Toyota i-Unit concept car

Rendering of the Toyota i-Unit concept car in high speed mode

Full of revolutionary technology, this i-Unit concept car, designed in Japan, uses plant-based materials instead of oil-based plastics and metals. Tough kenaf plant fibres are held together by lignin, a natural polymer found in wood.

The car industry has been one of the biggest users of plant-based plastics. As well as using plastics made from plants, car designers are employing plant fibres to strengthen plastic, replacing conventional carbon fibre or glass reinforcement.

Plastics reinforced with plant fibres are much lighter than traditional composites, so the cars are much more energy efficient to drive.

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