M a r k e t N e w s

Automobiles going green and conversing

Posted on : Monday, 5th December 2016

 In 2013 we trundled along to Hillfox in Johannesburg to attend the opening of a new Kia dealership. Hardly big news you might think, but while car makers were already scrambling around coming up with green technology ideas for their cars, some manufacturers were giving thought to greening their dealerships.

Kia's Hillfox facility was the first for the Korean brand in SA to be powered by solar energy. It recycled its water and collected rain water, ensuring that it had sufficient H²O for the showroom and the car washes.

It opened ahead of a very difficult winter for South Africans as load shedding hit hard, but with the Hillfox facility off the grid, there were no issues.

The following year, in 2014, Action Ford in Krugersdorp was the first local Ford dealership to adopt the company's Greenfield policies. Designed to be more energy efficient rather than actually being off the grid, the facility included an indirect counterflow evaporative cooling system. Yes, we did not know what that was either, but basically it pulls in air from outside the facility and cools it using evaporating water, reducing the level of humidity inside the dealership.

The designers of the system claim it reduces energy bills by 80%-90% compared with a traditional climate control system, although whether the current water shortage affects it we are not sure.

Since then other dealerships from various manufacturers have followed suit.

The latest we have been made aware of is owned by Halfway Toyota and is situated in George in the Western Cape. It features solar power, rain water collection and water recycling, and the company says it is able to operate off the grid. There are 300 solar panels on the roof connected to inverters that can supply 75kW of power during the day.

Then there is a 1,000l solar water heating system that provides hot water to the entire dealership. In addition, there is water collection and recycling for the garden irrigation system and the wash bays. The latter includes a car wash that can recycle 90% of water used.

Whether because of environmental concerns or in a bid to reduce costs in the long term, it is clear that many companies are looking at greener solutions in the automotive space - and that can only be a good thing.

Source : http://www.bizcommunity.com/
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