UPS to convert UPS diesel delivery trucks In NYC to electric
UPS and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) have announced that new technology will be developed to convert UPS package delivery vehicles from diesel to electric.
UPS and Unique Electric Solutions LLC (UES LLC) will design, build, test and make the conversions.
The project supports Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s aggressive goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40% by 2030 by replacing diesel vehicles with clean technology.
“Public-private partnerships help push innovation forward and transform industries,” said Carlton Rose, President, global fleet maintenance and engineering, UPS.
“This program will help UPS develop and deploy electric delivery trucks faster and more affordably. Because they are cleaner and quieter, electric vehicles are ideal for dense urban environments like New York City and are a critical part of our strategy for the future.”
NYSERDA is providing $500,000 in funding to develop and test the conversion system.
If successful, the Bronx-based project is expected to bring a production version of the converted truck to the streets of New York City by Spring 2018. In addition to producing a new, cost-effective all-electric conversion kit, the project will deliver a blueprint for converting up to three UPS vehicles a day.
This could lead to the conversion of up to 1,500 UPS delivery trucks, which is about 66% of UPS’s NYC fleet, operating in New York City by 2022.
Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA said, “This project is a prime example of the State’s investment in new and innovative technology that can help us meet Governor Cuomo’s nation-leading clean energy goals. I applaud UPS and Unique Electric Solutions for their leadership in developing this system that can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and has tremendous potential to be used by the entire delivery industry.”
This project is part of UPS’s commitment to helping cities and states around the world reduce carbon and other tailpipe emissions as urban areas and e-commerce grow. UPS operates more than 770 electric or hybrid electric vehicles in urban settings around the world.
They are part of a fleet of more than 8,500 alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles worldwide. UPS recently set a goal that by 2020 one in four vehicles purchased annually will use alternative fuels or advanced technology.
Japan Seeks to Revive Stalled Semiconductor Industry
Post-pandemic, Japan has seen the consequences of relying solely on foreign imports for its semiconductors. Over 64.2% of its chips are usually imported from South Korea and Taiwan, leaving the country dependent on its neighbours. Industries from auto manufacturers to consumer electronics firms wait for chips, to no avail. But now, the Japanese government looks likely to put real funding behind its semiconductor industry, with top officials emphasising their support.
Domestic supply chains have never been more important. Rather than remain tied to international shipping routes during shortages and delays, governments are doing everything in their power to develop local lines of supply. But the question remains: can Japan pull it off?
How Will Japan Pay For It?
Herein lies our first issue. Japan’s debt has rapidly increased over the past few years, and the semiconductor industry will need roughly a trillion yen—US$9bn—in this fiscal year alone. This cost, however, pales in comparison to what Japan could lose if it fails to keep up with Europe and the US. Both nations have launched aggressive funding measures to revive their local semiconductor industries. And if Japan refuses to invest due to its debt, it could slow down progress in fields ranging from artificial intelligence to autonomous driving.
According to Tetsuro Higashi, the former president of Tokyo Electron and Japan’s top government advisor in semiconductor strategy, ‘If we miss this opportunity now, there may not be another one’. Yet one advanced wafer fabrication factory can cost more than US$10bn, and any money poured into the industry will go fast. That’s why Japan, rather than invest trillions and trillions in failing domestic firms, is considering a second option.
What Do They Plan To Do?
Japan now intends to look abroad and convince overseas chip foundries to come to its shores. Its past failures mostly centred on trying to merge domestic firms that were already going through tough times. ‘This sort of made-in-Japan self-reliance approach hasn’t worked out well’, said Kazumi Nishikawa, a director at the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry’s IT division. ‘This time the goal is to offer a strong incentive for an overseas logic foundry to come to Japan’.
As follows, Japan will now reach out to industry partners and leaders in other countries, including the industry heavyweight Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), to build Japanese bases. According to the South China Morning Post, the heart of Japan’s mission is a US$337.2mn research and development project in Tsukuba that will involve TSMC and more than 20 Japanese firms. ‘I think we need to cooperate with our overseas counterparts’, said Akira Amari, a senior member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. ‘[And] TSMC is the world’s top logic chipmaker’.
Indeed, if that’s Japan’s strategy, the future looks bright. TSMC recently set up a venture near Tokyo to research energy-efficient 3D chips with several Japanese partners. And in the future, the multinational chipmaker may consider expanding its Japanese operations—that is, if government incentives pave the path forward.