Car dealerships tend not to be the greenest of buildings; they’re typically located in strip-malls outside of town, and of course, they are made to hawk gas-guzzling vehicles. But Kia Motors is charting new territory in car dealership design with the opening of a new solar-powered dealership in Weltevreden Park, South Africa. The new building, which opened its doors earlier this month, features roof-mounted solar panels, energy-efficient lighting, and rainwater harvesting, making it one of the greenest car dealerships in the world.
The new Weltevreden Park Kia dealership features 288 roof-mounted solar panels, which can produce as much as 69 kW per day — enough to power an average of 22 households. The building also has its own battery storage facility, so if the solar panels produce more energy than is used in a day, the surplus juice is stored for later in the week. The on-site battery bank has enough capacity to power the entire dealership for 12 hours.
With the launch of eco-friendly cars like the Optima Hybrid and the Cross GT Hybrid Concept, Kia has made an effort to rebrand itself as a more eco-friendly car company in recent years. But so far, Kia’s efforts to become more eco-friendly have all been car-related; this is the first green dealership opened by the company, and hopefully it’s only a taste of what’s to come.
In addition to the solar panels, the dealership also uses energy-efficient fluorescent and compact fluorescent lamps and occupancy sensors that turn the lights off when nobody is using a room. Additionally, the new South Africa dealership features a large rainwater retention system with six large containers that can each hold up to 10,000 liters of water, which is used at the dealership’s car wash.
Photos © Kia