometres per hour and a range of 40 to 160 kilometres before needing to be recharged, depending on the type of battery, the company said in an email to CBC News Monday.

It will be powered by a motor made by Boucherville, Que.-based TM4 Electrodynamic Systems, said Motive Industries president Nathan Armstrong.

The car’s body will be made of an impact-resistant composite material produced from mats of hemp, a plant from the cannabis family. The material is being supplied by Alberta Innovates-Technology Futures, a provincial Crown corporation that provides technical services and funding to help commercialize new technologies. The hemp is being grown in Vegreville, Alta.

The Kestrel is one of five electric vehicles being developed by Project Eve, an automotive industry collaboration founded by Motive and Toronto Electric, an Ontario material handling and electric motor company, to boost the production of electric vehicles and electric vehicle components in Canada.

Colleges to help build cars

The Kestrel cars will be built with the help of polytechnic schools in Alberta, Quebec and Toronto, and the first 20 cars are scheduled to be delivered next year to EnMax, a Calgary-based energy distribution, supply and service company that is taking part in Project Eve.

Automotive pioneer Henry Ford first built a car made of hemp fibre and resin more than half a century ago.

“It’s not an original idea,” Armstrong said, but one that wasn’t developed much further as car manufacturers favoured other materials, such as steel, in subsequent decades.

However, fibreglass and carbon fibre-based composites have gained popularity as materials for the body of racecars because they are strong, but light. Such composite materials consist of pieces or fibres of a hard reinforcement material, such as glass or carbon fibre, surrounded and supported by a matrix of a material such as plastic.

Producing composites from glass or carbon fibre requires intense heating in furnaces and multiple chemical processes, Armstrong said, making it very energy intensive,

In contrast, plant-based fibres grow in a field using the energy of the sun.

“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.

Market advantage

“Plus, it’s illegal to grow it in the U.S., so it actually gives Canada a bit of a market advantage,” Armstrong added. The U.S. does allow the import of processed hemp.

ATlF had been working for some time on hemp-based composite materials with the hardness of glass and had been seeking a commercial use.

Motive Industries had joined forces with Toronto Electric, a material-handling and electric motor company, to found Project Eve and decided to give the material a try.

The car will take batteries with a capacity ranging from 4.5 to 17.3 kilowatt hours of energy.

The vehicle’s full design will be released after the September EV 2010 VÉ Conference and Trade Show in Vancouver.

– Article from CBC News.



  1. Anonymous on

    OK? So the USA can IMPORT the same fiber thats ILLEGAL to grow? ? And the same will be with the cars? Americans TRULY are not the smartest, and have NO common sense. Its embarassing. This country doesnt make ANY sense. Our government and president have no thinking abilities. HEMP = $$$$$. so does legaliztion of marijuana!!! And we are in the biggest DEBT EVER in HISTORY! And arresting people just spends more money thats WE DONT HAVE. If you can make vehicles from a HEMP PLANT and its fibers are stronger then steel or any metal…THEN DO IT! Theirs videos of henry ford HITTING his hemp made car WITH A AXE and it never left a mark!!! I dont know, This countries more about controling people and running their lives then it is to live a peaceful life and relax. The government and president tries parenting EVERYBODY here , including our parents. By telling them what they should ”tell” their kids about drugs and blahhhhhhhhhhhh blahhhhhhhhhhhhhh blahhhhhhhhhhhh. LEGALIZE IT! Dont be stupid. MARIJUANA and HEMP! JUST DO IT!

  2. Anonymous on

    Why not integrate solar panels to charge it as you drive, here in sunny California, we could put the sun to work, as long as you drive in daylight you would have a fully charged car, I think this is a great move forward and hopefully the price is not very high, the price would be the only obstacle, that and the oil companies, and our government that wants us addicted to big oil, and the arabs.

  3. Anonymous on

    the car’s specifications sound about right for what I need, I’m just wondering how long it will take to charge it, I am very happy this is finally going to happen, kudos to the pioneering Canadians, I hope the price is not so high, I am going to love driving on hemp fiber all natural.

  4. The BallYHoo on

    You are incorrect. Henry Ford first thought of, and made a hemp/plastic car in the 1920’s. long before Cheech & Chong joked about it……


  5. toxicc on

    The first car to get to the speed of 100km/h was an electric car.

  6. Anonymous on

    cheech and chong thought of it first. car made of bud

  7. Adam on

    …let’s hope these cars get sold to the buyers, and not just leased, seized, and crushed in the desert like the last round of electric cars.

  8. Anonymous on

    Thats not a fair range, how the F you supposed to get anywhere with a 40 km distance maximum, like if you assume you got 80 km because 160 is possible, if it breaks down half way at 40 km, your F$&k$& stranded and $300 for tow. Because a tow truck won’t sit there and charge you up for 4 -16 hrs? If it gets a function like this too chrge a car in a few minutes (not a boost), it will also cost $300, $600 for an unknown distance? How long to recharge? No highway speed, good luck. Make some scooters and electric wheelchairs as well from hemp. USA won’t accept these. Sorry Canadians, it sounds nice, but how the F you gonna survive on the 401 with a minimum of 40 km distance and at 90 km speed, you can’t, you will be run off the road, it takes that much power like 40 km worth to make it through 2 km of our traffic most of the time.
    A good start, but could you make hemp fuel to tie us over until 140 km per hr is not the flow of traffic’s most common speed. This car will have to stay in the bike lane. I wish it was up to PAR, but will this thing be $50000, or $10000 new? Henry Ford, helped throw hemp out of acceptable social standards and industrial use eh, you are part of the reefer madness cause, now you need it because Ford is always on the verge of shutting down. It better be cheaper, because if it can’t handle highway speed, its a wheelchair! Medical insult! BUt hey, in the city for your food, etc. is OK. Too bad you can’t leave town.

  9. MOTFA on

    i’ll only be interested if it can go highway speed and the battery get’s about 100km out of a charge.
    The question i keep having about these pure electric vehicles is that i want to know exactly how much power will cost to recharge the battery per month if you use the car for errands and to go to work every day.

    time will tell i suppose.

  10. David762 on

    and only 70+ years after Henry Ford’s hemp auto got sidelined by Prohibition 2.0. It certainly puts new meaning to the term “home grown” industry. I wonder if the DEA & Obama administration will allow importation into the USA.