5 Jan 24

You don’t need a Crystal Ball to plan for a ban

Fleet managers have got used to dealing with Congestion Charging Zones, Low Emission Zones (LEZs) and, more recently, diesel bans, but now there are rumblings of city-wide bans on SUVs. How can fleet managers anticipate and deal with these constant changes and the implications on car policy?

Anticipating change is a concept fleet managers are used to. The mantra “change is the only constant” is familiar to all. However, the impact of increased costs, supply chain challenges and compliance issues due to this change is more challenging and requires a proactive approach.

Transitioning to cleaner vehicles will inevitably increase costs. In the short term, it may be cheaper to pay the congestion charge, but that won’t help in the case of a full-on diesel or gasoline ban. So, what else can you do?

Anticipating and planning for changes that impact car policy:

  • Monitor Regulatory Trends: fleet managers should stay informed about the latest developments in city-level bans and emission standards at local and national levels. 
  • Evaluate Fleet Needs: Assess fleet composition, usage patterns, and emissions levels. Identify opportunities to reduce emissions by replacing older SUVs with more fuel-efficient or electric vehicles. 
  • Scenario planning: For various regulatory outcomes, it involves considering potential bans, taxations, and charges and evaluating their impact on the fleet.
  • Develop Transition Plans: Create a comprehensive plan to transition the fleet to cleaner vehicles, considering budget, timeline, and infrastructure requirements. Align the plan with the phasing-out schedules for older emission standards.
  • Leverage Technology: Utilise fleet management software to track vehicle usage, fuel consumption, and emissions data. Use this insight to optimise routes, reduce idle time, and identify potential fuel-saving measures.
  • Partner with Suppliers: Collaborate with vehicle manufacturers, equipment vendors, and charging infrastructure providers to secure the best deals, access early product information, and ensure seamless integration of new technologies into fleet operations.
  • Training and Awareness: Keep employees and drivers informed about potential regulatory changes. Training programs can help prepare the workforce for shifts in policies and regulations.

By anticipating and proactively planning for city bans on SUVs and other polluting vehicles, fleet managers can minimise disruptions, optimise costs, and enhance the sustainability of operations. They can also contribute to improving air quality, public health, and the overall liveability of urban environments.

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Image: Shutterstock 2107279001 

Authored by: Alison Pittaway