Top 5 Tips on Responsibly Greening Your Fleet

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If you were told that you could reduce the fuel and emissions produced from your fleet by more than 60%, while at the same time significantly cutting costs, would you want to know how?

This blog post will give you insight for the top 5 things you should consider when ‘greening your fleet,’ but let’s begin with some context:

To be ‘green’ can imply many things to all of us, but in the context of fleet management, the core meaning of ‘greening your fleet’ is to cut waste.

Thousands of dollars per vehicle are wasted by organizations that are not buying the best product for each application.  Every vehicle is different.  Some cost more to purchase and others cost more to operate – and the cost to operate varies depending on driving conditions and vehicle type.  In the scenario when fleets are purchasing the wrong vehicle for each application, the cost implications on operating budgets are substantial.

Likewise, unnecessary fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions are the result of not using more efficient vehicles that cost less to operate.  The best vehicle for any fleet application is the one that meets the needs of the fleet with the lowest total cost of ownership.  Fleets wanting to responsibly go green with plug-in electric vehicles, for example, need to find the vehicles that will cut fuel, emissions and cost.

The challenge faced by fleet managers is determining, with reasonable reliability, how much a plug-in electric vehicle will benefit their fleet’s cost, fuel and emission reduction goals.  Using the EPA vehicle label is not an effective solution because the values provided by these labels are based on generic drive cycles that are not representative of real-world.  In fact, in many cases, they are not even close.  Cutting waste is all about optimization – and it starts with the best vehicle for each application.

Green Your Fleet Summary

Fleet managers need to understand the drive cycles of each vehicle in their fleet.  We conducted an assessment of 25 vehicles in various fleet applications to show how fleets can benefit from getting the best vehicle for each application.  Of the 25 vehicles assessed, the analysis showed that 11 of them were more suited to plug-in electric vehicles than their gasoline counterparts.  With these changes the fleet was able to save, on average, $9,342 per vehicle in their fleet while reducing fuel and emissions by more than 60%.  And, in the scenario where the fleet manager chose the wrong vehicle (e.g., they purchased an EV when they shouldn’t have or vice versa), the average savings per vehicle was even higher at $13,383.

To learn more about the techniques and technologies used by this fleet to save money, download our eBook: How to Responsibly Green Your Fleet. The Essential Guide to Selecting Vehicles that Cut Costs, Fuel and Emissions.

5 Tips on Greening Your Fleet with Proper Vehicle Selection

1. Acknowledge that certain vehicles will not cost-effectively fulfill the needs of every application. 
Each vehicle is different.  Some cost more to purchase and others cost more to operate – and the operating costs vary depending on driving behaviour and conditions.

2. Don’t rely on generic data to determine the best fit vehicle.
Drive cycles are like bathing suits, you shouldn’t use anybody’s but your own.  Using the vehicle label to determine a vehicle’s Total Cost of Ownership is certain to lead to unmet expectations.

3. The only reliable method to collect drive cycle data on your own vehicles is to data log them.
This is usually done with a small piece of hardware (a data logger) that clips into the on-board diagnostics port, typically located underneath the steering wheel.

4. Model-Based Buying saves fleet money because it optimizes vehicle selection. 
Model-Based Buying uses the data from your current vehicle to reliably determine the savings of alternative vehicles in the same application.

5. Emissions and fuel can be significantly reduced with electric vehicles. 
Organizations looking to significantly reduce emissions and fuel usage can do so with electric vehicles, they just need to determine two things for each application in their fleet: (a) will the electric vehicle be more cost-effective from a total cost perspective? And (b) will be capable of doing the job that is required?  Fortunately, Model-Based Buying answers both these questions quickly and reliably.

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