Fleets are increasingly under pressure to reduce emissions and minimize costs. Telematics offers a variety of tools and reports to help companies meet their green fleet management goals.
Why use telematics for green fleet management?
Telematics supports green fleet management in six key ways:
- Reduce idling and inefficient driving
- Lower CO2 emissions
- Route optimization
- Proactive vehicle maintenance
- EV fleet management
How telematics supports green fleets
1. Promote efficient driving and reduce unnecessary idling
Telematics can be used as a tool for reducing fuel through driver and safety management. Reports and alerts can highlight aggressive driving behavior, such as speeding, harsh acceleration, and other environmentally harmful activities that burn up more fuel.
This information on driver behavior provides managers the ability to improve driver efficiency by directing training at the specific areas needing the most attention. With an increase in awareness, a driver’s average MPG is likely to follow.
One of the biggest culprits in vehicle carbon (CO2) emissions is idling. In an example from Natural Resources Canada, if every Canadian were to reduce daily idling by three minutes, CO2 emissions could be cut by 1.4 million tons yearly, or the equivalent to taking 320,000 vehicles off the road.
Here is a fleet management success story about a courier fleet that was able to significantly reduce fuel costs through idle reduction.
About Geotab idling rules:
Geotab allows managers to see how long each driver is idling and overall fleet idling time, as well as the cost of all that idling. Drivers can also receive alerts when the engine has idled for too long, and warnings can be sent to their manager as well. Reports can be automatically emailed at preferred time intervals, such as weekly, through the MyGeotab user interface.
Example fleet idling report from MyGeotab
2. Minimizing your fleet’s carbon footprint
Geotab also offers a custom report specifically for fleets looking to understand and reduce their carbon footprint, called the CO2 Emissions Report. It is free to download on the Geotab Marketplace. This report uses engine-based fuel economy data to calculate an estimated amount of CO2 emissions from fleet activity.
Geotab CO2 Emissions Report from the Geotab Marketplace
Green Fleet Dashboard:
The Green Fleet Dashboard, available on Marketplace, also helps to manage all of these factors, including idle time, fuel economy and emissions monitoring.
3. Optimize routes
By optimizing routes, fleets can both reduce unnecessary miles and avoid heavily congested routes as much as possible. For example, if you have a customer delivery every week and you see a report indicating that your vehicle has been moving at a speed well below the posted speed limit for 25 minutes or more, it is safe to assume this is due to some type of traffic congestion issue. If enough fleets optimize routing, municipalities will see decreased traffic congestion, which could reduce the need for building additional road capacity.
With MyGeotab, you can pre-set routes for drivers and avoid these known high-traffic areas. This feature can provide drivers with the most efficient route and increase the number of stops they can make in a day. This will result in less fuel wastage, increased productivity/profitability and again, fewer carbon emissions released into the air.
4. Practice proactive vehicle maintenance
Some of the common contributors of fuel waste and unnecessary carbon emissions are based on vehicle maintenance not being completed on a regular basis. A perfect example of this includes tire maintenance. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, for every 1 psi that tires are under-inflated, gas mileage is reduced by 0.2%.
Be Car Care Aware (BCCA) advises driving a vehicle with deteriorating brakes forces the vehicle to work harder in order to accelerate, as the brakes will not release properly and in turn increase the amount of fuel being used. All in all, the BCCA also warns that a poorly maintained vehicle could cost you 15% more in fuel, which also means unnecessary carbon emissions.
How telematics helps with vehicle maintenance:
Fleet managers can optimize their maintenance programs by using telematics to keep a record of diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs), such as through real-time alerts, and tracking odometer readings to accurately schedule preventive maintenance. You can also record completed vehicle maintenance and updates for future service dates. Through the Geotab Marketplace you can simplify this process further with the Dynamic Vehicle Maintenance Reminder report.
Beyond that, fleets can also compare vehicle efficiency within similar specifications and duty cycles, and highlight vehicles that need more robust preventive maintenance or could even need replacement due to high maintenance costs. In other words, service schedules, odometer readings, and DTC tracking can be centrally managed so that maintenance schedules are upheld, and the health of the fleet optimized.
5. Integrating electric vehicles into your fleet
Of all the new vehicle technologies available, EVs offer fleets the greatest opportunity to improve urban air quality, as they create zero roadside emissions from the tailpipe. With far more efficient drive trains, EVs also offer the best pathway to reduce overall GHGs. However, it is important to right-size any EV to its required duty cycle, and to be confident in exactly which vehicles on which routes would make the best candidates for replacement. To do this, fleet operators require access to the data that will make the case.
An Electric Vehicle Suitability Assessment (EVSA) provides all the information required to help ensure you are choosing the best-fit EVs for your fleet. With an EVSA, fleet managers can see the environmental and financial case for transitioning to electric, based on real duty cycles, taken from the vehicle. The final report provides a roadmap for which vehicles are best suited to switch to EVs, allowing organizations to forecast the effects of the purchasing decision before making them.
6. Managing EVs with finesse
EV tracking can be easily integrated into existing fleet management routines. On the Geotab platform, fleets can run reports on both historical and real-time EV data, along with data from their non-electric vehicles.
Here are just a few of the way telematics can help you track and monitor EV performance:
- Use real time alerts to remind drivers to plug in
- Make sure EVs have the charge needed to complete their work with the Charge Assurance Dashboard
- Use smart integrations with load management software to make sure EVs are fully charged when needed, while minimizing electricity and infrastructure costs
- Run vehicle energy and charging reports to track and monitor operating costs
Learn more about Geotab's EV fleet solutions.
Thanks to technology, greening a fleet has never been easier. Read about Geotab’s own environmental practices here.