The electric supply chain - can it stretch end-to-end?

‘Electric vehicles’ doesn’t just have to mean cars. Future-facing businesses are considering the impact electric vehicles can have throughout the supply chain, not just when transporting products or staff at the end of the process.

From self-driving ships to the revolution of electric flight, here’s how businesses could take advantage of the next generation of electric vehicles.

On the road

Buses and trucks account for 5% of vehicles in the EU but their CO2 emissions make up a third of total road transport emissions. It’s not something that’s gone unnoticed by electric heavyweights Tesla who plan to unveil their electric big-rig truck later this year. The battery is reportedly capable of going for up to 400 miles before it needs charging. 

Business thought: It’s never too soon to start upgrading your transport fleet. Invest in the infrastructure today to reap the benefits tomorrow.

On the sea

A massive 90% of world trade is transported by sea, making it a key target for those businesses with a zero carbon agenda. In fact, one large ship can emit the same amount of CO2 as 70,000 cars. It’s unsurprising then that over 100 manufacturers have been exploring the possibility of electric ships, including Yara International. The Norweigan chemicals company plan to have their electric ship – which also happens to be self-driving – on the high seas by next year.

Business thought: Explore options with your logistics suppliers and see how innovative they can be.  

On the tracks

Given that the first electric train launched in 1879, electric vehicles aren’t exactly new in the locomotive industry. But according to the European Commission about 20% of Europe’s rail traffic is still hauled by diesel trains so there’s still work to be done.

Business thought: For businesses looking to implement green decisions throughout their supply chain careful selection of networks, routes and suppliers will be crucial.

In the air

It’s estimated that planes contribute 1.3% of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions but this is expected to increase to 22% by 2050. The aviation industry has vowed to take action. UK-based EasyJet are aiming to fly electric planes within the next 10-20 years on their short haul commercial flights.

Business thought: Batteries are heavier than fuel, and produce much less energy by weight, so businesses looking to implement electric flight into their supply chain need to be mindful that it will only realistically affect short-haul routes during the next 30 years.

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