This week, we’re launching a campaign to challenge the thinking on how we should reduce the CO2 emissions of vehicles on Britain’s roads. So we’re calling on the Government to incentivise businesses to invest in eco-friendly driving.
It’s time for businesses to rethink their approach to driver behavior and the energy efficient use of vehicles to not only help raise awareness about environmental issues but to improve safety for all road users.
It’s not just us that are saying this either. The Environment Council agree that businesses have a vital role to play in shaping the future of eco driving through innovation, support and sharing good practice over the coming years. We’re both committed to this campaign and we’re working with them on a project to promote the impact of driver behaviour on business and the environment.
We’ve written about the limitations of current plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and believe that they are not the answer, right now, to help UK business meet fuel economy and carbon reduction targets. Instead we believe that the Government should back the use of technology and training to enable eco-friendly driving as a solution to manage fuel costs and lower CO2 emissions across fleets.
Why? It’s practical, it’s widely available and it’s affordable.
While we’re all under increased pressure to green our fleets, the low uptake of the Plug-In Vehicle grant scheme in the commercial sector proves that it is not an effective incentive. The benefits of the grant are still out weighed by continuing concerns over range anxiety, the limited choice of electric commercial vehicles and their cost. Compare the Renault Kangoo Z.E. – one of only two vehicles from mainstream manufacturers eligible for the grant – to its diesel alternative. Its basic list price is £16990 – nearly double the £8950 of the diesel. On top of this, running costs figures often ignore the monthly cost of hiring a battery for the vehicle.
What businesses need now is a practical and realistic solution. That solution is to improve driver behaviour.
Vehicle telematics is making it increasingly easy to monitor behaviours and promote techniques such as driving at an appropriate speed, accelerating and braking smoothly and changing gears at the optimum time through training schemes designed around an individual’s needs. All of which drives a behavioural change that will ultimately improve fuel efficiency and driver safety. In addition, some news your accountants will be glad to hear, investing in eco driving can also significant reduce your fleet’s running cost.