IFMI: Decarbonising - good for the fleet and the planet
The International Fleet Managers Institute (IFMI) has been running seminars and events addressing the issues fleet managers face daily for over 18 years. The latest meeting, which took place yesterday (3rd May 2023), took a deep dive into Maximising fleet potential by lowering your carbon footprint.
Most fleets have now put a date to their commitment to carbon neutrality. For many that date is 2030. This is an essential step in the right direction but in the meantime, ICE vehicles are being ignored. This was the message given by Andrew Wilson, European Business Development Manager, MHC Mobility, who reminded attendees that we are still seven years away, so there’s an opportunity to change cycles and reduce ICE fleet CO2 emissions.
“A new study found that although half the companies surveyed (51%) have concrete CO2 targets for the future, only a third (37%) are actively monitoring their fleet emissions and 17% have no knowledge of them whatsoever.” Wilson pointed out. He offered a number of steps to ICE fleet decarbonisation, including measuring your current carbon footprint; right-sizing vehicles and payload; ensuring PHEV drivers plug in and that drivers use driving aids such as cruise control, stop/start technology, and so on.
The transition to electric vehicles (EVs) has to fit with company car policy and driver needs, it cannot be expected that every ICE vehicle will be replaced with an EV in every domain. This was highlighted by Lamia Loudhaief, International Consultant at Arval.
“The driver profile is key,” Loudhaief said. “The decision has more to do with routes and usage of the vehicle than anything else at this stage. TCO has risen 35% since 2018 and it’s different in each country. The Czech Republic, for example, ICE is still cheaper than BEV.”
Fabio Carello - Senior International Consultant - EV expert, ALD talked about OEM product planning and highlighted that all stakeholders (including governments, consumers, and automakers) are focusing almost all resources towards fully electric. So, the options for anything are decreasing towards fully electric. But with this comes advanced battery technology providing increased range and faster charging times. Some of the models highlighted for 2023 were the Hyundai KONA BEV, BYD Sea Lion, and the Polestar 3. In terms of PHEVs, Carello spotlighted the Skoda Superb and the new VW Passat. Two models to be refreshed this year are the Peugeot 3008 and Toyota CHR II but one to look out for is the new Kia EV9 with its seven seats and 100kWh battery.
It’s no secret that SEAT-CUPRA intends to be carbon neutral by 2050 but Daniel Schessler - Implementation Fleet Agency Model Europe, SEAT-CUPRA shared the brand’s intentions in terms of more launches positioning different body types for the next three years, such as the CUPRA Tavascan BEV, which is a compact SUV offering a range of 450km. Other models mentioned were the VW ID.7 premium mid-size sedan, with an impressive range of 700km.
Best practice in fleet, case study
Schneider Electric provides energy automation and digital solutions aimed at efficiency and sustainability. It’s a technology company with a strong climate commitment that employs over 128,000 people globally. It operates a fleet in excess of 15,800 vehicles in 70 countries and has set the ambitious target of having all of those vehicles electric by 2030. Paola Felcaro, senior global category leader - Schneider Electric is responsible for that project and presented an overview to IFMI delegates.
She explained that whereas the commitment to decarbonisation is 100% in all countries, the changes made cannot be the same in all countries. “Some countries are behind because they don’t have the infrastructure to support an electric fleet. So, in these countries, we try to reduce the fleet, introduce innovation, smart working, reduce one-to-one meetings, and so on.” Felcaro explained. She also shared her five-point plan:
- Introduce sustainable car lists.
- Introduce and monitor EcoPrograms.
- Review car eligibility rules.
- Support change management (soft change management in some geographies).
- Think about e-mobility at large.