Honda Motor Co. is all set to unload a choice piece of property in Kern County this year (Southern California residents should find this statement funny), as the company has put up for sale the Honda Proving Center of California (HPCC). Consisting of a total of 4,255 acres (give or take a few), the proving ground facility consists of a 7.5 mile oval, a 4.5 mile track of winding city roadway, skid pad, MX/SX track, support facilities, offices, warehouses, and plenty of desert terrain just to name a few of the highlights.
A landing spot for many Honda cars, motorcycles, and ATVs, the Japanese company has put a variety of its products through their paces at the HPCC, but that’s all about to change as reports indicate Honda will be consolidating its testing grounds to Ohio. With an automotive buyer seemingly unlikely, the HPCC’s proximity to the California power grid seems to make its future as a solar farm very likely.
Looking at the gauntlet of test tracks and conditions that the HPCC has to offer, the facility is a truly unique place for automative creativity; however the real estate company listing the proving grounds seems to think the ideal use for the HPCC would be for a wind/solar farm…an almost ironical fate should the sale pan out that way.
Honda’s proving ground is ideally situated near to electrical utility infrastructure, and with some of its environmental red tape already dealt with, the HPCC could easily be “fast-tracked” for solar power production. A part of this ease of compliance comes from the fact that the HPCC is Desert Tortoise safe (we hear they were delicious), and that the center has a compliant habitat mitigation plan that was formed with the California Department of Fish & Game.
No word on price, but if you have to ask, you probably can’t afford it. Honda Proving Center of California has been a unique staple of Honda’s vehicle testing process, so in a way it’s disappointing to see its use end. Judging from the condition of the automotive and powersports industries, we don’t expect another manufacturer to swoop in and buy the proving grounds from Honda, so maybe the solar farm is a more pragmatic idea.
Source: CB Richard Ellis