TodayApril 16, 2022

From gas to beans in a Ford Mustang on Driving the Nation

Deborah “Debbie” Mielewski is a female engineer at Ford that has created some really crappy ideas, crappy ideas that took up time and money inside of Ford Motor Company. It was some silly green sustainable materials project that created seats from soy bean. Ford could have used that money on other projects, but every time it came time to pull the plug on the project there was a message from high that said to keep it going. And Deborah Mielewski and her group did that and the call finally came. The crappy idea was no longer a crappy idea and the soy bean seats were put into a Ford Mustang car, a performance car that would throw you back into your seat.

At an event for Women’s World Car of the Year (WWCOTY) Mielewski and her group showed us some of the materials they were working on now, which included mushrooms, dandelion root, wheat, soy, cigarette butts, jeans, tomato skins, hemp and corn. Wheat straw was added to plastics material in the 2010 Ford Flex. Ford does not grow their own car parts, or soy beans. Mielewski said that soy foam has been used in every Ford cushion since 2008 and in the video tells who was responsible for keeping the ideas alive and how much petroleum they have not used since they started using beans.

People who don’t think it will work should stay out of the way of people working on it.

Congratulations on your crappy idea.

Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.