Toyota set to unveil 'world's first' net zero energy automotive dealership
Motor giant Toyota is "on schedule" to unveil the world's first certified net-zero energy automotive dealership, after striking a deal with the architects of the building to collect data to ensure that the facility is producing more energy than it uses.
Toyota of Corvallis Dealership in Oregon will be surveyed over the next 14 months by architects Gensler to discover whether the building was built to adhere to LEED Platinum standards recognised by the US Green Building Council.
“Toyota is focused on being a leader in environmental sustainment through our development of hybrid and fuel cell technologies, the creation of energy efficient facilities and our commitment to support philanthropic organisations that address environmental issues,” Toyota’s regional manager Steve Haag said. “We applaud Toyota of Corvallis for setting a positive example and creating a first-of-its-kind template for the auto dealership of the future.”
The Toyota of Corvallis will generate around 300,000kWh of renewable electricity annually through solar photovoltaics, and also return unused energy back to a local power grid. Water harvesting for landscape irrigation, radiant floor heating and geothermal heating and cooling are also utilised throughout the facility to produce more energy than it consumes.
Having received LEED Gold certification at a dealership in Rockwall, Texas in 2008, Toyota hopes that the Oregon-based dealership will go one step further and act as the world’s first LEED Platinum certified dealership which offsets excess on-site energy to local communities.
"As a design firm committed to constantly raising the bar and leading the charge on the future of sustainable design projects, we are very proud of this project,” Gensler’s project manager Rick Ferrara said. “Not only is Toyota of Corvallis setting a new standard for Toyota, they are leading the industry in a completely new direction."
The Japanese company has also used its fuel cell technology to create a static array to power its Honsha Plant in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. Using fuel cells with an output of 3.5kW – and similar to the ones found in the Toyota Mirai – Toyota claims that this marks the first time that fuel cells have been operational in a commercial environment.
Toyota’s energy reduction efforts move beyond its facilities. Not only has the company pledged to cut average carbon emissions from all of its vehicles and products by more than 90% by 2050, but it was also ranked first in the inaugural Carbon Clean 200 rankings - which lists the world's largest publicly listed companies by revenue generated from clean energy products.
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