Ford goes vegan in auto parts eco quest image

The No.2 US automaker is seeking to further stir the automotive industry – after changing from steel to aluminum in its best-selling F-150 pickup.

If many detractors complained the change is too steep, we wonder what would they say now, as the carmaker has revealed that its quest for more environmental friendly auto parts has led to an improbable option – the well known tomato.

Ford has just announced that in order to research the use of tomato fibers in the auto industry, it’s partnering with Heinz, the known ketchup maker that belongs to billionaire investor Warren Buffett’s holding company Berkshire Hathaway and investment firm 3G Capital.

“We’re trying to make use of a by-product … and get some renewable and recycled content into our vehicles, while at the same time reducing the weight,” says Ellen Lee, a research specialist at Ford Plastics.

The carmaker has begun trial tests on dried tomato skins, which is the waste product coming from the manufacturing process of the famous red sauce, making them a part of the wiring brackets or coin holders. The use of plant-based plastics could potentially offset in the future the environmental impact of the use of petroleum-based materials in the automotive industry and car parts production.

Via Reuters