Decarbonisation risks being held back by competing ‘business interests’

Electric van being plugged in to charge

More than half (56%) of commercial fleets believe transport decarbonisation risks being held back by competing business interests, new research from Bridgestone Mobility Solutions suggests.

Meanwhile, three-in-five fleets (61%) claim a cultural shift is needed within their company for it to be embraced by all business stakeholders.

According to the Keener to be Greener study, conducted among 300 fleet decision-makers, just over half (53%) of commercial fleets have a ‘robust’ strategy for net zero transport.

More than a third (34%) also believe their current technology systems are insufficient to help them manage the environmental impact of their vehicles.

The findings come despite more than half (57%) acknowledging that the reputational benefits of having a sustainable fleet would lead to increased business for their company.

“While some fleet and transport managers are under pressure from board level execs to develop electrification strategies apace, others are struggling to champion the cause and make their voices heard,” said Beverley Wise, regional director for Webfleet, UK and Ireland.

“Establishing a strong business case that brings all influential stakeholders on board – from sustainability and utility managers to heads of finance, HR, procurement and marcomms – can be crucial for fleets looking to make the electric transition.

“Calculating projected total cost of ownership (TCO) savings, using telematics data to compare conventional internal combustion fleet running costs with EV alternatives, can be a persuasive starting point. Wider justifications can include supporting ESG, CSR, reputational benefits and meeting the environmental expectations of customers.

“Electric passenger cars may have been the motor industry’s headline-makers to date, but commercial EV adoption is now set to enter a phase of exponential growth as progressive fleets look to stay ahead of the curve and retain their competitive advantage.”

A lack of specialist EVs for different business uses was cited by 47% of fleets as the number one barrier to EV adoption, closely followed by a lack of rapid charging infrastructure (41%).

“Transport electrification is gathering pace but establishing a management strategy for fleet decarbonisation is viewed by many as a challenging undertaking,” said Andrea Manenti, vice president north region, Bridgestone EMIA.

“Not only must businesses plan for transitioning to electric vehicles, but also for optimising their operations – from maximising electric miles to ensuring effective charging, maintenance and service delivery.

“Data insights generated by dedicated software solutions are a critical ingredient to helping simplify this process, enabling fleets to make the right decisions at the right times.”

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