Sustainable solutions are often written off as too expensive or out of reach for business leaders. What’s more, businesses are creatures of habit — they have their processes and stick to them. But as the energy transition demands fleets take on new and diversified energy sources and responsibilities, sustainability has grown to mean so much more than just protecting our environment.
For fleet managers looking to pursue fleet sustainability that also accounts for longevity and efficiency, here are six ways fleets can embrace holistic sustainability in the face of the changing transportation landscape.
1. Try alternative fuels:
Alternative fuels such as electricity, hydrogen, and biofuels offer significant environmental benefits compared to traditional fossil fuels. Electric vehicles, for example, have no tailpipe emissions and are becoming increasingly cost-competitive with traditional vehicles. Fleet operators can also consider using hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, which emit only water vapor, or biofuels made from renewable sources such as waste cooking oil or plant-based materials.
2. Use fuel-efficient vehicles:
Another way for fleets to reduce their environmental impact is by using fuel-efficient vehicles. This can include hybrid electric vehicles or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, which combine the benefits of electric power with the range of traditional fossil fuels. Hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles also offer a sustainable option. In addition, fleets can also consider using vehicles with advanced fuel-saving technologies, such as aerodynamic designs, low rolling resistance tires, and engine start-stop systems.
3. Adopt Mobile Fueling:
According to GeoTab, each fleet vehicle drives an average of 2.2 off-route miles for each gas station trip. At an average of 183 gas station visits annually per fleet vehicle (according to Booster’s customer data), those miles pile up to create significant emissions.
Booster’s mobile fueling service significantly reduces these emissions through the elimination of individual gas station trips. Mobile fueling omits the need for the gas station errand by delivering fuel directly from the terminal to fleet vehicles wherever they park overnight. In fact, Booster’s mobile fuel delivery service can save up to 587 lbs of CO2 per diesel vehicle annually by reducing gas station trips.
4. Optimize routes and schedules:
By optimizing their routes and schedules, fleets can reduce their energy consumption and environmental impact. This can include using software — like Booster’s proprietary routing software — to optimize delivery routes to minimize idle time, reduce fuel consumption, and increase productivity. Fleets can also consider scheduling deliveries during off-peak hours, when traffic is lighter and energy demand is lower.
5. Implement driver training programs:
Driver behavior has a significant impact on fuel consumption and emissions. Fleet operators can implement driver training programs to encourage more fuel-efficient driving practices, such as avoiding rapid acceleration and excessive idling, maintaining a consistent speed, and reducing unnecessary weight in the vehicle.
6. Monitor and analyze data:
Finally, fleets can be more sustainable by monitoring and analyzing data on their fuel consumption and environmental impact. This can include using telematics devices to track vehicle performance and identify areas for improvement, such as reducing idling time or improving fuel efficiency. Fleets can also use data analytics tools to analyze fuel consumption patterns and identify opportunities to optimize routes, schedules, and vehicle usage.
Cleaner, Greener Solutions
For fleets needing easily accessible data, Booster’s fleet data portal offers actionable insights into gallons pumped, emissions saved, dollars spent on fuel, and more.
As the entire economy continues to adopt cleaner, greener solutions, fleets are doing the same. Not only will this lighten their impact on the environment, but it will also help them to achieve longevity and efficiency in their business and fleet operations. Along the path of the transportation sector’s energy transition, data analysis, alternative fuels, and mobile fueling will be key methods of boosting sustainability.