2010 Toyota Prius - Click above for high-res image gallery
Automakers make cars and trucks, no surprises there. Some even make other interesting things, like Honda, which also builds motorcycles, jets, robots and solar cells. But up until now, we haven't been able to think of any car companies that develop their own species of flowers. Thankfully, Toyota has reportedly stepped in to correct that oversight by creating two 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 due to 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.
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