Ford and Jose Cuervo Want to Make Car Parts from Tequila Leftovers
Expended agave plants could make for some Earth-friendly plastic pieces.
Tequila and cars are two items you might not expect to hear in the same sentence outside of Tequila Patron ESM Racing, but that could soon change. Ford and tequila maker Jose Cuervo have come together to see if one byproduct of tequila manufacturing could find a use in creating eco-friendlier cars.
Ford and Jose Cuervo are partnering up to determine if a byproduct from the agave plant could be useful for creating bioplastics that could be used in cars. Currently, the companies are exploring the material for use in wiring harnesses, air conditioning systems, and vehicle storage areas. The companies stated the bioplastics are durable and have solid "aesthetic qualities." Ford believes if the two companies find the bioplastics effective for mass-market road cars, the substances could help lower vehicle weight—which would then lead to better fuel economy. And of course, the natural origins of the bioplastics mean they would be more environmentally-friendly than many of the alternatives currently being used.
So where does Jose Cuervo come in? Well, the tequila maker would provide Ford with the unused fiber materials left over after the seven-year process of growing and harvesting agave plants and extracting the juices to create the tasty, boozy treat. It's hardly the first sustainable venture the liquor company has embarked upon; Jose Cuervo also uses some of those fibers for agricultural compost, with other leftovers sent to local artisans who used the fibers to create agave paper and crafts.
Whether it's tequila leftovers turned into plastic, whiskey byproducts transformed into biofuel, or pig manure transmogrified into pavement, the future of the automotive industry seems filled with Earth-friendly recycled materials. Which is just fine by The Drive. We burn enough gas and rubber to warrant finding ways to give the planet a helping hand every chance we can.