CommercialFleet

The impact of the rise of regulatory schemes on fleet managers

Peter Millichap, marketing director at ‎Teletrac Navman UK

Peter Millichap, marketing director at ‎Teletrac Navman UK

According to new research, the number of clean air zones (CAZs) across Europe has risen 40% since 2019 and low-emission zones (LEZs) have now been introduced in 320 European city regions.

What’s more, that figure is set to rise by more than 50% again, to 507, by 2025.

Here in the UK, with the introduction of Greater Manchester’s CAZ currently being pushed through government and with London’s ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ) in full effect, it’s safe to say that CAZs are a challenge many transport managers who work across urban conurbations must contend with.  

And it’s not just CAZs that raise challenges for transport managers – the presence of all-lane-running (ALR) smart motorways schemes and congestion charge schemes, all speak to a transport ecosystem that must grapple with how to maintain operational efficiencies in the face of regulatory schemes.

So, how will this impact transport managers?

Impact 1: a need for a telematics-powered solution

Regulatory schemes like CAZs highlight the need for transport managers to have a telematics-powered fleet management solution at their fingertips.

With schemes throwing up challenges regarding route-planning and cost efficiencies, telematics can help transport managers manage fleets who must frequently enter restricted zones.

Specifically, geofencing tools are of real benefit to transport managers.

Geofencing uses GPS delineate a virtual boundary around a particular geographical area.

This can either be generated dynamically or it can be predetermined (around particular towns or suburbs, for example).

Fleet operators can be automatically notified when this boundary is breached by one of their vehicles and a record of breaches can be recorded and reported on.

For CAZs, this allows fleet managers to obtain daily reports on which vehicles entered a specified restricted zone, allowing them to ensure that the appropriate payments are made in a timely manner and that fines are avoided.

As such, by embracing the power of telematics, transport managers can safeguard their fleet from challenges that arise from regulatory schemes.

Impact 2: a need for electrification

The rise in low emission zones also impacts transport managers across the UK as it brings forth the importance of electrification.

Since electric vehicles (EVs) won’t be affected by emission-based restrictions, the emission zones may see more fleets considering electrification.

In fact, we’ve seen fleets looking into this switch from an early planning perspective.

Impact 3: a need for governmental support

With the rise of regulatory schemes having an impact on the need for transport managers to transition their fleets to EV, it is also vital that the Government puts the right incentives (including, but not limited to, financial incentives) in place so that all concerned are encouraged to make that transition.

Additionally, it is crucial that the Government works closely with transport managers to ease the transition to ULEZ and CAZ measures, properly taking into account the operational challenges that are likely to be faced in the process.

Whilst telematics tools can help transport managers with route planning to manage the restrictions, it is key that transport managers are provided with the required details from government and local authorities, so they can plan for the necessary adjustments.

Ultimately, whilst the rise of regulatory schemes like CAZs raise a host of challenges for transport managers, they also bring forth a new wave of opportunity.

From embracing electrification to engaging with telematics solutions, transport managers can use regulatory schemes as an opportunity to future proof their fleets and champion a forward-facing approach to fleet management.

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