COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL HEMP
Another potential use for industrial hemp fibre is in selected automobile parts. Vehicle headlining, rear window shelving, interior door panels, matting under carpets, air bag parts, and trunk liners are examples of automobile parts that can be manufactured using industrial hemp. Industrial hemp fibre already has been used in trunk liners and press-moulded air bag parts in several models of BMW cars (Nova Institute, 1997).
North America, KENEX, Inc. has developed prototype moulded automobile parts
(Laprise, 1998). Used transit buses are currently being retrofitted in
Florida with moulded hemp parts for use in Orlando, Florida, and potentially
other cities (Zeller International, 1998). Using industrial hemp may appeal
to automobile manufacturers because industrial hemp parts are lighter and
more recyclable than the parts they replace, and are fire resistant in
crash situations (nova Institute, 1997).
While it was not possible to determine the exact relative price of automobile parts made from industrial hemp versus parts made from existing materials, the use of industrial hemp in automobile parts in Germany provides some evidence that the parts made from industrial hemp fibre can be cost competitive.