Earlier this month, Ford announced a partnership with Heinz to potentially use leftover tomato fibers to create a bio-plastic that could be used to make wiring brackets and storage components for their vehicles. That’s right, plant-built cars could be coming to a highway near you.
So here’s the deal: Heinz uses two million tons of tomatoes each year to produce that hot-dog, hamburger and French-fry perfect condiment that we all know and love. BUT! They only use the guts of the tomatoes leaving all those skins to go to waste. When Ford heard this? LIGHTBULB! Tomato skins = less reliance on oil = a happier planet.
For over the past two years, the car manufacturer has been working with big boys like Proctor and Gamble, Nike and Coca-Cola to figure out other plant-based hacks they could incorporate into your auto. So far, they’ve come up with a handful, including rice-hull brackets and soy-foam-filled seats.
By now you’re probably thinking, “Hey, this technology isn’t new. I just drank a margarita out of a soy-based cup last night and then ate a piece of chocolate cake with a corn-fashioned fork.” True story. You probably did, but what Ford is trying to do is to move away from petroleum-based materials and go 100% plant based… and let’s be real, a vehicle carrying your life is not the same as a cup carrying your cocktails.
You won’t be able to pick replacement parts from your gardens any time soon, but we have to wonder… if 3D-printed food already exists, maybe someday soon DIYing tomato-based auto parts isn’t totally out of the question.
How would you feel about driving a car with plant-based parts? Let us know in the comments below!