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January 26, 2012updated 12 Apr 2017 4:09pm

Fleet managers reluctant to go green

The last of three reports, based on a survey of fleet decision-makers from across UK industry and the public sector by the BMW-owned company, found that 62% of private sector fleet managers have not set environmental targets for their fleets

By Georgina Lavers

More than half of UK fleet managers have not set any green targets for their fleet, according to research from multi-marque fleet lessor Alphabet.

The last of three reports, based on a survey of fleet decision-makers from across UK industry and the public sector by the BMW-owned company, found that 62% of private sector fleet managers have not set environmental targets for their fleets. The public sector fared better, with 67% having targets in place.

Conversely, the Alphabet Fleet Management Report 2011 found sustainability was a top priority for operators, with 61% of fleet managers claiming environmental issues were a key concern, a figure only topped by driver safety (71%).

When asked what was holding them back, over half claimed cost was the main obstacle.

Alphabet (GB) chief executive Richard Schooling said: “Cost-reduction strategies and deploying green measures should not be mutually exclusive.

“This is especially pertinent to the ongoing effort to reduce CO2. By setting a CO2 limit on choice lists and encouraging drivers to use vehicles more efficiently, fleet managers can achieve significant cost reductions in tandem with reducing emissions.”

The report also asked how fleet managers are working to reduce the environmental impact of their vehicles, finding those surveyed favoured lower-CO2 vehicles (58%), capping CO2 (43%), telematics (41%) and capping business mileage (41%).

Investment in telematics, hybrids and electric cars appeared sluggish, with Alphabet finding just 14% of respondents were planning to invest in telematics. However, Alphabet also identified that telematics already had a larger take-up than hybrids and electric vehicles, with 44% saying they had invested.

Schooling remained hopeful about take-up of telematics systems due to their dwindling cost, and increasing development.

“The cost of telematics systems is falling, while their capabilities continue to expand,” he said.

“Given the rapid pace of development, fleets may decide to take a wait-and-see approach.”

Some 33% of public sector fleets and 19% of private sector fleets said they had invested in electric vehicles, surprising given the low level of EV registrations in the past five years.

Alphabet suggested the small amount of registrations was due to worries about EVs’ range, and the limited availability of public charging points in most areas.

Schooling concluded the report with hopes of improved sustainability in 2012.

“The findings suggest that, although the green fleet ethos has yet to take root across the whole sector, a great many organisations are working hard on coordinated measures to improve sustainability by tackling emissions at vehicle, driver and journey level.”

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