DO you remember the old police Ford Escort panda cars?
Well now cars could be made out of panda food. Yep. Honestly.
The next generation of eco-friendly motors are set be made out of BAMBOO.
Ford say that bamboo is one of the world’s strongest natural materials.
Soon, some surfaces inside our vehicles could be made from a combination of bamboo and plastic to create super hard material.
Janet Yin, a materials engineering supervisor at Ford’s Nanjing Research & Engineering Centre, admits: “Bamboo is amazing. It’s strong, flexible, totally renewable, and plentiful in China and many other parts of Asia.”
Apparently Thomas Edison even experimented with using bamboo when making the first light bulb over a century ago.
Well clearly someone at Ford have now had their own light bulb moment.
In building, its tensile strength (or how much it can resist being pulled apart) is well known, as it can rival or even better some types of metal.
And, because it grows to full maturity in just two to five years – compared to up to decades for other trees – bamboo also regenerates easily.
Over the past several years, Ford worked with suppliers to evaluate the viability of using bamboo in vehicle interiors and to make extra strong parts by combining it with plastic.
The team has found that bamboo performs comprehensively better than other tested synthetic and natural fibres in a range of materials tests, from tensile strength tests to impact strength tests.
It’s also been heated to more than 212 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure it can maintain its integrity.
The big question is will Ford bring out a real panda car made out of bamboo?
Or will we see other car firms gatecrash the new material, a Bambooghini perhaps?