Here’s one way to get college students to go to class: assign them to build things with cannabis. Several Canadian companies are teaming up with polytechnic schools in Alberta, Quebec and Toronto to make an electric vehicles out of hemp. The cars will hold up to three passengers, reach 55 miles an hour and go for up to 100 miles without having to be recharged.

kestrel, evs, hemp, motive industries, tm4 electrodynamic systems, canada, project eve, sustainable designPhoto by Jason White

The car, dubbed the Kestrel, is part of Project EVE. Motive Industries, of Alberta, will manufacture the car body, and TM4 Electrodynamic Systems, of Quebec, will provide the electric motor for the cars.

The hemp design isn’t just intended to get free labor out of college students. Henry Ford actually built a car from hemp fiber. The material is similar to the carbon fiber commonly found in race cars (and bikes): it’s light but strong. However, hemp fiber is much more energy-efficient to produce than carbon fiber because it doesn’t require high heat or multiple chemical processes. Hemp beats out other plant fibers because it grows readily in Canada and doesn’t need much water or pesticide.

Oh, and there’s one other benefit: according to Nathan Armstrong of Motive Industries,: “It’s illegal to grow it in the U.S., so it actually gives Canada a bit of a market advantage.” The U.S. does allow the import of processed hemp.

But about that model name: Kestrel is eerily reminiscent of Edsel — and wouldn’t the Brownie be so much better anyway?

+ Project EVE

+ Motive Industries

Via CBC News