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A Toyota dealership 100% energy autonomous for 7 years

In 2003, Ronan Chabot, a rally driver, bought a car dealership at La Rochelle. And for its renovation, he decided to make it a model of sustainable development, and make it 100% self-sufficient in energy. At the time, the operation cost 18% more than that of a conventional dealership. But 7 years later, there are no regrets. The investment was quickly paid off, even to become economically advantageous, as the surplus of energy is redistributed in the local network.

Picture of Toyota's green car dealership in La Rochelle

“I'm not a dreamer, I'm not an environmentalist, I'm a mechanic ! For 7 years, we've had no energy expenditures. We produced two and a half times more electricity than we consume, and we have no external cost. Yes it is profitable, and if we had to do it again, we would.”

Ronan Chabot, rally driver and car dealer

Far from being an environmental activist, Ronan set out on this adventure based on pure logic. His dealership is therefore equipped with green roofs and athermic (heat reflecting) windows which helps stabilize the air temperature inside. Outside, there are also settling ponds to filter and purify discharged water, rainwater recovery tanks which can hold 120,000 liters, and wood pellet silos used to provide the workshops with energy. Canadian wells recover underground heat and warm up in winter, and the air is continuously recycled, allowing a CO2 emission of only 10%, which is absorbed by the garden behind the dealership.

Toyota’s commitment to a cleaner automobile

Today, Ronan reaps the fruits of his ambition. His dealership produces two times more energy than it consumes, and he’s considering other forms of renewable energy. Just like Toyota, he feels that the way we think and consume in the car industry must change.

“This initiative is fully in line with the Environmental Challenge 2050. The objective of this challenge is very clear, in terms of use, production and car distribution throughout the world: to minimize the CO2 impact on the environment.”