On the Right Track: Lotus to Harness Wind for Greener Manufacturing

We've already covered Ecotricity, the UK-based green energy company, a number of times — most recently we wrote about their collaboration with Ben and Jerry's here. Our readers will also be more than familiar with the Lotus car company, and especially their forays into electric vehicle design via the Tesla and the Zap-X. Now it seems Lotus and Ecotricity are joining forces and have submitted a request for a Scoping Opinion to South Norfolk District Council for their views on potential plans for a wind park at the Lotus Manufacturing Plant and Test Track, at Hethel near Wymondham in the UK. Should the partnership's application prove successful, the scheme could provide up to 100% of Lotus' electricity needs, with excess energy feeding back into the local grid.

Dale Vince, founder of Ecotricity, commented:

"This is an exciting project, and I'm delighted that Lotus is taking its responsibility to the environment so seriously. There are many myths about what it takes for a business to become truly green, and the Lotus wind turbine project will be an important example for other organisations. The company won't be spending any additional money on its energy supply, but will have peace of mind knowing that it's part of a growing movement to redress climate change."

Of course, Lotus is still in the business of manufacturing high-powered sports cars, so they are hardly climate angels. However, the group's press release states that, in addition to the electric vehicle development, they are also working on a number of other environmental technologies, including bio-ethanol and compressed natural gas. They also claim that even their standard sports cars are "substantially more efficient and economical than other sports cars because [their] low mass gives a high power to weight ratio without the penalty of high fuel consumption." While we are somewhat sceptical of just how green a high-powered gasoline sports car really can be, but with Lotus' commitment to renewables, and apparent enthusiasm for electric vehicles, we are very encouraged to see them moving in the right direction.

Stay tuned to TreeHugger for an interview with Ecotricity's founder, Dale Vince, in the coming weeks.

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