Petrol cost goes up every few days, but if we keep going on at this pace we’ll soon get to a point where price goes up every hour. If fuel costs more, then transportation costs more and products will certainly have to be sold at higher prices to mild the impact of higher expenses for the manufacturers.
Take a vehicle and make it better
But what really cost about transporting goods, are the last few miles from the warehouse to the shop. They are the most expensive because traffic in town is slow, it takes hours to deliver everything. Hours that are spent queuing at traffic lights and crossings, hours that are spent burning fuel without moving an inch forward. Without considering that some big cities have congestion charges on for vehicles that emit high quantities of CO2 and other pollutants. VIA Motors decided to change the way goods are transported using one of the most popular trucks in the US (produced by GM) and transforming it by putting in electric motors and lithium ion batteries that can give it up to 40miles range. A small petrol engine is then used to give the engines the electricity they need to extend that range to about 300/400 miles, and solar panels are used as a lid for the loading area so that the batteries can charge up without the petrol engine during sunny days. They transformed a vehicle that normally returns 12 to 14 mpg into a vehicle that can do up to 100 miles with one gallon.
Advantages for everyone
The big, huge advantage of this kind of technology is fuel saving. Figures show that the savings could be up to the equivalent of the lease price of the truck, meaning that basically you get a track for free. If the transportation costs fall then goods price is likely to be cut down, helping not only businesses get out of this financial crisis but also families. Towns that have a congestion charge in place usually don’t apply it to vehicles with low emissions, as a way to encourage people to opt for greener vehicles that will also reduce air pollution and improve life’s quality of those living in town. Urban deliveries from couriers to the posts, from bakers to furniture shops could be done using this kind of vehicles that are cheap to lease and maintain.
Obviously the vehicles can be charged up through the mains, and also give the possibility to use the stored electricity if needed (feature that can be particularly useful for construction companies or road workers that sometimes work in areas where to have electricity they would need a generator). Companies have been concentrating on personal cars to turn into electric or hybrid models, without thinking about the fact that the most polluting of all are those big vans and trucks that do deliveries around town. Improvements in their technologies can drop running costs and seriously contribute to reduce pollution.