Insights / 4 ways telematics can help fleet electrification

Four ways telematics can support commercial fleet electrification

5th February 2021

Now more than ever, it’s vital for us think about our long-term impact on the environment.

Transport is the largest source of carbon dioxide emissions in the UK, accounting for 34% in 2019. As we approach the UK’s goal for reaching net zero emissions by 2050, we face a huge challenge in reducing emissions from road transport.

Investing in electric vehicles (EVs) isn’t a quick decision or simple solution. But taking smaller steps like making the most of telematics can help you improve your fleet sustainability without overhauling your operations.

Here are four ways telematics can support the electrification and transform the carbon footprint of your fleet.

1. More efficient driving

One of the most impactful ways that telematics can help boost fleet sustainability is by allowing you to performance manage your fleet drivers.

“Eco-driving” is a term coined to describe the most fuel-efficient driving techniques – think avoiding rapid acceleration or deceleration. Anecdotal experiments found improvements of over 30% when drivers consciously implemented some basic tips in their everyday driving.

Telematics can identify the best eco-drivers in your fleet and spot areas of improvement. Not only can non-eco driving behaviours use more fuel, but they can lead to parts wearing down quickly, resulting in your vehicles becoming less efficient.

Whether you’ve evolved to EV yet or not, empowering your operators to become eco-drivers is an immediate way to make sustainability savings.

2. Realtime vehicle diagnostics

As a driver or fleet manager, there’s nothing more frustrating than a vehicle that’s out of action. Telematics devices allow for proactive maintenance; monitoring for engine faults and allowing you to identify potential issues early on.

As well as avoiding a breakdown, monitoring faults proactively helps keep a fleet at peak efficiency. When each part is working as it should, you’ll get the best fuel economy, meaning less need for the fuel in the first place. However your car is powered, reducing your overall consumption always goes hand in hand with sustainability.

(Telematics can also provide you with important compliance data for things like driver log auditing and fuel tax reporting. This supports safety across the business and means your time can be used more efficiently, too.)

3. Fewer roadblocks ahead

Did you know that sitting idle can use more fuel than restarting your engine? Just ten seconds of idling for cars with automatic stop/start systems, or three minutes for traditional ignition engines, will use more fuel than shutting the engine down and starting it again when moving.

One of the least sustainable habits for drivers is idling. Driver monitoring and eco-driving can help in part, but slow roads or traffic jams are the worst idling offenders.

With telematics including GPS and traffic data, drivers are routed the most efficient journey possible. This saves time and headaches, not to mention battery life or unnecessary emissions.

4. Driving the change to electric vehicles

Need to make significant sustainability progress but driver management isn’t quite cutting it? It might be time to make the move from internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to EVs.

If you’re weighing up the switch to electric, telematics can help in your initial suitability assessment. Existing fleet telematics can show if an electric fleet is right for your business, what type of vehicle/s will fit your commercial requirements, and even where your charge points should be based.

If the benefits stack up, your telematics will become a powerful tool once you’ve electrified. They can help you monitor energy consumption, battery charge, and similarly to in ICE vehicles, manage traffic and route planning. Proactive route planning can also help mitigate against any range anxiety that might be felt in early days.

Determining EV suitability is part of our offering to fleets looking to embark on their journey to electrification. We’ll help you create and deliver a suitable EV strategy (or work with your existing plan and infrastructure). And we’ll support you with individual vehicles and charging points through to end-to-end fleet solutions.

To learn more about how Drax EV works for your fleet, or to discuss the potential of converting your fleet vehicles, get in touch with our experts.

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