Deciding on what vehicles and new technologies to invest in is usually a significant and complex decision for the fleet manager. The following tips will help you in the process of selecting the right fleet for your organisation.
- Assessing the options
You first have to assess all the possible options that are available to you as a fleet manager.
In assessing your options, three important issues are considered: environmental priorities, operational requirements, and lifecycle costs. These are helpful in determining whether the particular vehicles under consideration are fit for purpose. Irrespective of the vehicle you decide to choose, the smallest, most fuel-efficient vehicle which is appropriate for the required task should be considered. You have to target to get vehicles with the lowest CO2 emissions as well as new technologies such as start-stop systems which reduces engine idling. These technologies significantly improves fuel consumption.
- Defining requirements
In the process of developing a sustainable fleet, defining operational requirements and priorities as early as possible in the process is very important. The reason for defining your requirements is to ensure that the uses to which vehicles will be put to are well understood. This will further ensure that the most suitable vehicles are identified. E.g. of requirements and their implications includes; significant running in urban cities – low emissions is a priority with hybrid, EV or gas fuel been the potential options, large carrying capacity requirement – fuel storage or battery space.
- Assessing the costs
After identifying the vehicles that meets the requirements, the cost of the vehicles needs to be assessed with regards to its operation. This cost assessment should cover both capital and operating cost which includes fuel costs, congestion charges, road tax, maintenance costs, parking charges, etc. This is known as whole life costing and gives you the opportunity to capture the benefits of vehicles that may be more expensive to purchase but have a significant savings over its lifetime with respect to its operating cost.
- Ranking the solutions
The vehicles should then be ranked against environmental criteria as well as whole life cost. Compare your existing choices against the ranking. This should give you a clearer picture of the environmental benefits that are likely to be achieved and at what additional cost. It should be possible to improve the environmental performance and reduce its cost. Improving sustainability credentials and using it to win more business sometimes makes additional cost beneficial and worthwhile.
In conclusion, when selecting your fleet you have to make the effort to first assess your options, define your requirements, assess the cost and finally rank your possible solutions against environmental criteria.