Use delivery drones in cities consumes until TEN TIMES more energy than electric vans, in order to carry only one package at a time and often requires travel back and forth, new study finds
- A simulation in Germany found that delivery drones needed more energy than vans
- Drones demand a constant flow of electricity to windswept and hover while waiting for customers to their delivery destinations
- Vans could carry multiple packages, require fewer trips back and forth, and could park while a man carried the packages to their destination,
A new study has found that using delivery drones in dense urban environments often consumes more energy than a conventional delivery bus.
Thomas Kirschstein, an economist at Martin Luther University in Halle-Wittenberg, Germany, developed a simulation to compare how energy-efficient different delivery methods would be in a large and crowded city.
He compared a delivery drone, electric van, and diesel van when they traveled through a Berlin-based digital recreation to see what the least amount of fossil fuel needed to complete equal delivery routes.
A new study from Martin Luther University in Halle-Wittenberg, Germany found that drones consume up to ten times more energy than electric vans, while bringing packages for people in an urban environment
The clear winner was electric vans, which consumed more than 50 percent less energy than the diesel car.
The biggest surprise, however, came from drones, which appeared to starve the most energy of all delivery methods, and consumed as much as 10 times the amount of energy that the electric vans made.
One of the main reasons was that drones need continuous energy while on a delivery, as opposed to vans, which can be parked and unlocked at strategic locations.
& # 39; Drones consume a relatively large amount of energy if they need to charge in one place in & # 39; e air, for example if they want to deliver a package and have to wait outside the door of the & # 39; receiver's house, & # 39; said Kirschstein in an interview with the University's New Blog.
Another important factor was the lack of storage space for the & # 39; drone, which required much more round trip to retrieve new packages.
& # 39; For example, parcel carriers can stop and deliver several parcels on foot if multiple customers receive deliveries in one street, & # 39; said Kirschstein.
& # 39; This is not possible for drones, as they can only deliver one package at a time. This increases their energy consumption, sometimes drastically, & # 39;
The study found that the one area where drones could have an energy advantage over vans was rural institutions where they could fly more direct routes than ground vehicles
Another factor were crosswinds and headwinds, which could increase the amount of energy to stay on course or hover in place while waiting to complete a delivery at the destination.
The one area where drones have an advantage over vans is in rural areas, where they may be able to travel more direct routes and a van would not have the same advantage if it could park in one place and a driver with a suppliers run multiple destinations on foot.
& # 39; When assessing the hypothetical use of delivery drones, the focus was often only on whether drones could deliver packages faster and cheaper, & # 39; said Kirschstein.
& # 39; Aspects of sustainability, to & # 39; on the other hand, played less of a role. & # 39;