The improvements made in logistical technology is about to drastically improve peoples’ everyday lives. Drones are now seen as a clean and efficient way to meet the needs for a fast delivery. For example, when Amazon rolled out a new design for its Prime Air delivery drones in June, it envisioned a new way of reaching net-zero emissions by 2030. Similarly, UPS flew a drone from the top of a delivery truck to a home, one of its executives called the test an “important step” in reducing emissions wrought by daily deliveries.
The issue of charging drones is in the spotlight
There are studies that state, drones allow for a greener business than trucks although it depends on how and where they are deployed. Moreover, according to a study published last year in Nature Communications, small drones have less impact on the environment than ground transportation (including diesel trucks, natural gas-powered trucks and even electric vans). However, delivery drones need a large number of intelligent-flight batteries, and these need to be recharged and deployed to a charging station.
Furthermore, delivery drones currently do not require new transit depots, so drone delivery companies can use existing facilities. That is why a drone carrying food can take off from the top of a grocery store. Amazon will be able to do this easily because it already owns more than 500 Whole Foods stores, which allows them to experiment with a new concept for grocery shopping.
If a broader network of warehouses were established to meet the demand for drones, this would have a serious impact on the environment. More warehouses mean more lighting, heating and air conditioning systems, not to mention the energy needed to charge drones between flights, all of which increase total service emissions.
The acceptance of drone batteries
The most environmentally friendly and reliable way to utilize a drone is to prepare multiple drone batteries in advance. The question of how long a drone can fly without recharging it has been explored in previous articles, and a link is provided at the end of this post.
LiPo batteries are widely used in drones due to their high energy density in volume and weight. Drone battery packs also have the advantages of high energy density, small size, light weight, long life and no memory effect.
Based on the development and where the trend is heading, lithium batteries are quickly becoming the main focus for power solutions. Drone companies have now decided to focus on the development of lithium-ion drone batteries as the main source of power for drones. In addition, the lithium battery industry is expected to grow even more rapidly in the future with the increase in policies, technological progress, and new energy dynamics.
Delivery drones achieve the last mile
The logistics industry is moving towards environmentally friendly solutions in places with low populations. Urban populations have the benefit of having Amazon lockers, a myriad of delivery trucks, etc. for receiving their packages.
However, this is more difficult for rural areas with more dispersed populations. In some cases, delivery trucks have to deliver their parcels door-to-door. It is especially in these cases where drones can provide a more efficient method for delivering packages. Since there are fewer obstacles, such as power lines and high-rise building, in these smaller populated areas, drones can solve the last-mile-delivery problem (often causes delays and is the most expensive part of a delivery).
While drones may eventually improve traditional delivery methods, they are not the final solution to the transport industry’s problem with emissions. For example, Wing’s drones can carry up to 3 pounds of packages. Wing officials say that they don’t want drones to replace delivery trucks, but that they want to make the delivery method more efficient.
Taylor Ribb, Director of Research and Workforce Development at the Center for International Trade and Transportation in Long Beach, California, said that transportation will make extensive use of drones if they save costs. In addition to the calculation of risks and costs for use, the environmental benefits of drone delivery make drones overall extremely beneficial.
Learn more about battery
Keep an eye on Grepow’s official blog, and we’ll regularly update industry-related articles to keep you up-to-date on the drone industry.
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