Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘hybrid’

e2 Business: Clark’s Auto & Tire

ClarksAutoBanner

This e2 business profile was written by SLCgreen intern Lauren Mills. Learn more about Salt Lake City’s e2 Businesses.

Sitting on a quaint neighborhood corner in downtown Salt Lake is an auto shop decorated with green garage doors and sunflowers printed up the sides. Besides the earthy appeal, one might easily assume that this building is simply your basic auto shop like any other. However, take a peek inside (or outside if you prefer), and you will quickly discover that this little auto shop is hardly your average business.

Founded in 1964, Clark’s Auto & Tire began as a typical service location for all vehicles. In 2010, current owner Alan Boyer took over the shop. Having grown up from a young age into the auto business, Alan is nothing short of an expert on all things maintenance—the good, the bad, and the ugly. As a young boy, Alan recalls working in shops and “filling up 55 gallon trashcans of paper and plastic, just to put it in the dumpster.” What does this have to do with running an auto shop? Here’s where Alan’s unique expertise comes into play.

After six months of gaining familiarity with Clark’s, Alan made the brave decision to transform the shop into a fully sustainable and eco-friendly auto business. Initially, Alan struggled to find any useful strategies or resources to aid the development of his plan. However, this was hardly an obstacle; Alan simply set to work creating sustainability plans on his own. The results are highly impressive and visible, both inside and out.

On the roof of the shop, Alan has installed solar panels that provide 2.5 kilowatts of energy for usage throughout the building. The TV above the front desk is directly powered by this solar energy, and displays a continuous scroll of the shop’s energy consumption levels as a means of keeping inventory. Surrounding the sides of the shop are specified tubs for recycling scrap metal, tin cans, and oil. You are also likely to see several bikes strapped up to posts, as many of Alan’s staff members have hopped on board with his eco-friendly initiatives and now choose alternative methods of transportation to work. Think this is neat? Wait until you look inside.

Alan has replaced all the old lighting systems from the previous Clark’s design with energy efficient LED bulbs throughout the shop. In the garages, only a single air-compressor car jack remains on account of limited space. Alan keeps a clean shop as well; in addition to the numerous recycling and garbage bins located around the machines (as you will quickly discover that there is nearly nothing that does not get recycled), Alan ensures that there is zero contaminant leakage from his garage into water drains.

Even better, Alan has provided the resources to influence his staff to work sustainably as well. On a mission to eliminate paper and plastic waste, Alan has designated a section in the shop for lunch breaks, complete with a refrigerator, microwave, sink, and actual sets of plates and silverware. The evolution of Alan’s staff is arguably one of his greatest achievements, as these young adults have gained an entirely new interest in sustainable operations, eco-friendly cars, and have notably adopted a much more environmentally-conscious way of life. As Alan proudly states, “they’re not the same kids.”

In terms of specific auto services, the combination of Alan’s extensive knowledge and his passion for sustainability is what truly sets Clark’s Auto above the rest. The shop offers services and repairs to both gasoline cars and hybrids or electric vehicles (E.V.’s). Perhaps one of Alan’s most impressive services is battery repair: rather than tossing an entire battery to an unknown disposal location (as many auto shops and dealers do), Alan specializes in analyzing faulty car batteries (particularly in hybrid vehicles) to pinpoint the specific problem, repair it, and rebuild the battery to proper functioning power. This saves time, waste, and especially money for the customers.

Additionally, Alan is now offering a training on how to own, operate, and service hybrid vehicles and E.V.’s, in hopes of increasing public awareness of both the long-term cost benefits and environmental outcomes of owning a hybrid vehicle. And seeing as he drives a Prius himself, there is no doubt that Alan truly practices what he preaches. Along the wise words of one of his favorite athletes, Wayne Gretzky, Alan states “I’m not going where the puck is; I’m going where I think the puck is going to be…I think the future is where these Prius-type cars are.”

So the next time your car seems to act up on the road, or your battery goes dead, or even if you’re in need of a simple oil change, don’t hesitate to head straight for Clark’s Auto. Because what could feel better than doing both yourself and the environment a favor? Just ask Alan.

Enterprise CarShare Offering Free Parking in Downtown Salt Lake City

carshare

Enterprise CarShare – served by the local Enterprise Rent-A-Car network – is now offering free downtown parking to members who rent a hybrid vehicle, all in partnership with the city government. The free metered parking is part of a new green vehicle initiative in Salt Lake City.

Vehicles that achieve a minimum fuel economy or air pollution score are designated as “green vehicles” and therefore eligible for a special permit allowing up to two free hours of parking. “By making the most of alternative forms of transportation like car sharing, as well as by promoting the use of hybrids, we can help Salt Lake City residents get around more sustainably,” said Neil Hafer, vice president and general manager for Enterprise in Utah.

When Enterprise’s car-sharing program launched in Salt Lake City late 2013, the area became the seventh major U.S. market to offer Enterprise CarShare. The Utah Transit Authority (UTA), Salt Lake City, the University of Utah and Utah Valley University are partners with Enterprise in providing affordable car-sharing services to Salt Lake City and Wasatch Front residents and local businesses. Also supporting this car-sharing initiative is the Utah Department of Transportation’s “TravelWise” program, which incorporates a set of strategies that encourage individuals, businesses and organizations to use alternatives to driving alone and thereby reduce energy consumption, optimize mobility and improve air quality in Utah.

Today, Enterprise CarShare is available in more than 35 U.S. states, Canada and the U.K., on more than 80 university campuses and on 40 government and business campuses. Putting vehicles right where people live and work, and making them available around the clock for hourly, daily and overnight rentals, makes Enterprise CarShare a cost-effective, hassle-free supplement to public transit.

SLC’s Commitment to Clearing the Air

skyWith so much talk about Salt Lake City’s poor air quality, it might feel like everyone else is telling you what to do—drive less, walk more, don’t idle, stay inside, think green. While individual actions play a crucial role in reducing the pollutants that get trapped in our valleys, you’re not the only one who can and should make a difference.

At SLCGreen, we recognize that only through collective action at every level and in every sector can we see real change.

Here are just some of the things the City of Salt Lake has been doing to reduce its own emissions in an effort to clear the air:

LEED Silver Standards for all new city buildings and major renovations. Meeting these minimum standards reduces the impacts of construction, sources more sustainable materials, and improves water and energy consumption throughout the life of the building. The latest example is the new Public Safety building on 500 South, which will generate as much electricity as it consumes, making it the first public safety building of its kind in the nation.

City and County Building Efficiency Upgrades. Recognizing that much of our electricity comes from burning coal, we’ve been working over the last decade to reduce the electricity consumed by our existing buildings. The City-County building downtown, home to the Mayor’s office, has reduced its electricity consumption by 840,000 kilowatt hours per year thanks to upgraded lighting and building systems. This is a reduction equivalent to the electricity consumed by 89 homes in one year.

Solar installation on the top of The Leonardo, with a view of the Salt Lake City-County Building.

Solar installation on the top of The Leonardo, with a view of the Salt Lake City-County Building.

Fuel Efficient City Vehicles. The city has a lot of vehicles out on the streets that contribute green house gas emissions along with everyone else. To curb our carbon, we’ve introduced 16 compressed natural gas (CNG) trucks to replace diesel sanitation trucks, added 5 hybrids and 2 rechargeable electric cars to the Police Department fleet, and changed over 25% of the Airport’s vehicles to CNG.

Thanks to the Sustainable SLC Plan 2015, this is just the beginning. Read more about doing your part.