Achieving Speed-to-Market and Full-Circle Sustainability in the AV/EV Industry

Editorial Team
April 21, 2023
Min Read
Achieving Speed-to-Market and Full-Circle Sustainability in the AV/EV Industry

The autonomous vehicle (AV) and electric vehicle (EV) industries are playing an active role in reducing the environmental impact of motor vehicles by reducing auto emissions. Fortunately, consumers are considering their carbon footprints and have driven the demand for these vehicles since the early 2000s.

With this rapid industry growth, many major cities are seeing a surge of AV operators - vehicles are being tested in highly trafficked areas, and the general public is becoming familiar with seeing these spacecraft-like cars on roads. As a result, more and more AV and EV facilities, warehouses, and charging stations are being built and, often, relocated to high-density consumer cities to support operator needs. While more permanent structures, like charging stations, are becoming readily available for drivers, storage facilities may only be in use for a short period of time before the manufacturer no longer needs them.

While achieving full-circle sustainability is top-of-mind for AV/EV clients, being the first-to-market can often take precedence. Manufacturers want to get cars on the road and passengers in motion as quickly and safely as possible while reducing their carbon footprint. However, this can present various challenges for these companies when balancing short and long-term goals.

In working with leading industry clients, we understand that sustainability and speed-to-market are paramount. While providing a variety of technology consulting and design and engineering services, we continuously find ways to meet their short and long-term goals while addressing infrastructure challenges head-on. Our team discovered a creative and essential solution that supports their sustainability and deployment goals and can adapt across all storage sites.

The Challenge: Temporary Storage Sites Leading to Unrecoverable Materials

Though AV/EV vehicles relieve many environmental impacts, temporary facilities and sites needed to support demand and storage can leave behind materials and infrastructures that cannot easily be recycled or repurposed for another site location. 

When working with AV/EV clients, we carefully assess what is done to meet time-to-market milestones at temporary sites. We discovered a challenge pertaining to sustainability and capital investment. Temporary sites and facilities were being constructed and deconstructed quickly. While deployment goals were being met, money was lost by not reusing products and materials for future locations. 

To take it one step further, select products and materials weren’t durable or adaptable to various weather climates. What might sustain dry weather in one location might not stand up to wet conditions in another. 

How could we use recyclable materials for another site and also consider circular practices for the reduction of wasted materials?

The Solution: Implementing Reusable Materials that are Adaptable, Durable, and Predictable

To achieve the goal of speed-to-market, successful design solutions must require little to no dependence on the site they will occupy. Designs must be consistent, sturdy, and easily set up by team members in a wide range of  settings. 

The solution came naturally after overcoming challenges in the design process. Initially, our team began to map out underground infrastructures that would not be easily impacted by changing weather conditions and climates. However, it soon became clear that the permitting process for these infrastructures needed to be faster, and short lease lengths restricted the amount of work that could be done at each site. The solution was a rugged design that could be implemented above ground. 

To have a functional and durable design that can withstand reuse over time, we worked with a manufacturer to create a one-of-a-kind product that is safely structured to accommodate a variety of add-on features for any given site and many flexible scenarios. The solutions were then coordinated closely with various manufacturers to ensure seamless operation.

Finally, the product was  tested at multiple sites in various climates to ensure that it could be easily reused and adapted quickly to meet the client’s speed-to-market goals. When our solution was successfully deployed at a second location, money was instantly saved in the overall budget. For example, one of the first major short-term sites receiving reusable materials saw a 45% savings in materials that can be sent, intact, to other locations once the site is decommissioned. 

Our experienced project delivery teams understand that clients in new and emerging markets will present project challenges that require first-of-kind designs. Therefore, rather than providing short-term, quick fixes, our team implemented a custom-designed, flexible solution that serves as a plug-and-play model to ensure a safe, durable, scalable, and seamless experience for the long term. Contact us today to learn how our team can support your project challenges.