How to decarbonise your fleet
The clock is ticking for all vehicle operators to make the switch to EVs. However, only the largest organisations, with dedicated sustainability teams, have put plans in place to meet these targets. For most other organisations, they know where they have to go, but not how to get there.
The Algorithm People has come up with the solution – a Road Map to Decarbonisation. This innovative blend of consultancy and route optimisation aims to help fleets develop and implement a robust, evidence-based electrification strategy.
Natalie Hughes, Director of Partners and Corporate Accounts for The Algorithm People, said: “It became apparent to us from conversations with fleet and transport managers that many simply do not know where to start. They were spending a lot of money on electric vehicle consultancy that told them which vehicles to buy and what infrastructure they need – but didn’t help with how to use those vehicles to their full potential.”
“Our Road Map to Decarbonisation creates a stage-by-stage strategy, enabling them to set achievable goals and time frames, which act as milestones on the journey to full electrification.”
Set a baseline
In line with the company’s ‘optimise now, electrify next’ ethos, the first step is to decarbonise the existing fleet. This begins with a benchmarking exercise, to create a baseline. “Our analysts take a couple of weeks’ worth of data from a fleet to understand its existing operations and create metrics such as mileage, cost, and emissions,” said Hughes. “We then use our algorithms to crunch that data and identify the potential savings against those KPIs if the fleet was optimised. This gives our clients an accurate picture of the specific savings they could make by using our route optimisation platform.”
Once the benchmark has proved that My Transport Planner can generate significant savings, the client signs up and begins to use the platform. As a fully web-based system, there is no requirement for installation or complex set-up, meaning that users can get started immediately. Initially this is often on a pay-as-you-go basis, which enables fleet managers to get to know the system without being tied into a long-term contract.
The platform is proven to generate total cost savings of up to 30 per cent, including a reduction in total fleet mileage of up to 20 per cent. “The mileage saving is particularly important as it obviously has an impact on emissions from vehicle operations,” said Hughes. “In this way, it can help fleets set and meet short term targets on decarbonisation while preparing a medium- and long-term strategy for electrification.”
The Algorithm People can help you create a clear, cost-effective strategy for fleet decarbonisation.
Build the business case
While The Algorithm People’s entire approach to decarbonisation is unique, the most innovative element is how it helps fleets to adopt electric vehicles (EVs). Its analysts take the benchmarking data from step one, but instead of asking the algorithm to optimise the existing vehicles, they ask it which vehicles and routes are ready for electrification.
“Sometimes this is simply replacing a diesel or petrol vehicle with an EV,” said Hughes. “However, by looking holistically at all vehicle movements, the algorithms can rewrite work schedules to increase the number of vehicles that can be electrified. All tasks are still completed, but perhaps by different vehicles, in order to optimise the use of EVs.”
Purchase EVs and infrastructure
“Another unique feature of the Decarbonisation Road Map is that optimising your existing fleet creates the financial headroom to invest in EVs,” said Hughes. “If an organisation has already allocated investment for EVs then this additional funding can help accelerate the process. However, for most companies it will be a welcome war chest to get them started.”
The Algorithm People has an extensive network of partners who can help at this stage, from leasing or purchasing EVs, to acquiring charging infrastructure, to innovative EV ‘fuel’ cards which streamline the processing of employees’ expenses claims.
“One of the headaches for fleet managers is finding and managing different suppliers for the various elements they need to electrify,” added Natalie. “We can help take the hassle out of this process by bringing in our partners where appropriate.”
Sweat your assets
Once you have added EVs to your fleet, My Transport Planner can optimise them along with conventional petrol and diesel vehicles. The platform is designed to ensure that the EVs are used as close to their capabilities as possible, with complete confidence that they won’t run out of battery charge.
“Electric vehicles have a much higher ticket price than diesel or petrol equivalents,” said Hughes. “The return on investment comes from much lower ‘fuel’ costs, meaning that the more miles the EVs travel, the faster and better the payback. Similarly, every electric mile is one less mile covered by a fossil fuel vehicle in the fleet, so the return on investment is an environmental one as well as financial.
“My Transport Planner is configured to maximise the number of electric miles without pushing any EV beyond its real-world range capabilities.”
Report and repeat
The Algorithm People can provide regular reports on key performance indicators (KPIs) which can feed into management meetings and sustainability reports. This ensures that performance is monitored, and emissions targets are met.
With the entire fleet now optimised, the cycle begins again, as the savings generated can be put aside to pay for the next round of electrification.
“A plan for decarbonisation which essentially becomes self-funding is a win-win scenario for any vehicle operator,” said Natalie.
Ensure you electrify your fleet in the most effective and efficient manner by following these seven simple steps:
- Benchmark your existing operations
Identify what savings optimisation could generate for your existing fleet
- Optimise your existing fleet
Use My Transport Planner platform to optimise your fleet operations
- Generate savings
My Transport Planner can deliver cost savings of up to 30%
- Build the business case
Algorithms identify your vehicles and routes most suited for electrification
- Purchase your vehicles and infrastructure
Use your savings to invest in the right EVs and charging infrastructure
- Optimise again
Optimise your full fleet, including your electric vehicles, to maximise efficiency
- Repeat the process
Use the cost savings generated by optimisation to fund the next round of electrification