Almost everyone is familiar with the rush to produce hybrid and electric cars. However, that’s not the only way that car companies are contributing to cleaning up our environment. There are a number of fascinating and exciting ways that auto manufacturers are using technology and common sense to develop a cleaner production process.
While solar powered cars are still a ways off in the future, auto manufacturers are using solar power to help provide energy for their assembly plants. For example, Ford utilizes a 500kW solar array near Wayne, Michigan to help assemble the Ford Focus automobile. Since plants of this size often require a tremendous amount of power, this action saves a considerable amount of resources and mitigates the resultant pollution by a substantial margin.
Smart Factory Construction
It is easy to see just how much of a cost that building a new plant can be, particularly in terms of materials and resources. Chrysler has taken the concept of recycling to a whole new level, while utilizing their recycling to exceed other plants, they use recycled rubber for their splash guards and utilize tire recycling ensure a green status. Chrysler has also attempted to help make their environmental impact smaller, recently received LEED Gold certification for the South Engine Plant in Kalamazoo. LEED is a building certification established the the U.S. Green Building Council. For this plant, it means that 47% of the materials used in the construction of this plant are recycled.
Honda has decided that fossil fuels are a thing of the past, and has begun developing a new type of hydrogen powered car that emits not carbon dioxide at all. While there are not currently enough refueling stations built to make these vehicles practical, solar powered hydrogen stations have begun to spring up, and there are plans for more in the future.
Many business people are undoubtedly familiar with LEAN. This is a systems improvement model that Toyota utilizes to reduce waste and increase productivity. It is often cited as the reason for Toyota’s success. Through the use of LEAN principles, Toyota has cut energy expenditures by 26% when considering the cost of vehicle production.
Co-generation is the process used to generate both heat and electricity simultaneously. Mercedes uses a combination of co-generation plants and environmentally friendly geothermal plants to power most their assemblies. The estimate is that these measures save approximately 21,000 MW of electricity each year.