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While most car companies are just trying hard to produce low-emissions vehicles, Volkswagen is looking to make even their factories green. Or is that blue!
VW calls all their efficient models BlueMotion, and is taking the same approach to their factories. Their “Think Blue Factory” is an initiative they have launched to make all their factories more environmentally friendly by 2018. By way of using less energy and creating fewer wastes, VW hopes to clean their factories by reducing the environmental impact by 25%.
Hubert Waltl, a member of the board of management at VW said; “Through the growing efficiency and productivity of our plants, the Volkswagen brand is already making a key contribution to the achievements of Group strategic targets for 2018. However, we are going a step further: by 2018, we intend to make production at all our plants 25 percent more environmentally compatible.”
VW’s plant in Chattanooga, TN. was the worlds first plant to receive the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification which means this factory meets the strictest of environmental standards. So say what you will about the new Passat, at least it is built in a modern, clean factory.
To make your green motoring even greener, Nissan and 4R Energy has teamed up to develop a new EV charging system, that makes use of solar power.
This system combines the solar power generator system with high-capacity lithium ion batteries to re-energize your car. Testing with this new system has begun today at Nissan’s HQ in Yokohama, Japan.
The system uses solar power to generate power, and it then stores the acquired energy in lithium ion battery packs. So when a Leaf wants to get charged up, it can take use of the stored energy in these battery packs. A quick charge will take 3-hours, while a normal charge requires an extra hour. Nissan believes this facility will be able to charge 1800 LEAF’s annually.
The added benefit of this set-up is having energy to charge your car with green energy, at anytime of day or even during bad weather.
Currently this is just a test project, but if successful will lead to more such stations for public and fleet services.
According to the Patent Board, General Motors is recognized as the top innovator among 182 companies, based on results from its quarterly released automotive and industry scorecard.
The board examines intellectual property performance spanning some 17 different industries and picks a leader in each one, based on categories such as the number of patents, influence and impact on the industry, along with science strength and technology.
The announcement comes on the heels of news that GM recently received more patents for clean energy technology last year than any other organization, based on findings from the Clean Energy Patent Growth Index. In fact, during the last decade, GM has increased the number of its patent filings six-fold.
According to Alan Taub, GM’s vice president of Research & Development, the increase in the number of patents is due to the fact that, “our engineers are developing advanced technologies that increase fuel efficiency and ensure safety while maintaining the excitement of personal mobility.”