Ford's Nanjing Research and Engineering Centre in China is exploring ways to combine bamboo with resins to create car parts that rival carbon fibre for strength.
“Bamboo is amazing,” said Janet Yin, a materials engineering supervisor at the Nanjing centre. “It’s strong, flexible, totally renewable and plentiful in China and many other parts of Asia.”
Unlike most wood products, bamboo grows by as much as a metre in a single day. Tests show bamboo is stronger than many current man-made and natural fibres, and tests well in heat up to the boiling point of water.
There is no word yet on when pandas might like to chomp down on your Ford.