In order to decrease their carbon footprint and to raise the public awareness that they’re actually doing something for the environment besides producing electric cars, Renault has decided to install a 60 MW solar array on its centers in several locations from France.
Because electric cars are 80 percent efficient (unlike gasoline cars – 20 to 25%), they produce 70 to 90 percent less greenhouse gases, in a dust-to-dust analysis. Since electric cars don’t have a tailpipe, you have to assess its pollution factors elsewhere, and that is at the place the energy is produced – a typical 50 percent coming from burning coal, on average.
By installing the 60 MW solar power array, Renault hopes to cut emissions by 30,000 tons of CO2 a year, the biggest solar panel project in the entire automotive industry. The solar power plant will equal the size of 63 football fields, or 450,000 square meters, will start being built this month and will be ready by February 2012.
Renault’s final goal is to reduce its carbon footprint by 10% by 2013 and by 20% between 2013, with its project named Renault 2016 – Drive The Change.