Choosing the right fleet fuel can be a headache for some fleet managers. Ever wondered why some vehicles perform better than others? Could it be the because of the type of vehicle in question, the road it’s been applied or simply the type of fuel used?
Every car owner knows the importance of fuel. Aside from accidents, driver performance and fleet risk, choosing the right fuel can be an issue. This is because the right type of fuel can affect operational costs and improve vehicle performance in the long run.
However, fuel selection is not that easy. There are a lot of factors to be considered by the fleet manager. In this blog, I will explain the factors that go into choosing the right fuel for your fleet.
The 4 W’s
In choosing the right type of fuel for your fleet, you need to consider the 4W’s – the who, what, where and when.
- Who is driving the car? The sales rep, commercial driver…
- What is the purpose of the vehicle? Transporting tools, goods…
- Where will the vehicle travel? A long or short distance
- When will the vehicle be used? Every day, or less
The user of the car, its purpose, the places the car will be used at and the duration of the car’s usage all play roles in the fuel selection for the car.
Another reason why fuel selection is critical is that the wrong fuel type can reduce vehicle lifespan, which means more downtime, higher service and repair costs and lower efficiency.
Types of Fuel
There are various types of fuels, but the four most popular types are Petrol, Diesel, Electric and Hybrid.
Petrol is the most accessible and common fuel type. It is cheap and vehicles that use petrol tend to be less expensive to buy. One of the advantages of using petrol is that you can easily find a petrol station. However, these vehicles are expensive to maintain.
This is another common choice for fleet vehicles. They offer a better fuel economy than petrol. Diesel has been around for two decades because of its improved fuel consumption over petrol engines.
Although diesel emissions are lower in Carbon dioxide than petrol engines, they release more nitrogen oxide into the atmosphere which can cause breathing problems. Diesel cars also retain more value and the cost of maintenance is low so there is money to be saved here.
Electric vehicles (EVs) are 100% electric and they offer a quiet form of transport with no emissions. They also have low refuelling cost and require less maintenance than their counterparts. However, they are mostly good for short trips as driving is limited due to the regular recharging stops.
A Hybrid vehicle comes in two forms – Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs) and Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs). Hybrid vehicles are lower in Carbon dioxide emission and high fuel economy.
Hybrid vehicles are more expensive than others, but maintenance tends to be less frequent which can reduce downtime and associated costs.
Before selecting a fuel type, it is imperative you take into consideration fuel economy, fuel cost, sustainability, maintenance requirements, regulations and pricing as they all influence your choice.
With the different types of fuel out there, it’s important to know what works best for you to achieve long-term value. Although diesel and petrol are the most common, hybrid and electric vehicles are beginning to flood the European market.