An Auto-matic Supply Chain
Guest contributor: Kaity Nakagoshi
Leaders of the Pack
The leaders in terms of energy efficiency models can shed some light on promising new designs.
· Toyota's Prius is the first gasoline-electric hybrid which has been mass-produced. The Prius gets 51 mpg in urban areas and 48 mpg outside of the city. Toyota's North American Environmental Report states that the car has saved over 900 million gallons of gas and 14 million tons of carbon emissions.
· GM has decreased manufacturing emissions by 60% since 1990. GM's Chevy Volt allows for 50 miles of purely electric driving from one charge, and after this a small gasoline generator creates electricity for 300 miles more of driving time.
· BMW has created a new distribution center in Munich which reduces the carbon footprint caused by manufacturing. The building utilizes solar power and natural ventilation systems through well-placed vents and thermal currents.
Driving the Job Market
As the industry leaders strive to meet green standards, new jobs are being created. Over 150,000 workers in the U.S. are employed for the purpose of improving production of cars and trucks. Michigan, Ohio, and North Carolina are among the leading states in employing those who work toward a green supply chain. These jobs arise due to the demanding vehicle efficiency standards which are currently driving sustainable innovation forward.
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One Step Further
As manufacturers strive to improve their standards while maintaining profitability along the supply chain, some are gaining assistance from energy efficiency alliances. There is a Midwest, Northwest and Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance as well as other groups such as the Sustainability Consortium. Each of these organizations work with businesses to aid in the rapid development of efficient products. Such organizations help with collaboration between governments, business and utility companies, as well as providing current knowledge on regulations and innovative initiatives.
Overall, the auto industry supply chain will be a leader in the upcoming years when it comes to the development of green practices. As consumers increasingly accept the eco-friendly lifestyle as a normal way of life, the reputations of major auto companies can only benefit from discovering profitability in green design. The leaders in the industry are already pushing ahead. Supply chain management will only continue to streamline and advance with the latest alternative strategies.
Elon Musk's Boring Co. planning wider tunnels for freight
Elon Musk’s drilling outfit The Boring Company could be shifting its focus towards subterranean freight and logistics solutions, according to reports.
A Boring Co. pitch deck seen and shared by Bloomberg depicts plans to construct wider tunnels designed to accommodate shipping containers.
Founded by Tesla CEO Musk in 2016, the company initially stated its mission was to offer safer, faster point-to-point transport for people, particularly in cities plagued by traffic congestion. It also planned longer tunnels to ferry passengers between popular destinations across the US.
The Boring Co. completed its first commercial project earlier this year in April. The 1.7m tunnel system is designed to move professionals between convention centres in Las Vegas using Tesla EVs. It says the Las Vegas Convention Centre Loop can cut travel time between venues from 45 minutes to just two.
Boring Co.'s new freight tunnels
The Boring Co.'s new tunnel designs would allow freight to be transported on purpose built platforms, labelled as “battery-powered freight carriers”. The document shows that, though the containers could technically fit within its current 12-foot tunnels, wider tunnels would be more efficient. Designs for a new tunnel, 21 feet in diameter, show that they can comfortably accommodate two containers side-by-side, with a one-foot gap between them.
The Boring Co.’s new drilling machine, dubbed Prufrock, can tunnel at a rate of one mile per week, which is six times faster than its previous machine, and is designed to ‘porpoise’ - mimicking the marine animal by ‘diving’ below ground and reemerging once the tunnel is complete.
Tesla’s supply chain woes
Tesla is facing its own supply chain and logistic issues. The EV manufacturer has raised the price of its vehicles, with CEO Musk confirming the incremental hike was a result of “major supply chain pressure”. Musk replied to a disgruntled Twitter user, confused as to why prices were rising while features were being removed from the cars, saying the “raw materials especially” were a big issue.
Car manufacturing continues to be one of the industries hit hardest by a global shortage in semiconductor chips. While China’s chip manufacturing levels hit an all-time high in May, and the US is proposing a 25% tax credit for chip manufacturers, demand still outstrips supply. Automakers including Volkswagen and Audi have again said they expect reduced vehicle output in the next quarter due to a lack of semiconductors, with more factory downtime likely.
Top Image credit: The Boring Company / @boringcompany