When you think of the term “eco-friendly cars” you no doubt think about hybrid or electric cars. But did you know that there are a myriad of other eco-friendly cars that are neither electric nor hybrid models? These unusual cars are made out of a plethora of unique materials that are both costly and rare, but will most definitely make you the talk of the town if you were ever to get your hands on one. Read on to learn more about some rare and unusual eco-friendly cars that are slowly infiltrating the green car market.
Cotton – Cars made of cotton were supposedly the first eco-friendly cars ever created. Invented in East Germany during Communist times by Wolfgang Barthel, when access to steel was costly and difficult to come by, the Sachsenring Trabant or “Trabi” was created. According to AutoMotto.com, the Trabi had a two-stroke engine with only five moving parts and was constructed of cotton that was molded at 107°C. Eventually these cotton cars faded from the car market; however, they still hold the record for being the first green car ever built.
Food – There is a racecar made by the Warwick Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre that uses chocolate as fuel, potatoes for the vehicle’s body and carrots as the steering wheel. It has been named “The WorldFirst F3 Race Car” and is considered invaluable, according to MissMacherie.com.
Hemp – Motive Industries has created one of the first production-ready hemp cars: the Kestrel. According to Nathan Armstrong, the president of Motive Industries, the Kestrel is made of a “hemp composite as strong as the fiberglass in boats, yet incredibly lightweight.” AutoGuide.com says that the hemp-stalk based car will have a $25,000 price tag and will have a 25 to 30 percent increase in fuel efficiency.
Rattan and bamboo – Made by Filipino furniture designer Kenneth Cobonpue, this sleek, almost patio furniture-like vehicle was made in a mere 10 days to “to show people that [our] design aesthetic goes beyond furniture, that as Asians we can extend even to designing transportation.” The concept was to create an eco-friendly car body that could be easily replaced every few years instead of replacing the entire vehicle.
Washi paper and bamboo – According to MissMacherie.com, a metal working company in Japan has created a vehicle made out of bamboo and washi paper. The car runs on a lithium ion battery, and at $10,000 it was designed to become an eco-friendly and inexpensive alternative to the taxi in Japan.
White gold – Owned by an Abu Dhabi billionaire, this $2.5 million car is the picture of high-end luxury. Designed by Mercedes, this rare, customized sports car runs on bio fuel and can go from zero to 100 km/hour in less than two seconds. And we’re not talking gold paint: This over-the-top car is made with gold alloy sheet metal, as reported by Maurice Picow of GreenProphet.com.
Unique, eco-friendly cars like these are often not for the price-conscious or the budget-minded. They also aren’t easily insured by a typical insurance company. Unlike automobile insurance for a typical car, insurers consider these cars extremely risky to insure, as any ding or dent could cost thousands of dollars to repair, not to mention sky-high replacement costs. However, if you’re looking for insurance for your standard four-door or family car that’s not made out of gold or any other precious metals, you can find reasonable and affordable car insurance quotes online whenever you need it.