Clearly, fleet decarbonisation is one of the most pressing issues for fleet managers right now.
With the UK targeting net zero by 2050, we all have our part to play, and with the prospect of diesel and petrol vehicle sales being outlawed by 2030, it’s critical to start thinking about fleet decarbonisation sooner rather than later.
Clearly, laws are changing in order to speed up the decarbonisation process – low emission zones and ultra low emission zones are springing up all over the place, and existing areas like London’s ULEZ expanding to cover a greater area.
At the same time, there are significant tax breaks available for company car drivers that opt for electric vehicles, again helping fleets to move away from petrol and diesel and towards electric.
But if you’ve got fleet decarbonisation as an aim, you’ll know that transitioning over to non-carbon emitting vehicles is easier said than done.
Clearly cost will be a significant consideration, as well as the time and energy required, and if you’re not careful, fleet decarbonisation can add huge amounts of cost to your fleet, as well as being exceptionally time consuming.
At Concept Vehicle Leasing, we’re helping numerous clients with their fleet decarbonisation, and we’ve put together some simple steps to help you achieve it in the best, most effective way possible:
Engage everyone in the process
Getting support from all all parties is a key step in starting the decarbonisation of the fleet.
There are many stakeholders to take into account, including:
- Individuals that are already a part of your organisation
The reality is that resistance to decarbonisation is common, and this is one of the first things you’re going to need to cope with.
By taking them with you.
Explain why diesel and petrol are no longer the most efficient choices, and identify funding sources to help support all parties in these transitions.
Most of all, keep up to date on developments in the world of electric – many people believe (wrongly) that electric vehicle battery range has not yet reached the stage where an electric vehicle is viable – this needs communicating to the people you need to buy into your initiative.
Done right, switching to an electric vehicle can be a huge benefit to any stakeholder – reduced fuel costs, lower benefit-in-kind tax and fewer charges in cities – but you need to communicate this in the right way to help them to see it.
Make sure you make the right investments AND complete the full financial picture
Clearly, if your entire fleet is chock full of petrol and diesel vehicles, decarbonising it is going to take some time, and money.
As a result, it's critical to make sure you're getting the most out of the whole process and seizing any chances that come your way.
Although the upfront investment in new vehicles is likely to be considerable, the flipside is that fleet transformation can assist to offset the rising costs of carbon prices, which are increasing globally.
Clearly one way you can mitigate the upfront cost of switching to electric vehicles is by leasing rather than purchasing them, and Concept Vehicle Leasing are happy to assist you to make that happen.
Above all, don’t just crack on without working out what it’ll cost you – that’s one way to wreak significant financial havoc on your organisation.
Map out your strategy before doing anything else
You might think that decarbonisation is straightforward – get everyone on board and then replace the vehicles.
Not so fast.
Given that there are several factors to take into account for a journey that could potentially take decades, it’s key to come up with a road map of how you’re going to get to net zero.
When ordering new vehicles, fleet managers need to properly size their fleets, and the process of decommissioning used vehicles is just that: a process.
Changing everything straight over will cause problems, and if you don’t have the right charging infrastructure in place, it could have disastrous implications.
It's crucial to first determine where you are on the road towards net zero, and what needs to change AND when.
For example, it might be that rather than switching straight over to electric vans, you have an eight-year strategy where you gradually replace your petrol and diesel vehicles, while you build up your charging capability.
Whatever your strategy is, you need one – this isn’t a “hit and hope” type journey.
Take advantage of all available data
The more driving your fleet does, the more critical this is.
The more data you have on miles, routes, charges, passengers and emissions, the bigger and better the picture you’ll have, and the more likely you are to make the right decisions that work towards decarbonisation without having a significant adverse impact on your business.
For example, if you have drivers that regularly need to drive 350+ miles in a day, then the chances are you’re better off waiting to replace their vehicles until electric battery range is higher.
But equally, if you have company car drivers who only use their vehicle for commuting and occasional trips, then they could be first in line.
Having a thorough understanding of your fleet and their habits is critical, and if you’re thinking that this sounds like hard work, you’d be right.
One of the areas where Concept Vehicle Leasing can help is by taking hold of your fleet management, and using our advanced software to analyse all the data, crunch all the numbers and help you to make smart decisions about your best next step.
You’ve engaged with your key stakeholders in the first instance, and that has to continue throughout the process.
You must take into account the adjustments required to transition workers who run and maintain zero-emission fleets as part of the shift. Your current workforce will almost certainly lack knowledge about operating, maintaining, and fixing electric vehicles, as well as the related infrastructure. To reskill the teams for the future, succession planning and training strategies must be established.
You’ll also need to understand how well your team are coping with the decarbonisation process – are they frustrated? Is it changing their habits in a negative way? Keep talking, and you stand the best chance of keeping them on board.
Partner with a team that really knows what they’re doing
Decarbonisation isn’t a straightforward process by any means, even if you have a full time fleet manager.
The reality is that many organisations don’t, and they’re relying on someone who wears multiple hats to take on the additional responsibility.
That’s where we come in – we’re currently helping many of our clients with the decarbonisation process, by managing pretty much every element of it – the strategy, the ordering of vehicles, the facilitation of chargers, the list goes on.
If you’d like to discuss fleet decarbonisation, and how Concept Vehicle Leasing can help you with the process, just give us a call on 0800 043 2050 or fill in the form on this page and we’ll organise a good time to talk.