While a car dealership going solar isn’t new; one that incorporates energy storage is.
Kia Motors South Africa will be opening its first eco-friendly solar powered dealership this month.
Sporting 288 roof-mounted solar panels with a collective 69kW capacity, the solar array will incorporate three deep cycle battery banks to serve as a back-up system. The battery banks will store enough energy to power the entire dealership for 12 hours.
The dealership also has a focus on energy efficiency. Standard high base 400 watt lamps have replaced with 4 x 54 watt lamps. Sensors have been installed in most areas of the building that will switch off lights automatically after a few minutes if no movement is detected.
The rooftop won’t just be harvesting energy from the sun, but rain water as well. The water will be used for the car wash and after use, will be pumped back into a water filtration system to separate water from oil, soap and solid contaminants. It will be pumped back into tanks to be re-used in the car wash bay.
“The Kia brand has shifted to the next level. Not only do we offer consumers a competitive value proposition with our re-designed and re-engineered products, but ventures like our brand new solar powered dealership have given us the platform to become leaders in the industry,” says David Sieff, National Marketing Manager of Kia Motors South Africa.
According to Kia’s 2012 Sustainability Report, the company is making progress to curb carbon emissions in the automotive manufacturing process. It says in 2011,
“our domestic worksites generated 797,000 t of CO2 emissions, which marks a 16 kg per-unit reduction (615 kg → 599 kg) from 2010.” The Report outlines a series of other initiatives Kia has in place to reduce the environmental impact in the manufacture and use of its vehicles.
Part of the Hyundai group, Last year Kia Motors entered the ranks of the world’s top 100 global brands according to Interbrand’s Top 100 Best Global Brands list. The brand has a vision to “bring a new perspective to automobiles through innovative mobility solutions based on human-centric, eco-friendly technologies and services.”