How Addressing CO2 Emissions Builds a Better Vehicle Fleet
Over the last two years, pressure has increased for fleet managers, their teams of drivers and maintenance staff, the vehicles themselves, and, of course, for the businesses that employ them. To see where some of the stress points occur, we examined Verizon Connect’s Fleet Survey Report and look to technology as a highly effective way that operations can be improved right across the business: lowering costs, meeting customer expectations better, reducing CO2 emissions, and making overall operations more profitable.
What the report shows is that proactively reducing carbon emissions helps companies save money, increases driver safety, engages more employees better with the business, and creates more open communication throughout the workplace.
While most companies’ drivers are environmentally conscious, there is still some confusion as to best driving practice. The false notion that turning engines on and off is environmentally positive crops up, but it’s clear that most drivers are at least trying to save fuel. In fact, twice as many drivers (48%) are consciously working on reducing CO2 emissions in their daily work, compared to 24% doing so back in 2018.
The simplest answer, of course, is to invest heavily in an all-electric fleet, but that’s a solution followed by only 23% of the companies surveyed. Instead, rewarding economical driving styles and operational improvements were used by 41% of companies to achieve better performance.
Twenty per cent of companies used practical technologies like cleaner fuels and newer engines in their fleet to improve overall C-footprint, but it’s striking that integrated technology in the back end, used in combination with more traditional vehicle tracking tech, can help improve driving styles and trip planning.
In these ways, companies that cannot invest as quickly as they might like in cleaner vehicles or alternative fuel technologies can reduce their CO2 emissions considerably.
There is clearly a great deal of pressure on companies to perform according to their customers’ expectations, which influence driver behaviour. Companies reported that 54% of their drivers admit to driving too fast during their shifts (and therefore often brake late and too hard). In addition to driver safety concerns, erratic use of the accelerator and brake pedals is known to drive up carbon emission figures.
Realtime alerts from joined-up technology to managers that drivers are leaving their engines idling unnecessarily can be a catalyst for better driver education, although the same alerting system showing speeding drivers inside city limits might indicate poor scheduling and shift allocation — drivers under pressure to perform will cut corners and drive too fast.
Note that we’ve been at pains to state “joined-up” technology or “integrated systems” in the preceding paragraphs. Vehicle-tracking is the technology that comes to mind most readily in this industry at the first mention of digital tech, but to fully utilise its power, supporting smart platforms need much more than a real-time, map-based dashboard.
Data-based systems give business owners and operations directors in the transport sector the ability to see patterns that develop over time and therefore create the context for their future. A simple example might be a rise in the occurrences of vehicle damage on specific routes regardless of the driver. These can be caused by taxing road conditions, and therefore scheduled maintenance for the vehicles on the route can be made to follow a slightly faster cadence.
Recognising patterns that are thrown up by data is just one advantage to integrated technology systems in operations. Company decision-makers use the same information extrapolated from joined-up systems to see where and how SLAs might not be being met — and identify why. In daily routines dominated by admin, it’s all too easy to lose sight of the bigger picture and simply feel that SLAs are set too high. With connected tech, overall performance can be improved across the board, giving companies significant differentiators over the competition in the market.
The Verizon Connect and Team Vier survey shows that 84% of employees are positive about using a vehicle tracking or fleet management system. Therefore, companies can safely capitalise on this and use more connected and smarter tech to help all areas of the business.
To learn more about Verizon Connect’s platforms and solutions for businesses of all sizes, you can request a free demo of the technology today.