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Fleet Services Save Money, Boost Efficiency

Fleet maintenance programs not only are more efficient for regularly scheduled maintenance but also help reduce costly repairs, maximize mileage and save on fuel costs.

Fleet managers across the country are under more pressure than ever to find ways to optimize their fleets, save money, reduce mileage and lower maintenance and repair costs.

Even with the growth of the electric-vehicle market, internal-combustion engine-powered vehicles (ICE) for years to come.

Switching or starting out as an EV fleet is easier said than done, and fleets might not know where to start when it comes to planning.

What about those fleet managers who aren’t ready for the switch to EVs and who are also under pressure to find ways to make their fleets more efficient and sustainable?

No matter the makeup of a fleet, there are several solutions to help fleet managers increase revenue, boost productivity and decrease emissions. Managers can easily implement some solutions, while others may require a long-term commitment to implement; all are worth considering.
Fuel costs are known to be one of the highest operating expenses for fleets. One of the easiest ways to drive down such expense is to implement a fleet card program. Fleet cards allow drivers to fill up at gas stations and save on fuel with rebates. Many fleet cards provide easy-to-manage online and mobile tools that enable fleet managers to set purchase limits, produce detailed reports on fueling activity and offer a way to manage lost or stolen cards in real-time.

Telematics is another cost-saving measure used in fleets. The software-based technology collects data from vehicles to deliver simple, actionable insights on how to reduce idling, optimize routes and identify unsafe driving. Implementing improvements from a telematics program can decrease a fleet’s fuel and maintenance costs 14%, reduce accidents 45% and result in a 5% to 25% decline in insurance costs, according to Geotab.

Fleets can further increase fleet efficiency and sustainability with on-site mobile fueling a service that is starting to take hold in North America. Fleets receive fuel delivered directly to vehicles by third-party vendors, which enables fleet drivers to avoid out-of-the-way trips to the gas station. This reduces vehicle wear and tear and saves fleets time and money because drivers don’t have to stop to fill up; they can simply get in their vehicles and go.

Fleet maintenance programs are not only more efficient for regularly scheduled maintenance, but they help reduce costly repairs, maximize mileage and save on fuel costs. These programs often include insights on dynamic pricing metrics and cost per mile for each vehicle or the entire fleet, aiding in producing accurate annual budgeting. Some vendors also offer excellent discounts for fleet service and repairs.

EV is one of the biggest buzzwords in the fleet industry. The U.S. Energy Information Agency predicts nearly one-third of fleets will move to EVs by 2050. In fact, cheaper, more powerful batteries designed to boost mileage per charge are making EVs more affordable and appealing. This has drawn interest from fleet managers, many of whom are considering transitioning to EV fleets or already have done so.

Jim Perkins.jpgFor those fleets ready to move toward EVs, there are several options to guide fleet managers through the process. A strong plan of action includes reaching out to a consultant that can help customize fleets, from identifying the best vehicles for the business to selecting the appropriate charging stations. The right approach to consultation includes infrastructure assessment, software and hardware considerations, current and future state EV incentives, and needed infrastructure so that the consultant can deliver a comprehensive program solution on behalf of fleet customers.

Once a fleet is electrified, there are numerous benefits. EVs have fewer complex parts and lower maintenance costs compared to ICE vehicles. Perhaps most importantly, driving an EV costs less than driving a gas-powered vehicle – three to five times cheaper per mile, according to the Zero Emission Transportation Assn.

There are several ways to reduce costs, boost efficiency and become an overall more productive fleet, especially with the right consultant who can provide a one-stop shop for all your fleet solutions needs.

Jim Perkins (pictured, above left) is the director of Shell Fleet Solutions, USA. Download the latest Shell Fleet Solutions white paper here.

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