In the last few years, the innovations and developments in the automobile industry have been quite impressive. Cars are more fuel efficient, sustainable and environmentally friendly than ever. Ford's latest venture into the realm of fuel efficiency and sustainability is an awesome example. Last week, the automaker announced it would be creating parts of the upcoming Escape SUV interior with a tropical flower.
The kenaf plant is a member of the Hibiscus family and is native to tropical regions of southern Asia. Although Ford won't be creating its interiors from the flower itself, kenaf flowers grow on long bamboo-like stalks that can be converted into a variety of materials such as rope or paper. For the upcoming Escape SUV, Ford will be using the kenaf plant to create door bolsters.
The bolsters will be created from a mixture of 50% kenaf and 50% polypropylene, resulting in an environmentally friendly product that is also 25 percent lighter. By integrating kenaf plants into its interiors, Ford estimates the plant will offset 300,000 pounds of oil-based resins in just one year. In addition to using kenaf in its door bolsters, Ford will also be using soy gaskets and seals along with recycled plastic seat covers for an 85 percent recyclable Ford Escape. For more information on the 2013 Ford Escape due this spring, head on over to Ford's website.