Reducing your fleet’s CO2 emissions should be your number one priority. Fail, and you may be costing your organisation thousands of pounds in fuel and tax payments, not forgetting causing a great deal of damage to the environment. While there are many steps your drivers can take to improve fuel economy, the burden of reducing carbon emissions lies solely with the vehicle itself, which is why you must consider a number of factors during the vehicle selection process. This includes engine size and emissions, which determines fuel consumption and benefit-in-kind tax, respectively. The good news is that making the right choices now will ensure your business is well-equipped to deal with current and future regulations, as the government continues to penalise those with little concern for the environment.
Review your fleet policy
Review your current fleet policy and look for where it can be updated. Don’t be afraid to challenge the status quo. What worked for your firm ten years ago may be costing it money now. That includes processes which may force drivers to make unnecessary trips and multiple journeys back-and-fourth that could be condensed into one. In addition, take the opportunity to set the company up for long-term savings by setting new standards for vehicles, and putting progressive CO2 targets in place. This will help protect your firm in the event of future law changes and tax requirements, and educate your drivers on the importance of reducing emissions.
Match the vehicle to the job
The biggest change to your fleet should be the vehicles themselves. Even now, many firms purchase petrol-guzzlers without paying attention to economical factors such as fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Fortunately, there are a variety of vehicles that offer less than 160g/km and fuel consumption above 45mpg that can accommodate a wide range of fleet needs, without compromising on performance. Finally, match the vehicle to the job. Do not send out large lorries or vans to deliver goods that do not require the muscle of a 4x4. If this is a regular occurrence for your firm, it’s possibly worth investing in a smaller vehicle for these types of deliveries. Old standards often evolve out of habit rather than needs, and a fresh assessment of what your company requires can contribute to long-term financial savings and fuel efficiency.
Shed excess weight
Reduce vehicle load by getting rid of unnecessary weight. Consider downsizing or eliminating unnecessary items such as roof racks and tool boxes, for example. Such items can creep on board over time in the boot and backseats -- ditching just 45kg can increase fuel efficiency by up to 2%.
The pressure is on
Monitor tyre pressure regularly (we recommend every two weeks). Tyre care is often overlooked by busy drivers, but having well-inflated tyres can have a positive effect on CO2 emissions. Too little pressure can lead to a higher rate of rolling resistance, which makes the engine work harder and consume extra fuel as a result. To sum up; keeping tyres in check will save money, reduce wear, and increase driver safety -- all excellent reasons for making it a regular habit.
Is the journey really needed?
Embrace teleconferences in place of face-to-face meetings if it’s not compulsory for attendants to be there in-person. The best fuel-saving tactic is to not drive at all, and the advent of communications technology has reduced the need for regular in-person meetings. Keeping these to a minimum will save your employees valuable time, and your organisation a considerable cost.
Invest in the best
Equip your drivers with the best possible sat nav systems so that they don’t waste valuable fuel taking wrong turns while searching for their destination. A good navigation device will help reduce travel time (most show drivers the shortest journeys and alert them to traffic jams), and their initial cost will be recovered in fuel savings over time.