A recent report from CYBG found that the total operating costs for a fleet of vehicles rose by 2.5% in the first half of 2017. Easily the most significant contribution to these costs was fuel, which totaled 18% of the outlay for 7.5 tonne vans and 32% for the largest vehicles. With fuel costs rising, businesses could find ways to offset these costs elsewhere, but the smarter option would be to find ways to cut down on their overall fuel spend. Here are three of the easiest ways this can be done.
Fleet telematics systems
Fleet telematics gives businesses complete control over every aspect of their fleet, using GPS tracking technology to monitor each of their vehicles, and crucially, the amount of fuel they use. According to Movolytics, one of the leading fleet telematics companies, fuel management systems can overall reduce fuel spend by at least 10%.
Firstly, the technology notes inefficient driving behaviors—like excessive idling, and harsh braking—that can needlessly cause your drivers to use fuel. This data can then be used to train your drivers to operate their vehicles more efficiently, cutting these behaviors out altogether. Secondly, fleet telematics alerts companies when their fleet vehicles are being used out of company hours, which could be costing your business hundreds of dollars a year on fuel costs. Finally, the technology can also warn drivers if they are about to enter traffic and divert their routes accordingly. This prevents them from being stuck in jams and cuts down on any unnecessary fuel use.
Updating and upgrading your fleet
Every year, new vehicles produced by manufacturers improve in efficiency by around 2.5%. Therefore, just by replacing one 10-year-old vehicle, you would spend 25% less on fuel for one vehicle. This will not only help your business save money but can also improve its green credentials by having fuel saving vans and cars. By upgrading your fleet to electric or hybrid vehicles, you can significantly reduce your company’s carbon footprint. These types of vehicles produce less harmful emissions than those running on diesel or petrol. EVs emit no tailpipe emissions, whilst hybrid vehicles have an electric motor, meaning they burn less fuel. EVs and hybrid vehicles are also 10% cheaper to run than their counterparts per year.
Whilst the initial outlay of updating your fleet will obviously set your business back financially in the short term, the long-term benefits—both in terms of saving money and helping the environment—mean this will be well worth it.
Exploring alternative fuel sources
If you’re not willing to overhaul your fleet entirely, you could explore alternative fuel sources for your existing vehicles instead. According to the Commission for the Regulation of Electricity and Gas, cars using compressed natural gas are significantly cheaper to run than those using petrol, diesel, and even electricity. CNG is also much better for the environment; for example, it produces 75 to 90% less emissions than petrol and diesel cars.
An alternative to CNG is liquid petroleum gas (LPG), which is again cheaper than petrol or diesel and also produces less harmful emissions. In order for your fleet to run on LPG, you’d need to get the engines of your vehicles converted, which will typically set your business back around $2,000. However, the long-term savings could again outweigh this initial outlay.
By investing in a fleet telematics system, upgrading your vehicles, or exploring alternative fuel costs, your business will see savings on fuel costs in no time.
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