Ford Motor Company
The companies are exploring ways to use the agave plant “to develop more sustainable bioplastics to employ in Ford vehicles,” according to a release. They are testing the bioplastic for use in interior and exterior vehicle components, including wiring harnesses, HVAC units, and storage bins.
If successful, the sustainable composite could reduce vehicle weight, thus lowering energy consumption and improving fuel economy, as well as alleviating the use of petrochemicals.
“At Ford, we aim to reduce our impact on the environment,” said Debbie Mielewski, Ford senior technical leader, sustainability research department. “As a leader in the sustainability space, we are developing new technologies to efficiently employ discarded materials and fibers, while potentially reducing the use of petrochemicals and light-weighting our vehicles for desired fuel economy.”
The use of sustainable materials is nothing new to Ford. The company currently uses eight sustainable-based materials in its vehicles: soy foam, castor oil, wheat straw, kenaf fiber, cellulose, wood, coconut fiber, and rice hulls.
Agave plants are grown for seven to 10 years, and once harvested, the heart of the plant is roasted, grinded, and the juices are extracted for distillation. A portion of the remaining agave fibers are used as compost at Jose Cuervo’s farms.
“Jose Cuervo is proud to be working with Ford to further develop our agave sustainability plan,” said Sonia Espinola, director of heritage for Cuervo Foundation and master tequilera. “As the world’s No. 1-selling tequila, we could never have imagined the hundreds of agave plants we were cultivating as a small family business would eventually multiply to millions. This collaboration brings two great companies together to develop innovative, earth-conscious materials.”
Check out our guide to infusing tequila.