Published On: Fri, Jun 13th, 2014

Pass The Sauce: How Ford’s Future Cars Might Be Made From Tomatoes!

Car manufacturers are on a mission. Their mission is to build the most efficient, stylish and environmentally-friendly cars for the least amount of cost that appeal to the masses. That is obviously a pretty tall order for any carmaker to comprehend, yet it’s something that most have no problem fulfilling .

TomatoesWith stricter emissions laws being imposed by many nations around the world, car manufacturers have to find new ways to make their vehicles pollute the environment much less than their predecessors..

Tomatoes aren’t something you would normally associate with cars, except maybe for the colour.

But did you know that these delicious fruits, eaten by virtually everyone on the planet, could be used to make the next generation of vehicles in the future? An exciting collaboration between American car manufacturer Ford and tomato sauce maker Heinz could see this become reality in the near future.

And no, this isn’t an April Fool’s joke, in case you were wondering!

The problem

As you may know, cars are built using a lot of raw materials and natural resources. All cars utilise many forms of plastic both in and around them, and plastic is a synthetic – or semi-synthetic – material that is mostly derived from petrochemicals, i.e. oil.

Oil is obviously a finite natural resource that is produced from the decay of plant and organic matter over millions of years, and we as humans obviously use quite a lot of oil in our daily lives.

Aside from the depleting oil resources around the world, oil is particularly toxic when burnt and is clearly a big problem for the environment.

With increasing pressure to lower our carbon footprint in general, and to stop that hole in the ozone layer from getting bigger, governments and key figureheads around the world are constantly trying to find ways of reducing the things we do that can harm the environment.

The solution

According to Mitch from the GK Group, Ford have teamed up with Heinz and other well-known companies to come up with a way that plastic can be made from less-toxic natural resources.

I would love to say that someone at Ford HQ in Dearborn, Michigan, came up with the idea whilst eating a sandwich one day, but I can only speculate!

Around a couple of years ago, Ford began working with Heinz to come up with a way that plastic could be made from 100% plant-based matter – tomatoes. With Heinz looking at ways to recycle tomato by-products, such as tomato peels, stems and seeds, and Ford looking to make their cars more eco-friendly, the idea for working together was perfect.

Although the project is still in its infancy, the two global leaders are convinced that they can come up with a solution to rely less on toxic sources for the components in its cars and more on renewable, natural resources that aren’t harmful to the environment.

The cost savings for both companies would be immense once they figure things out, ultimately resulting in cheaper cars – and cheaper tomato sauce.