Renesas to renew operations June 1
There isn’t too much good news coming out of Japan following the aftermath of the devastating earthquake and tsunami two months ago, but Renesas Electronics Corp. announced some good news yesterday.
Renesas produces roughly 40 percent of the microchips used worldwide to control electronic operations in cars and expects to partially resume its Naka plant operations on June 1, two weeks ahead of schedule.
The company will be far from normal production levels if the Tokyo plant is opened as expected on June 1. Renesas will operate at just 5 percent of the normal production capacity in early June, but according to the company, that figure is expected to increase to 50 percent by mid-July.
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The global car chip supply chain won’t see much immediate return, however, as it takes months for early-stage chip fabrication alone. If Renesas does reopen its Japan plant on June 1, chips won’t be reaching their customers until late August.
According to Renesas, it could take until late October for the amount of chips reaching customers to reach pre-quake levels.
Renesas has a major plant located in the Ibaraki Prefecture, just north of Tokyo, which accounted for 25 percent of all of Renesas’ car chips. It’s expected the company’s two-month absence from production could cut global supply of car chips by 10 percent.
Renesas was forced to shut down five of its 10 factories used in early-stage chip production due mostly to power outages and not physical damage. Uninterrupted power is required in early-stage chip development.
DHL Express Invests in Electric Cargo Plane Fleet
DHL Express has ordered 12 fully electric cargo planes to supercharge efforts in reducing carbon emissions across its US delivery network.
The Alice eCargo planes are manufactured by Seattle startup Eviation, and are designed specifically to be configured for either cargo or passengers. The first planes are expected to be delivered to DHL Express in 2024.
“We have found the perfect partner with Eviation as they share our purpose, and together we will take off into a new era of sustainable aviation,” said John Pearson, CEO of DHL Express.
The purchase forms part of DHL’s €7bn investment in reducing CO2 emissions by 2030, with a zero emissions target set for 2050.
“We firmly believe in a future with zero-emission logistics,” Pearson added. “On our way to clean logistics operations, the electrification of every transport mode plays a crucial role and will significantly contribute to our overall sustainability goal of zero emissions.”
What is Eviation's Alice Aircraft?
- Manufacturer: Eviation
- Capacity: 1,200kg
- Range: 815km
- Charge time: 30 minutes
- Launching: 2024
Eviation’s Alice aircraft enable cargo and passenger airlines to operate zero-emission fleets. The plane can be flown by one pilot and is capable of carrying 1,200kg, with a maximum range of 815km.
The aircraft can be fully charged in 30 minutes, which can take place while the vehicle is loaded and unloaded between flights. Eviation says that, because the aircraft has fewer moving parts - or points of failure - than traditional aircraft, they are more reliable and reduce maintenance overheads and downtime.
“With Alice’s range and capacity, this is a fantastic sustainable solution for our global network,” said Travis Cobb, EVP Global Network Operations and Aviation for DHL Express. “Our aspiration is to make a substantial contribution in reducing our carbon footprint, and these advancements in fleet and technology will go a long way in achieving further carbon reductions.”
How Does Alice Compare with UPS’ eVTOLs?
DHL Express is not alone in electrifying the skies. In April, UPS announced a new fleet of eVTOL (Vertical Takeoff and Landing) aircraft, from Beta Technologies, which will enter service in 2024.
UPS’ vehicles can carry 635kg with a 400km range and cruising speeds of up to 170mph. The eVTOLs can carry cargo to several short-hops or one long route on a single charge, and are aimed at healthcare organisation, SMEs and businesses in small or remote communities.
“These new aircraft will create operational efficiencies in our business, open possibilities for new services, and serve as a foundation for future solutions to reduce the emissions profile of our air and ground operation,” said Juan Perez, UPS Chief Information and Engineering Officer.
The first 10 eVTOLs will be delivered in 2024, with the option for UPS to order up to 150 more.