- Oct 30th 2009 at 8:29AM
REPORT: Toyota develops its own flower for cleaner air at Prius plant
Automakers make cars and trucks, no surprises there. Some even make other interesting things, like Honda, which also builds motorcycles, lawn mowers, jets, robots and solar cells. But until now, we haven't heard of any car company that develops its own species of flowers. Thankfully, Toyota has reportedly stepped in to correct that oversight by creating two new derivatives of the cherry sage and gardenia at its factory in Toyota City, Japan.
This is the plant where the Japanese automaker assembles the Prius hybrid, which seems fitting since the flowers were specifically chosen for their ability to absorb nitrogen oxides and create water vapor. These attributes clean the surrounding air and lower temperatures at the factory.
Other environmentally-friendly efforts at the plant include roof-mounted solar panels, photocatalytic paint on exterior walls, reflective solar tubes that provide interior light and even slow-growing grass that only needs to be mowed twice per year (we've got dibs). According to Toyota, these initiatives help lower the carbon footprint at the plant, which is a good thing since production of the Prius hybrid is a carbon-intensive operation.