Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Paul Hollick's blog: 20 July - Is low carbon really as low carbon as we think?
Cookies on Businesscar

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the Business Car website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookies at any time

BusinessCar magazine website email Awards mobile

The start point for the best source of fleet information

Paul Hollick's blog: 20 July - Is low carbon really as low carbon as we think?

Date: 20 July 2015

Paul Hollick is the chairman of the ICFM.

I meet a lot of people in the industry, ICFM members included, praising themselves on their overall green car parc and the reductions in vehicle CO2 emissions they have achieved over the last two to five years.

To be honest, this is awesome - they talk with conviction, pride and acknowledgement that it is great for business and great for the environment. A real "win-win".
That said, I do sometimes scratch my head wondering whether this is actually true..
The question I ask myself is how does a fleet manager really know that their overall CO2 measures, which they believe to be in place, are actually working? For example are real life mpgs really checked with the expected rate built into the Whole Life Cost calculations? Is driver behaviour checked and reviewed for gas-guzzlers or heavy right feet? Or is the vehicle selection by the driver or listing by the fleet manager even correct? This last point is especially important when dealing with LCVs and need fleet, when items can be added onto a vehicle which could materially affect the overall fuel efficiency of a vehicle.
In most cases, with the exception of the real stars in the industry (undoubtedly all ICFM graduates, who would know to check these things!), the sad answer is probably not.
I am lucky enough to see a database of over 120,000 corporate vehicles and can compare the manufacturers' CO2 and mpg figures to the actual real life, on-the-road numbers - and the real life data is frightening! I am not going to name any names or any particular types of vehicles or even segments but I can tell you that, more than you would think, they look nothing like they should do.

Of course, there are many factors at play around this point, and it would be massively unfair to say that the contentious testing systems are incorrect, as age, maintenance levels, tyre pressures, vehicle requirements, add-on extras and particularly driver behaviour will all be reflected in the final mpg figure but I do think it is important to use real life data and check the comparative.
My advice, in summary, please check real life data - it could massively change your views on the low carbon topic, steer your strategies and maybe also save fleets some significant running costs.