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Advanced bio composites used in Canadian electric car interiors
Source:Source: CPRJ Editorial Team    Editor:(JEN)    Date:14.Jul.2011
On July 5, Motive Industries Inc, a Canada-based automobile design and engineering company which developed Canada's first bio composite bodied electric car Kestrel, unveiled the car's interior design, which also features advanced bio composites.

Kestrel is a three-door four-passenger electric vehicle. Motive President Nathan Armstrong said the bio composite material derived from hemp and flax fiber will be used to create the headliner, door panels, door trim, floor tub and center tunnel, instrument panel and the center console panel.

"Everything except the dashboard and steering wheel, which will require areas made from urethane for compliance with safety standards," Darren McKeage, Designer of the Kestrel added. "The bio composite material adds a unique look and feel to the interior, it can be left raw, so the natural fibers are visible, covered in vinyl paint film, or wrapped in fabric to provide the purchase additional customization."

The advantages of using bio composites over traditional materials include: the production of bio composite material is less energy intensive, reduced weight and cost, and ability to produce the material within Canada.

The bio composite material is made from hemp mats produced by Alberta Innovates Technology Futures (AITF) in Edmonton Alberta from hemp stock grown in Vegreville, Alberta, Canada.

The goal is to achieve the same mechanical properties as glass composites while achieving a reduction in weight. According to Dr John Wolodko at AITF, bio composites are becoming more popular due to their low cost and weight. "Natural materials such as hemp can offer a green and sustainable alternative to conventional fibers used in composites," he said.
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