As cars become more efficient, the manufacturing process is coming under increased scrutiny in order to further reduce the carbon footprint of each vehicle on the road.

That's leading carmakers to look to clean-energy sources to power their factories.

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Honda recently unveiled one of the most ambitious undertakings in this area so far: a wind farm in Brazil that will provide all of the energy needed to power its car plant there.

wind farm

wind farm

Located in Xangri-lá in the state of Rio Grande do Sul--the southernmost state of Brazil--the farm consists of nine wind turbines, each capable of generating 3 megawatts of electricity.

Honda says it's the first carmaker to open a wind farm in Brazil, and expects the farm to generate the electricity needed for its annual car production in Brazil--currently around 140,000 units.

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The company has an assembly plant in Sumaré, São Paulo, about 1,000 kilometers (about 621 miles) from the wind farm.

The Brazilian project--which represents an investment of approximately 100 million reais (about $38,804,813 at current exchange rates)--is part of an effort by Honda to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions from its global products by 30 percent by 2020, compared to 2000 levels.

Honda FCV Concept

Honda FCV Concept

The Japanese carmaker has experimented with wind power before, installing turbines at its Ohio transmission factory.

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The image of sustainability created by clean energy is important to carmakers selling green cars, and generating power onsite could eventually help them lower operating costs as well.

So whether it's wind turbines, solar panels, or another alternative form of energy-generation, it's likely we'll see more attempts by carmakers to lessen their use of grid electricity in the future.


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