Volkswagen Chattanooga production plant

Auto Manufacturers Aim to Produce Vehicles at Sustainable Facilities

Volkswagen Chattanooga production plant
Volkswagen’s Chattanooga, Tenn., production facility

Major automakers are improving their production factories, with waste reduction plans, solar power and energy use reduction plans in order to enhance the sustainability reputation of their electric vehicle production lines, Green Car Reports said.

Among them, Honda is developing a test track facility will contain 70,000 solar panels, powering facilities for its car development, and selling it excess renewable energy. Subaru’s plant in Lafayette, Indiana, instituted a zero-landfill, 100-percent recycling policy, Green Car Reports said.

Earlier this year, Volkswagen opened a solar park on 33 acres adjacent to its LEED Platinum manufacturing plant in Chattanooga, Tenn. The 9.5 MW solar park contains 33,600 solar modules from JA Solar designed to produce 13.1 gigawatt hours of electricity per year.

Volkswagen will model their future production facilities on the Chattanooga plant with plans to become a 10 million-unit car company by 2018. Production will expand with four factories under construction in China and an Audi facility in Mexico, Wards Auto writes.

Smaller companies such as Tesla Motors and Elio motors have occupied older factories rather than building entirely new facilities, Green Car Reports said.

In terms of clean energy research and development, Toyota had the most clean energy patents in a year, 207 patents in 2012, taking the lead position from GE. Toyota received the highest number of clean energy patents in every quarter of 2012. Honda continues to lead in overall clean energy patents granted since 2002, and registered 87 patents in 2012.

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