THERE is no denying the fact that motor vehicles have a huge impact on the environment, and there is a real need for bigger changes, to be more sustainable and environmentally friendly.
By 2030, new cars and vans powered wholly by petrol and diesel will not be sold in the UK, to encourage and accelerate the use of electric vehicles instead. In response to this, we are seeing more and more companies realigning themselves, particularly in the deliveries space, making strides towards greener fleets.
Industry giants like DPD and Amazon are leading the way in replacing diesel and petrol delivery vans with electric vehicles. But implementing a greener fleet isn’t just for big businesses with a ‘green’ agenda. Small- to medium-businesses, who tend to think there are no easy solutions for their business, can also benefit in a significant way.
But it’s not just the environment that benefits from greener fleets, there are huge advantages from a business point of view too. Making the switch to a greener fleet can save businesses money on taxes and reduce fuel costs.
However, being out of touch with current legislations can wrack up heavy fines for things such as using banned fuels, driving through Clean Air Zones and operating vehicles that do not meet current emissions standards.
The good news is, there are simple things that businesses can do, to improve the environmental impact on their fleet, that are easy to implement and will have an immediate impact.
How does GPS tracking help to boost sustainability?
By far, the easiest way to manage your fleet would be through GPS reporting. This means that each vehicle in the fleet is installed with a GPS tracker, which generates real-time data on aspects such as location, vehicle performance and mileage.
And it is the data that is of real value to your business in moving to as green a fleet as possible. While you may understand the importance of tracking your vehicle fleet, it may not always be clear how to use that data. GPS Reporting should be a benefit to your fleet manager, not a burden. The first place to start is to ask yourself what are the most important factors impacting your company when it comes to ensuring it runs as environmentally friendly as possible?
Below are three places to start:
- Make it easy to abide by clean air zone regulations
Clean air zones (CAZ) are areas where action is being taken to improve air quality. These areas could be entire cities or individual streets. CAZs have already been introduced in cities such as Bath, Birmingham and London, and work is well underway for rollout across more major cities in the UK. It’s important to prepare your fleet accordingly to ensure compliance for the new regulations.
Some fleet management tools make it easier to abide by CAZ regulations. Look for one with route planning functionality that will allow you to examine each vehicle’s route and make adjustments so CAZs can be avoided next time round.
You could also look into an option that provides geo-fencing, meaning you’ll be notified when one of your vehicles enters a CAZ in real-time.
- Reduce Fuel Consumption
One of the primary ways fleet tracking systems promote a green fleet is by reducing fuel consumption. By using GPS trackers, you will be able to optimise routes and make changes to routes to limit drive times, reduce idling times and decrease turnaround times by providing customers with more accurate ETAs. An efficient fleet does not waste fuel, and by monitoring vehicles in this way will result in a reduction in fuel consumption, saving money and helping the environment, all at once.
- Monitor mileage and tax laws
One of the most challenging aspects of managing a green fleet is adhering to ever-changing tax regulations. Fleet managers need to stay up to date on tax laws to ensure they’re saving money when possible and avoiding unnecessary fines at all costs.
Taxes and regulations exist to control a variety of issues related to vehicle usage, such as Benefit-In-Kind (BIK) tax for electric company cars, vehicle emission standards and fuel duty costs – all designed to help benefit the environment and encourage greener habits when it comes to motoring.
Here are just a few of the taxes and regulations that have been implemented most recently:
- BIK Electric Car Tax: The government has recently announced that company car drivers using a pure electric vehicle will pay just 1% for 2021/22, then 2% for 2022/23. There are two new BIK tables available, one for company cars registered before April 6, 2020 and one for company cars registered after that date.
- Ultra-Low Emission Zones: As of April 2019, London became the world’s first Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ). Petrol and diesel vehicles that do not meet the required emissions standards will be fined.
- Fuel Duty Freeze: UK fuel duty is 57.95 pence per litre for petrol and diesel. There has been a fuel duty freeze since 2011, but it may increase in upcoming months.
A route history documentation feature in your fleet tracking system, for example, will allow you to monitor vehicle mileage. This data can be used for tax purposes in addition to meeting internal goals surrounding fuel consumption, vehicle usage and more.
It is important that businesses of all sizes are consciously making decisions that help improve the environmental impact of their fleets. Using technology for vehicle tracking, means easy access to data and analytics that can help businesses of all sizes to take control of their environmental impact to ensure they, too, are doing their bit to reduce emissions and go green.
About the author
Sam Rucker is an industry expert and content creator for Vimcar, the provider of fleet management software for UK SMEs.