Adam Hall's blog: How telematics can improve your fleet's sustainability
09 July 2021
The concept of sustainability has long been relevant to the fleet industry, but the topic has really hit its stride in recent years. Research continues to illustrate the importance of considering our long-term environmental impact. From investing in new vehicle technology to recalculating routes, every small step in the right direction is valuable.
According to government figures, cars alone account for over 18% of road-transport emissions in the UK. As we approach the UK's net zero by 2050 target, reducing road transport emissions remains a huge priority. As of May 2021, the UK has 500,000 ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs) on the road. While this is a positive milestone, with around 40m vehicles currently registered on the UK's roads, it also indicates the size of the challenge remaining.
Fortunately, businesses can take actionable steps to contribute to the reduction of road transport emissions. Investing in a EV fleet isn't a small or simple decision - but small steps like optimising your telematics can help push your fleet towards sustainability without overhauling your business' operations. In fact, telematics is one of the most impactful elements of a business' fleet when it comes to reducing emissions. Yet, recent research from Leaseplan UK found that telematics is only being used by 35% of businesses that are monitoring their fleet performance.
Telematics is key to monitoring drivers' behaviour and creating sustainable driving habits. For example, telematics can identify issues like harsh braking or acceleration. Driver behaviour is crucial to optimising the efficiency of an EV, and telematics can provide the necessary information as drivers adjust to EV driving. For more serious technical issues, telematics will help fleet managers to identify these at an early stage, rather than later down the line when they become a bigger problem.
What's more, if you're weighing up the switch to electric, telematics can help in your initial suitability assessment. Existing fleet telematics can show if an electric fleet is right for your business, what type of vehicles will fit your commercial requirements, and even where your charge points should be based.
If the benefits stack up, your telematics will become a powerful tool once you've electrified. They can help you monitor energy consumption, battery charge, and similarly to in ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicles, manage traffic and route planning. Proactive route planning can also help mitigate against any range anxiety that might be felt in early days.
Driver management can't always meet the sustainability demands of business fleets. When this is the case, making the switch from ICE vehicles to EVs may be the solution. Telematics can help make the transition seamless. They monitor energy consumption and production, battery charge, and other mission-critical information.
For businesses making efforts to improve their fleet's sustainability, telematics are an invaluable tool.
Adam Hall is director of energy services at Drax Group