Electric cars are already being heralded as a key way to benefit the environment, but their manufacture is still largely a process which is dependent on fossil fuels, which creates waste and also leads to greenhouse gas emissions. However, Nissan is one manufacturer that is working to improve things with a new renewable energy installation at its plant in Sunderland.
The car-manufacturing giant has just installed a new solar energy farm which will be able to produce up to 11.25 MW of clean energy thanks to its array of 19,000 solar PV panels.
The Sunderland site is the biggest manufacturing plant owned by the brand in Europe, and it is also home to a large testing track for new vehicles. This is where the solar energy farm now sits, and it will complement an existing wind energy installation at the site which has ten turbines already in place and working.
As a result, renewable energy will now generate 11.25 MW of energy, representing around 7pc of what the factory uses in total. The company says that this will equate to the manufacture of over 31,000 cars annually.
A spokesman for the company said that green energy was a fundamental part of Nissan's strategy to apply 'intelligent mobility', adding that the solar and wind farm combined would greatly cut Nissan's environmental impact during the life cycle of each car.
The Japanese firm has already shown a demonstrable commitment to lessening its reliance on fossil fuels. It has released the Leaf car - an eco-friendly electric model - and begun to use energy storage at a domestic level using recycled batteries. This project allows Leaf car owners to benefit from cheaper power off-peak when they charge their cars and then return it to the national grid at peak hours.