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DENSO Takes Its Green Efforts To The Next Level

Companies that make electric components for cars are sitting pretty right now, and that includes DENSO manufacturing. At its largest factory facility in Maryville, Tennessee, the company makes things like alternators, which are useful for regular cars and hybrids. Some of the other things it builds, like inverters, are only good for hybrids and EVs. Its gauge clusters go in just about any kind of vehicle.

But, having a good future supplying components for EV manufacturers wasn’t enough for DENSO. It didn’t just want to supply things for EVs, it wanted to use EVs themselves, and make it easy for employees to do it. That’s why DENSO installed EV charging stations at its facilities earlier this year. DENSO employees with battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid vehicles can charge their cars at any of the newly installed charging stations around campus.

Not only do the EV ARC solar-powered charging stations offer employees easy vehicle charging, but they generate and store electricity to provide renewable energy. They also compare how much carbon is saved versus traditional vehicles with each use. The DENSO team believes in Two Great Causes: Green – making a commitment to being carbon neutral by 2035 – and Peace of Mind – improving safety for everyone around the world.

“The charger deployment helps us support our employees and represents a key part of DENSO’s future vision: helping society become greener and safer through innovative technology,” said Mark Moses, vice president of Electrification Systems at DENSO. “We’re doing this by reducing the environmental impact of our manufacturing operations, of the energy we use and of the products we produce. Beam’s technology contributes to these efforts, providing a sustainable solution that helps protect our local communities and the planet.”

DENSO is installing charging stations at its Maryville facility as it prepares to begin manufacturing electrification and safety systems there. This transformation of the 2.6-million-square-foot, 4,500-person location is necessary for DENSO to remain competitive in the automotive industry, where vehicles are increasingly being designed with electric and connected features.

Taking Things To The Next Level With Solar

DENSO, Silicon Ranch, the City of Maryville Electric Department and Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) broke ground earlier this month on a new solar facility at DENSO’s Maryville, Tennesee, location.

The new solar farm is just the beginning of DENSO’s green initiatives in Tennessee. The company plans to bring online four more solar production facilities in the state, harnessing solar power to help achieve its goal of carbon neutrality by 2035. This move will also strengthen DENSO’s involvement in the US Department of Energy’s Better Plants program and bolster broader efforts to reduce the environmental impact of its manufacturing operations and energy use.

The Maryville facility, a hub for DENSO electrification and safety systems manufacturing, will run on renewable energy once the solar projects are completed and other energy-saving initiatives are put into place. This not only supports greater sustainability locally through its operations but also across North America with its products.

“Our mission is to contribute to a better world, and as part of that, we’re committed to reducing CO2 emissions, not only through our products, but also in our operations and processes,” said Shinichi Nakamizo, president of DENSO’s Maryville facility and a Senior Director of DENSO Corporation. “We’re grateful to Maryville Electric, Silicon Ranch and TVA for helping us turn our commitment into action. We also thank our Maryville team, whose leadership is instrumental in this project and helps advance local communities toward a clean energy future.”

DENSO will use a portion of the 10.5 megawatts of solar energy that the City of Maryville Electric Department and Silicon Ranch produce under TVA’s Generation Flexibility program. The program allows participating local power companies to generate up to 5% of their total energy load from renewable sources, which attracts businesses focused on sustainability, enabling them to achieve their goals while solving individual challenges for their distribution systems.

“TVA has been bringing renewable energy to the Valley for over 20 years, and this partnership using TVA Green programs expands the reach that our Green Renewable Solutions have on local communities across our region,” said Doug Perry, TVA Senior Vice President of Commercial Energy Solutions. “With a shared mission in mind, this solar project with Silicon Ranch and the others to follow will not only help us meet our own sustainability goals but those of our LPCs and their customers as well.”

Why This Matters

DENSO isn’t just some little automotive supplier in Tennessee. DENSO is a leading global mobility supplier, with operations in 35 nations and over 167,000 employees. The company develops advanced technology and components for nearly every vehicle make and model on the road today. With manufacturing at its core, DENSO invests in research and development to create new products that directly change how the world moves.

These products include electric powertrains, thermal systems, mobility electronics devices & more. By investing in these areas, DENSO is paving the way to a future of improved mobility that eliminates traffic accidents and preserves the environment. DENSO, a Japanese company with locations worldwide, spent 9% of its global consolidated sales on research and development in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2022.

DENSO’s North American headquarter is located in Southfield, Michigan, with a staff of over 27,000 engineers, researchers and skilled workers across 51 sites in the US, Canada and Mexico. Within the United States, DENSO has 14 state locations (plus D.C.) and 41 sites containing 17,700+ employees . The company made $9.5 billion in sales by March 31st of this year alone.

The could have just as easily kept making money and buying power made from fossil fuels. When people asked what they were doing for the environment, they could have pointed at the hybrid and electric cars that have DENSO parts in them. For most of the public, that would have been a good enough answer.

Instead, they went the extra mile here and decided to power their whole operation as well as their employees’ cars with solar power. That’s a pretty good direction to go, even if they could have easily done less.

Featured image provided by Silicon Ranch.

 
 
 
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Written By

Jennifer Sensiba is a long time efficient vehicle enthusiast, writer, and photographer. She grew up around a transmission shop, and has been experimenting with vehicle efficiency since she was 16 and drove a Pontiac Fiero. She likes to explore the Southwest US with her partner, kids, and animals. Follow her on Twitter for her latest articles and other random things: https://twitter.com/JenniferSensiba

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