Following news that the Toyota is adding solar panels to its next Prius line, Lotus has announced it has taken an altogether different approach to green cars. Rather than concentrating on emissions and the such, they have fine tuned numerous aspects of the assembly line and production line as well as the materials used in the manufacturing process to create the hemp based Eco Elise.
The carbon footprint is reduced by using locally sourced material (I never knew Lotus had a factory in Amsterdam but there you go) and they have used water based paint and a hemp resin on the exterior of the car. The interior is made from eco wool and sisal.
Perhaps the most annoying aspect for drivers, though, is the Bono type dash display. It informs you when you need to change gear and generally gives you tips on how to drive in such a way that you will, like a Thundercat, assist in the saving of the earth.
It’s hard to imagine that the Elise, essentially the world’s fastest go-kart, could have ever belched that much nasty smog into the atmosphere anyway. Granted it fells like you’re going marginally slower than the speed of sound but it weighs less than the front wing of a 1:43 RC F1 car.
However, as is the trend, Lotus must be applauded for their efforts and the by-product spewed forth from the exhaust of a hemp based car may not be any better to that of any other car, but those sat behind just won’t care.