The fleet manager will continue to play a vital role in the communication and take up of green transport policies, according to Vincent Rupied, international director at the Corporate Vehicle Observatory and chairman of Leaseurope’s Automotive Steering Group.
Mr Rupied told delegates at the Fleet News Europe Conference that the fleet manager is key to improving a company’s environmental performance.
“When trying to balance operational needs with impact on the environment, the fleet manager has to cope with more complexity,” he said.
“There are new features to be explained, explained and explained again.
"Stop-start technology will bring questions from drivers, understanding the true benefit of hybrids is not easy and with each manufacturer adopting its own initiative there are many labels to understand.”
He warned that some new technologies present a residual value risk and suggested that expert opinions will not always be helpful.
Advice may be contradictory.
He also talked about the “gap between attitude and action” and the huge differences between European member states.
In a recent survey of fleets comprising 3530 interviews, it was found that Polish and Italian fleet managers were least concerned about the environment. Czech, German and Swiss fleets cared the most.
Mr Rupied also pointed out that simple, practical measures within the remit of the fleet manager and with zero cost can have a positive effect on carbon emissions, citing optimal tyre inflation as an example.
Gavin Eagle, business development director at LeasePlan International provided delegates with an example of one pan-European fleet with 680 cars that spent Euro100,000 on eco-driver training.
The company saw an 8% reduction in CO2 after one year and, importantly, the training paid for itself in savings after just eight months and delivered a total saving of almost Euro200,000 after just two years.
It’s this kind of opportunity that fleet managers can communicate.