Move over fuel-efficient engines: It's time to welcome fungus to the green vehicle movement. Ford Motor Company and Evocative Design of Green Island, N.Y. are developing mushroom-based auto parts to buildÂ environmentally friendlyÂ vehicles.
Together the companies are concocting a stew of mushroom roots (mycelium), oat husks and corn to create biodegradable foam used to make dashboards, bumpers and side doors, according to CNNMoney.
Scientist and Evocative co-founder Gavin McIntyre claims the car parts are waterproof, fireproof and able to be composted. The parts are designed to biodegrade after one month of burial under soil.
QuestioningÂ Mushroom Strength
Although the ecofriendly auto parts are cooked and dried before use on a green vehicle, just how strong are the mushroom-based auto parts? And will the cars have any sort of residual food odor?
All joking aside, true environmentalists may question the procedures to create biodegradable automotive parts. Does the processing of these products create more air pollution and factory waste than possible future gains?
Taking an ecofriendly approach isn't new to the Ford Motor Company. It already uses soy-based foam cushions for seating and is currently researching uses for other natural products such as wheat straw and algae to build green vehicles.