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Engine idling costs businesses £3.3 billion in wasted fuel per year

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Reducing idling time on the 4.5 million commercial vehicles in the UK and Ireland could save businesses as much as £3.3 billion per year in fuel, according to research from Fleetmatics Group.

Data from its 331,000 subscriber vehicles reveals that vehicles operating without a fleet management solution will idle for 96 minutes per day, on average.

By implementing a GPS fleet tracking solution, SME fleet owners can reduce vehicle idle time by 25% on average, or 24 minutes daily.

In 2011 it was estimated that 860,000 or 24.9% of all commercial vehicles operating in the UK and Ireland had implemented a fleet management solution.

Based on a penetration rate of 24.9% of the 4.5 million commercial vehicles on the road today, the UK and Ireland should already be realising a saving of 1.7 million litres of fuel per day or nearly £2.3 million daily.

But, if all commercial vehicles operating in the UK and Ireland were to implement this technology, businesses could save a further five million litres of fuel or almost £7million. This  equates to daily savings of 6.7 million litres of fuel or £9.2 million.

When translated annually these numbers could make an impact on the UK and Ireland’s fuel dependency:

• Reduction in annual fuel consumption by 2,434,681,400 litres

• Saving more than £3.3 billion per year in fuel costs

Richard Brooks, marketing director for Europe at Fleetmatics, said: “While some idling of commercial vehicles is unavoidable, I think the research does highlight a massive problem for businesses in the UK and Ireland.

"Our customers are all SMEs and even small percentage points of profit on the bottom line matter.

"Business owners and operators I am sure will be horrified at the news that their money is being poured down the drain or more accurately is going up in smoke.”


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  • Gordy - 21/08/2013 12:12

    Yes, all true. But don't forget that the government still receives valuable revenue from tax from fuel usage even when a vehicle is idling or stationary in traffic. So (despite commercial vehicles getting vat refunded) traffic jams are still a viable source of revenue!

  • Adam Wright - 21/08/2013 12:20

    Would love to have a hotline for fleet mangers who's drivers sit in fast-food car parks with engines idling. The drivers are probably the first to moan about the tax they pay when in fact their real CO2 emissions are higher than they could be.

  • Frederick Lew-a-king - 23/08/2013 17:04

    Is there a list of vehicle data on fuel consumption e.g. School Bus types, medium size trucks. I would like to use this data to reinforce the point to senior management, drivers, and technicians.

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