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Jay Leno Buys Hemp Car that Runs on Waste



photo by Alan Light

Former Dell executive Bruce Michael Dietzen sold a 2017 Renew, which is woven from hemp, to Jay Leno on Wednesday’s episode of Jay Leno’s Garage on CNBC Prime. Leno bought the car because of his concern for the environment, and the multiple eco-friendly properties of the car.

The 2017 Renew is fashioned from three layers of woven hemp that is reportedly 10 times more dent-resistant than steel. The total hemp panels only weigh about 100 pounds. Renew Sports Cars’ latest models are based off the chassis of a Mazda with a few tweaks. It’s curvy like the sexy contour of a Miata or a Porsche, but the main selling point is its carbon-neutral emissions. The 2017 Renew doesn’t even run on gasoline—it runs on bio-fuel that is made from recycled agricultural waste.

The average car produces around 4.7 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the air per year, theoretically contributing to global warming. But Renew Sports Cars hope to curb our obsession with toxic gasoline and diesel-based fuels. The Miami Herald reported that Deitzen is working with Colorado-based Cool Planet to create a more sustainable fuel.

Leno admitted that not everyone will approve of his purchase, because it is made out of a variety of cannabis. “It’s kind of a double edged sword” Leno said on the show. “The marijuana connection garners the interest, but then people don’t take you seriously.” Dietzen nodded cautiously, telling Leno, “You could smoke all the hemp you could want, and you won’t get high.”

The crown for building the first hemp car actually belongs to Henry Ford, who manufactured America’s first hemp car in 1941. Ford’s car also ran on hemp fuel.

Renew Sports Car’s customer “Signature Series” features three models. The Canna 225 weighs a scant 2,500 pounds, the Canna 525 weighs 2,800 pounds and the Canna EV runs on electricity. You can have your own 2017 Renew beginning at $40,000.

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