The executive chairman of one of Australia’s largest logistics operators has given a clear indication that electric propulsion will be the away of the future for his company.
Executive chairman of Linfox, Peter Fox says the company wants to embrace electric and autonomous technologies but does ad there could be problems in implementation.
Fox outlined his views on the new tech in the latest issue of Linfox’s own online magazine, Solutions Asia Pacific publication which was themed ‘Transport of tomorrow’ .
Fox writes that the company believes current battery technology will restrict the use of electric heavy vehicles to urban distribution and short haul trips, however, over time there will be an exponential increase in electric vehicle usage.
Fox says there have been significant advancements in new technologies which is creating opportunities for those willing to adopt and advance in the new and bold frontiers.
“E-commerce companies such as Amazon and Alibaba are pouring billions of dollars into their e-commerce platforms and are reshaping entire industries. Smoke stack industries of old and “bricks and mortar” retailers are under enormous threat from these new competitors,” said Fox.
“By leading our industry, we will play an increasing role in the introduction of electric and autonomous technologies,” he added.
“For our customers, new technology will create both challenges and opportunities. However in the end, users will ultimately be delivered efficiencies and a competitive advantage,” Fox said.
The Linfox chairman said that reduced diesel fuel consumption is good business and that the company will gain cleaner transportation with zero emissions and not sacrifice performance.
“Our GreenFox program has already reduced our total emissions across the Asia Pacific region by more than 50 per cent and electric vehicles will allow us to go much further with the environmental benefits growing as the electricity used to charge is increasingly produced by renewable resources,” said Fox.
Fox’s enthusiasm for electric technology in trucks was noted following his visit to the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show where he witnessed the unveiling of Fuso’s electric trucks and strategy.
“Electric technologies are becoming commonplace in passenger cars, and as advances occur in battery technologies we will see a much greater take up of electric vehicles in commercial applications,” he wrote.
“The advance in electric vehicles, microprocessors and image recognition technology will further enable the use of autonomous vehicles,” Fox says.
“While further off than electric vehicles, autonomous technology is advancing rapidly and it is clear that it works.
“We will see the benefits in efficiency and safety from the progress being made in autonomous technologies.”
“On autonomous vehicles, though advances are coming in leaps and bounds, the company accepts the time for it on the open road is yet to arrive, so it is focusing elsewhere.”
“For all this promise, autonomous vehicles will be restrained by delays in the regulatory environment as well as infrastructure investment.
“For Linfox, these restrictions do not exist in our warehousing facilities, so in the interim autonomous machines will play a much greater role.
“By leading our industry, we will play an increasing role in the introduction of electric and autonomous technologies. For our customers, new technology will create both challenges and opportunities.
“However in the end, users will ultimately be delivered efficiencies and a competitive advantage,” he added.
Fox says that Linfox is already working directly with vehicle manufacturers to ensure that both electric and autonomous technology bring solutions that meet its customer needs.
“By leading, we will accelerate the introduction and research of new technology and ensure there are high levels of collaboration between industry, government and regulators to set policy and conduct trials throughout our operations.
“The future is upon us and we are proud to be at the forefront of these new exciting opportunities,” he concluded.