For decades, automakers have been finding ways to make their cars greener not only in terms of emissions and economy, but also in the way they build them. Ford has come up with a new way to make parts, and they've collaborated with McDonalds to help them out.
Yes, that McDonald's. So, how does this work out?
See, McDonald's throws out millions of kilograms worth of coffee chaff (or grounds), which is the dry skin of the bean. Instead of throwing it out, McDonald's will be providing Ford with the chaffs and they will make parts out of that.
Ford will be mixing the chaffs with plastic then melt it down, mold it, then install the parts on the car. That way, Ford uses less plastic materials and, at the same time, do their part in recycling and reducing waste. Ford even claims that the coffee-plastic material is actually more durable and heat resistant than conventional plastic moldings. It's also lighter too, which helps keep the cars from ballooning to heavy curb weights.
So what parts will be infused with these coffee grounds? The American automaker says they will use these for headlight housings, select interior panels, and even some under the hood components such as the box for the air filter. Making parts out of coffee grounds also helps Ford save on power bills, as they claim it takes 25 percent less energy to make these parts as well.
While the idea of making car parts out of coffee leaves some scratching their heads, it's actually a sound idea. There's less waste being dumped around and it lessens the dependency on plastic in the automotive sector. It will be interesting what other materials automakers will use to make their cars greener to build.