Whether you are already investing in electric vehicles for your business fleet cars or vans, or you just want to manage your current company’s vehicles in a more environmentally friendly way, there are a few essential green fleet management techniques will help you accomplish this and help your company’s balance sheet. Here are five tips to help manage your business’s cars and vans in a greener way.
Vehicle Tracking Systems
Efficient use of vehicle tracking systems can help a business re-route fleet vehicles to avoid unexpected delays. Optimal and real-time journey planning provides the best possible service to customers by saving delivery time but for any business, strategic route mapping can make a huge impact on fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
A vehicle tracking system enables employers to see where their vehicles are at any point in time. If you run a business which relies totally on the location of the vehicle such as a taxi firm or a courier company, then vehicle tracking can offer optimal efficiency and service.
A vehicle tracking system can save drivers the time of constantly having to communicate their location, it facilitates co-ordinated journeys for pick up and dispatch for both clients and other drivers and, provides a smooth and efficient service to the customer.
Select cleaner vehicles
If you haven’t made the switch to an all-electric fleet, then you can still prioritise greener and cleaner cars with lower emissions over others in the fleet that produce more CO2.
Tailor your company car booking system to always offer the cleaner electric vehicles first and state clearly what the emissions are for that car or van or simply employ software which automatically allocates the cleanest vehicle when a member staff logs on to book.
Using vehicle booking software which requests data like anticipated journey length can also prompt the right decision, promoting the use of a green vehicle – either electric, hybrid or low emission – in the right circumstances and certainly when the travel distance is within the range of an EV. The software automatically suggests the greenest vehicle for the job ensuring that the best and greenest option is always promoted, doing all the leg work so you don’t have to.
Go green with electric vehicles
Start to replace your fleet with plug-in hybrids or fully electric vehicles. Sometimes a gradual change over will allow employees to get used to a different type of car. There is often a degree of suspicion about the range of electric vehicles so replacing a proportion of the fleet can be a palatable compromise rather than making a complete switch over. Keeping electric vehicles for shorter journeys can also help build up staff confidence.
Install on-site charging points that use sustainable energy providers so companies that source their power from wind, solar or hydro, this will not only reduce your fleet emissions even further but lower your fleet running costs too.
Telematics is the name given to technology deployed in the car industry. Telematics can provide data about the location of the vehicle, vehicle activity and driver behaviour – think of the black box added to teenager’s cars at the request of the motor insurer, able to monitor driving behaviour and adjust the policy premium accordingly.
A telematics solution can help analyse the relevant staff journey data. Analysing data for staff journeys will help identify how many of them are short distance and whether some staff and/or specific routes would be better suited to an electric vehicle or to a completely different alternative like an e-scooter or bike or public transport.
Company culture and staff behaviour
It is always worth taking your employees on board with greener practises and these may not just be confined to fleet management. Sharing a commitment to reducing emissions is positive for the staff and good kudos for the business. So many people are aware of the importance of reducing carbon emissions and following sustainable principles that employees are likely to be very supportive of initiatives which drive change, like converting the company car fleet from conventional petrol or diesel vehicles to electric-powered.
The green agenda is a great opportunity to engage with staff and include them through the importance of their own driving behaviour. Rapid acceleration and sudden deceleration increase emissions as well as being potentially unsafe for the driver and other road users. Telematics can provide data on staff driving behaviour although it is important that employees do not feel as if they are being spied on.
Encourage staff to buy into the concept, even those who are not driving company vehicles. Reduce the usage on company vehicles by suggesting alternatives like public transport or for shorter trips, use e-bikes or e-scooters as an alternative to car travel. Covid has demonstrated that converting to online meetings is very workable and with a trend now firmly in place as people return to office and business premises, this is the ideal time to keep up the momentum of a new way of doing things. This is a policy which is inclusive of all staff members regardless of whether they use fleet vehicles or not and it can pervade throughout the entire workforce.
Green fleet management is a win-win situation for any company because it demonstrates a commitment to eco-friendly and sustainable practices both to staff and customers and it will usually end up saving money as well. No fleet or vehicle is completely green but demonstrating an ongoing commitment to green fleet management practises will garner employee support and provide a rich vein of good publicity for the business, not to mention the benefit it will have for the wider environment. It’s nice to think that doing the right thing for the planet can actually save you money into the bargain and give you something to shout about to your customers.