At long last, we’re starting to see electric vehicles becoming more prevalent and more widely accepted. People beyond the most eco-conscious are learning to appreciate the benefits and love the cars. Perhaps even more importantly though, companies are beginning to take note and adjust their shipping fleets accordingly. For our site, Pat Dyer wrote about the all-electric delivery van that was produced by ACE-EV, as well as the plans to ramp up its production in the event that there’s enough interest in it. Couple this with the much-publicised shutdown of Holden – on purely financial grounds according to Road & Track – and we may in fact be seeing the beginnings of a real shift toward EVs.
Specifically, such a shift may be occurring on an industry level, which may be of vital importance not just for the Australian energy market but around the world as well. However, the idea of more industry-level EV implementation also begs the interesting question of which industries could benefit most from a switch to electric fleets. The hope, naturally, is that virtually all major industries end up making such a switch. But as we look ahead, these are some of the industries that may stand to get the most out of the change.
Food & Beverage Industries
Food and beverage industries are worth mentioning first simply because they’re among the busiest in the game. We don’t always tend to think consciously about the shipping operations behind the foods and beverages we see on a day-to-day basis. However, Food Processing’s list of the top companies in Australia in these categories will bring the scope of the business into sharp relief. Said list includes Fonterra (Australia’s primary supplier of dairy products); Lion Nathan (controlling a massive portion of juices, dairy drinks, and alcoholic beverages); Coca-Cola Amatil; and numerous food suppliers. The list clarifies our vast shipping needs when it comes to food and beverages. By extension, the sheer volume of activity in these industries would mean that adoption of EVs would bring about immeasurable benefits, from fuel savings, to vehicle efficiency, to environmental impact.
Industries Already Focused On Fuel Efficiency
It’s also important to mention that there are various industries, even in entirely unrelated categories, that have already begun to consider fuel efficiency and environmental responsibility in ordinary fleets. Most notably, this is being done via monitoring systems that make fleet activity easier to optimise. Jackson Hand wrote for Verizon Connect about in-vehicle monitoring systems and pointed to their ability to improve “safety, performance and energy efficiency” in fleets. Basically these systems can track everything from GPS coordinate to engine idling time; they can measure driver behaviour, recognise various inefficiencies, and ultimately collect data that can be used to significantly improve fleet operations. It stands to reason that industries in which this kind of tracking is already in place are specifically seeking to reduce environmental impact, and could thus make progress toward their own goals by switching to EVs.
Online Retail Giants
This is maybe the most obvious answer to the question presented above, but we should still make specific note of online retail giants’ shipping needs. As much talk as we tend to see these days about the potential for giant companies like Amazon to transition to drone delivery, right now such companies still rely on massive collections of vans and trucks to ship their products. As with the food and beverage industry noted above, the sheer volume of these operations would mean that the companies involved would stand to benefit greatly from a transition to EVs.
The actual companies behind shipping fleets also have to be discussed here. Catherine Rowell wrote for Business Chief about the largest transport and logistic companies just a few years ago, and highlighted some shipping giants in the process. From Pacific International (part of the Australian Trucking Association) and its varied shipping functions, to Australia Post and its countrywide delivery via various transportation methods, these companies are ultimately responsible for carrying out shipping duties related to innumerable industries (and often including those of some of the online retail giants mentioned just above). By switching to EVs, these major shipping providers would stand to save significantly on energy costs and vehicle maintenance, and they could also sell greater and more reliable efficiency as perks to their partners.
Again, ultimately the hope is that any and all companies with shipping operations transition to EVs. If a sizeable portion of the companies involved in these industries make the change though, it will represent the kind of seismic shift toward more sustainable transportation practices many have been waiting to see.