Why not join the Road to Net Zero and commit to reducing tailpipe emissions by adopting a Battery Electric Vehicle fleet policy, this along with driver education will reduce your energy consumption and decarbonise your fleet.
This document will help you prepare your own Fleet Purchasing and Operation Policy that can be submitted to a net zero business review and will support your ESG/CSR Strategy.
What vehicles are allowed on your Fleet?
You can divide this up into categories to help you decide what vehicles are suitable and required for your business, and what will help you reduce your carbon footprint.
These are examples of categories you could use;
Long Term Car Fleet
If you operate a large car fleet that is nationwide based, then adopting an all-electric policy can really work, most drivers are never far from a public car charger, so even the highest mileage users can effectively go about their business without to much down time.
For those employers who are happy to cover the cost of electricity to charge the fleet of cars, there are software system such as MINA that allow the home charging costs to be directed to the employer.
You might want to add an exception to this rule if you have a driver living in a remote area with limited public charging and no access to home charging. In this instance, a PHEV or Hybrid might be an acceptable compromise.
Short Term Hire Fleet
Business requirements can change daily, and you might find yourself needing a short term car for a new starter, or as a pre-contract car whilst you wait for your long term fleet car. In this case we suggest that you factor in a policy that supports your net zero plans. We suggest that if you canâ€™t hire electric cars, then you set your policy to only hire PHEV models.
Commercial, LCV, Plant & HGV Fleet
Many businesses will operate more than just cars, the most common addition to a fleet will be a van, or Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV). Some of these vehicles might be covering very high annual mileages and be operating 24/7, so it might be that as a business need, you must allow for other fuel types to be used, the most common being diesel.
However, you might want to factor in a mileage guide, so for example, if you have a van that covers up to 20,000 miles per year, then you could look to run these as full electric models. As an example, 20,000 miles per year is 77 miles a day on a 5-day working week. There are plenty of new vans available now in all sizes that can easily go over 150 miles even with a payload.
Finally, if you are running heavy plant or HGVâ€™s, you might think you are stuck with diesel, but it is worth keeping an eye on the technical advances being made in this sector, we are seeing Hydrogen Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Internal Combustion systems that are allowing heavy industry to only emit water and warm air.
Finally, once you have decided on what vehicles and fuel type to use for your fleet, then next thing to do is consider how long you keep them for.
We have seen a shift towards fleets now keeping electric cars for a minimum of four years, a view is taken based on mileage and condition to establish if a vehicle stays on fleet for longer than this period. By extending the electric vehicle holding period, you reduce the amount of CO2 used to produce each vehicle reducing the whole life carbon footprint with every journey taken.
It is worth noting that electric vehicles require much less servicing than a regular ICE (petrol/diesel) and by utilising re-generative braking they use less brake components, as such reducing airborne particulate matter.
Reducing your energy consumption
Okay, so now you have set out what vehicles you will use on your fleet, the next task it to ensure that you get the most out of each unit of energy you purchase.
The less your drivers can use per mile, the less CO2 your business will produce. Now, we accept that this is hard to quantify and write these savings back in to your ESG/CSR/Net Zero plans, but it will make you feel that as a business you are doing more than just switching to electric. By the way, you can see how much you can save if you switch to electric cars by using our Fleet Savings Calculator.
To further support your net zero objectives and reduce the amount of energy used to power your fleet, you should encourage behavioural changes for your drivers, below are few tips on best practice;
Why not incorporate a costing system to allow your drivers to charge their electric cars overnight ensuring they start each day suitably charged. This reduces demand on the National Grid and in turn will reduce your CO2 created when energy demand is high during the day. The use of in car charge timers are recommended so the majority of your charging is done in off peak times between 12 - 6 am. We can advise you on software platforms that can offer this great facility.
All drivers play a part in reducing your energy consumption, we encourage the following actions to maximise driving efficiency;
Tyres - Tyres must be kept inflated to the correct pressures, under inflated tyres can create more resistance, and this causes the engine to work harder and burn more electric fuel. Any replacement tyres must be to the OEM specifications to ensure that the energy efficiency is maximised.
Servicing - All vehicles must be maintained in line with the manufacturer specification to endure they are running to optimal performance.
Encourage light foot driving - Slower acceleration, slowing down on the motorway and the use of regenerative braking will reduce consumption. A study by the Energy Saving Trust, 2018 found that a vehicle, compared to 30mph will use 83% more energy at 60mph and 181% at 80mph.
Route optimisation - Effective route planning and diary management will ensure drivers are utilising both their time and energy effectively.
Utilise remote meeting technology - Where suitable, drivers are encouraged to use remote meeting technology to avoid unnecessary business journeys.
Battery health charging - We encourage our drivers to charge their car in line with manufacturer guidelines to maximise battery efficiency during our ownership, for example on certain cars, only charging to 80%. We can then pass this efficiency on to the next user to maintain the CO2 reducing benefits of an electric vehicle.
Encourage PHEV charging - Where possible, if our drivers are allocated a PHEV vehicle, we request that they take advantage of the All Electric Range (AER). This can be up to 100 miles on certain models.
We believe that by educating your own drivers, and sharing this best practice information with our business customers, together we can make a significant impact on the CO2 output of all of our vehicles and do our bit to clean up the UK fleets.
If you want a comprehensive report detailing the savings that can be made by switching to EV, then visit our Fleet Savings Calculator and enter your current fleet car and let us send you the report, for FREE..... You will like it!
We are your EV expertsâ€¦.. we have 58 EVâ€™s on our fleet, if you want to find out more about our transition from our diesel to full electric car fleet, read Our Story here, or request a call back.