Fleet managers were asked to share what new initiatives they are using, or considering, to improve safety, data use and fuel consumption.
Here is a summary of their discussion:
- Alternative fuels are receiving increased interest from fleet managers, especially those with vehicles in London.
- Hydrogen was widely accepted by the group as the most logical fuel for the future but many concerns were raised over refuelling locations and costs.
- The only current solution is to have an on-site hydrogen refuelling station if the vehicle is located away from a public on – this does impact on usability and restricts the way the car can be used though.
- One fleet operator had decided to trial a fleet of CNG gas powered trucks for higher mileage trips and found the mpg to be the same as diesel trucks but the fuel and emissions to be much lower.
- More fleets were also trialling electric vans and supported the Department for Transport’s consultation to increase the Gross Vehicle Weight limit for electric vans from 3.5 tonnes to 4.5 tonnes to allow the fitment of more batteries.
- Fears over the availability of charging points for larger vehicles and the implications of accessories such as freezers being used in electric vans were also raised.
- Petrol powered vans were also a consideration for some but many felt there was not enough choice in the market.
- Fleet managers said they were pleased to see the latest range of alternative fuel cars had more conventional styling, one said that lots of their drivers were put off by cars which were ‘obviously green’.
- The introduction of standard fitment AEB on Volkswagen vans was welcomed by delegates who often specify it on cars where it is not already fitted.
- Some fleet managers felt the AEB technology was still in its infancy and some niggles need to be worked out of the system before it would receive widespread acceptance.
- The use of telematics is evolving and fleet operators are now looking at how to integrate the technology with car fleets rather than just vans and HGVs where the outcome has been so significant.
- There is some fear that fitting telematics systems to company cars could push more drivers to grey fleet vehicles.
- Grey fleet vehicles could also be fitted with new telematics black boxes and is being trialled by one fleet manager already.