How to Build a Fleet Sustainability Strategy Without EVs
Sustainability is a topic of growing importance for businesses of all sizes. There is mounting pressure from clients, stakeholders, and employees to improve fleet sustainability practices in addition to complying with advancing government legislation.
There is a common perception that the sole means of fleet sustainability is transitioning to electric vehicles. In reality, there currently aren’t enough battery-electric models available that are suitable for fleet range and payload requirements, and fully EV fleets are likely still a few years away.
While businesses should be planning to transition to EVs within the next ten years, there are several other strategies they can employ in the meantime to improve fleet sustainability and reduce long-term expenses.
In this blog, we will discuss alternative approaches to fleet sustainability and how to build a green fleet strategy that works for your business.
Alternative Fleet Sustainability Strategies
Green fleet management doesn’t have to be complicated; there are simple adjustments you can make for your business that will add up to considerable emission reductions and cost savings.
Choose Fuel Efficient Vehicles
While fleet vehicles must be fit for purpose, not every job requires a powerful engine. A compact car emits less than half the carbon dioxide of an SUV or pickup truck. Evaluate your fleet requirements and choose smaller, more efficient engines wherever possible.
Preventative maintenance is an important part of sustainable fleet management. It also maximizes vehicle resale value and lowers total cost of ownership.
Regularly scheduled maintenance is key to optimal engine performance and minimizing fuel usage and emissions. Furthermore, low tire pressure, worn-out brakes, fouled spark plugs, and clogged air filters all reduce fuel economy. Taking proper care of vehicles also reduces downtime and helps prevent costly repairs.
Sustainable Driver Behavior
Discouraging driver behaviors like harsh braking, reducing idling, and maintaining the speed limit all have cumulative effects that result in an overall more sustainable fleet. Invest in driver training or modify your fleet policies to reflect the behavior expectations you have for your drivers.
Efficient Route Planning
Route planning requires minimal investment but offers significant emissions reductions and cost savings. Businesses can use GPS to plan the most efficient routes to and between jobs. This doesn't always mean taking the shortest route; adjusting routes to avoid traffic or large hills are also important considerations to reduce unnecessary fuel consumption and minimize driving time.
If your business is ready to transition to more sustainable vehicles, hybrid vehicles are an excellent option.
There are several options available today, including the Ford Escape Hybrid. Most hybrids run on traditional fuel but have an electric motor to improve fuel economy and performance. The battery charges as you drive so you don't have to worry about investing in charging infrastructure or increased downtime for charging.
Hybrid vehicles offer the best of both worlds of internal combustion vehicles and EVs. You can take advantage of lower emissions and fuel costs, but you also have the flexibility of a gas tank when you need it.
However, hybrid vehicles won’t make sense for all businesses. If your fleet vehicles are traveling long distances, the internal combustion engine will end up doing most of the work, and fuel and emission savings will be minimal.
Contact your fleet management provider to learn more about whether or not hybrid vehicles would be a good fit for your business.
How Ewald Can Help
Here at Ewald, we can build a fleet sustainability strategy tailored to your business’s needs. We offer services for fleet optimization to ensure your vehicles are operating at top performance while reducing emissions wherever possible.
Tracking fuel costs and usage is the first step to a sustainable fleet. Our fuel card allows you to see exactly how much fuel your business uses each month on one consolidated invoice; this provides you with a starting point to measure your sustainability strategy as you implement it.
Our maintenance program will help you stay on top of regular service for your fleet vehicles to ensure nothing gets missed. You’ll receive alerts whenever it’s time to bring a vehicle in for maintenance. ASE-certified technicians manage each maintenance visit from the start, ensuring all required repairs get done, and rejecting any unnecessary service. If you’re ready to adopt hybrid electric vehicles for your fleet, we’ll help you acquire and lease the right vehicles for your needs.
Even if your business isn't ready to transition to EVs, now is a good time to consider adjusting your operations to improve sustainability. Not only do you have the opportunity to reduce your environmental impact, and even small changes can add up to significant reductions when implemented across your fleet.
If you're looking to electrify your business fleet, or think you may need to soon, learn more about EV fleet management with Ewald.