31 Jan 24

“Investigate every opportunity” to reach Net Zero

Vodafone wants to reach Net Zero by 2030, but its European fleet wants to get there much sooner. To explain how, we asked Emin Guluyev (pictured), Vodafone’s Global Category Team Lead for Mobility Services – and 2023 winner of Fleet Europe’s Green Fleet Manager of the Year award. 

For more on going electric and achieving sustainability, see our Fleet Europe E-Book on EV Incentives, and our Global Fleet E-Book on the Road to Real Sustainability.

Telecoms multinational Vodafone has a fleet of around 10,000 vehicles worldwide, most of which are in Europe. Of those, 49% are already electrified. That’s impressive. But for Mr Guluyev, it’s only the beginning.

What are Vodafone’s fleet sustainability goals?

“Following the Science-Based Targets initiative, Vodafone is committed to achieving Net Zero for its overall operations by 2030. As Vodafone’s central fleet procurement team, we launched the Green Fleet acceleration project, covering 10 European markets. The purpose is to reach Net Zero for our European fleet earlier than that planned date.”

Tell us more about the EV-adjacent initiatives you have deployed within your fleet programme. 

“The EV transition is all about change management. That’s why we have built an EV training deck, to explain the differences between ICE vehicles and EVs, the various types of chargers, and how to do route planning.” 
“In those markets with subsidies for home chargers, Vodafone reimburses the cost of the wall box to the employee. To increase driver satisfaction, we’ve also increased the number of chargers at the office. We do EV test drives with car brands, which gives our drivers the opportunity to get a first experience of electric driving, and to get some of their questions answered. In the UK, we launched a salary sacrifice project that allows all employees to lease an EV while benefiting from OEM discounts and local tax advantages.”

What's next on the agenda?

“We’re launching employee surveys to understand the driving behaviour of EV drivers, and the access they have to EV chargers. Additionally, we’re reviewing mobility solutions as an alternative option for the benefit car owners. And now we’re also pushing for telematics solutions, as this is a must on our journey to Net Zero.”

On that journey, what do you see as the biggest obstacle? And how are you working to overcome it? 

“While the number of public chargers has increased a lot in recent years, the number of EVs has increased much more. That is why we’re now increasing office chargers and promoting home wall boxes.” 
“Another challenge this year is rising TCO. Firstly, because OEMs reduced the volume discounts they gave to corporates, when the supply issues hit during Covid. Secondly, because car leases surged by around 20% at a time when interest rates almost tripled, with inflation reaching 6% last year. And thirdly, because various government subsidies for EVs were reduced or eliminated. In the face of all that, we are continuing our work on TCO optimisation, and keeping the user journey as smooth as possible.”

If you could give your global fleet management peers one tip about fleet sustainability, what would it be? 

“Operating a green fleet requires a new fleet management culture. This involves listening to employee challenges and finding solutions for them. A sustainable fleet also brings a lot of opportunities, especially in terms of digitalisation, fleet optimisation, and user experience. I would suggest: investigate every opportunity, and implement those that are relevant in your corporate culture. To do this efficiently, get support from your ExCo (Executive Committee, Ed.)”

Image: Benjamin Brolet/Fleet Europe

For more on going electric and achieving sustainability, see our Fleet Europe E-Book on EV Incentives, and our Global Fleet E-Book on the Road to Real Sustainability.

Authored by: Steven Schoefs