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Drones – the next steps for sustainability
As with any energy model, estimates can change depending on the assumptions used. The amount of space needed to store packages for drones, and how much energy drones use, are important factors, as is the carbon footprint of the electricity used. We now explore how results change under different assumptions.
For ground delivery vehicles, the best ways to improve efficiency involves increasing the number of parcels delivered per kilometre or switching to electric delivery trucks or vans.
As more companies start using drones, parcel delivery will be one of their tasks.
To maximize the potential environmental benefits, companies should focus on using smaller drones charged with low-carbon electricity to deliver light packages, and on limiting how much warehouse space is dedicated to serving delivery drones.
Heavier packages are likely best suited for efficient, often electric, ground delivery vehicles. The biggest gains will come from improving warehouses’ energy efficiency and, crucially, reducing the amount of electricity generated from carbon-intensive fuels.
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