Companies need mobility. Whether it’s company cars or a fleet of lorries, the cost of fuel and maintenance can produce high overheads. The heart of a company needs its vehicles to act as arteries and veins to reach customers. Reducing the number of vehicles to save costs can be akin to severing a limb. However, vehicle overheads can be reduced with a few simple measures.
This article details several cost-cutting measures for companies with fleets of vehicles by limiting fuel consumption and maintenance costs.
1. Cut Fuel
Petrol and diesel prices are always on the rise. Several cities in Australia are also charging carbon/emission taxes. Purchasing the latest models can somewhat reduce fuel costs and emissions. Newer generations of vehicles are held to higher standards than previous ones, and a five-year gap can produce a big difference in fuel consumption and emission. If a company relies on an older fleet, turbocharging its vehicles can reduce fuel consumption and reduce emissions. Turbochargers drive compressed air into a vehicle’s internal combustion system, making the engine more efficient by optimizing the fuel-to-oxygen ratio. It can provide vehicles with up to 30 percent more power. Increased power allows vehicles to run more efficiently while consuming less fuel. Companies can save five to ten percent on fuel costs for fleets older than ten years, although savings can drop to five percent for newer vehicles. Saving five percent can be significant, especially for companies that spend hundreds of thousands of dollars or more on fuel. Optimized combustion also reduces the emissions of turbocharged vehicles to a minimum. Several cities in Australia have policies allowing citizens to report smoke-emitting vehicles, and heavy fines can follow a confirmed report.
2. Limit Aesthetic Maintenance
Appearances can be critical, and run-down cars or delivery vans can make your company look bad. Unfortunately, keeping vehicles looking good can be difficult in Australia. Driving in Australia puts every vehicles’ paint job to the test. Gravel and loose stones barrage vehicles, flocks of birds spew acidic bird droppings, salt water can cause cars to rust, ever-present bugs can cover cars with a layer of goo, and ultraviolet (UV) radiation systematically breaks down paint. Worn-down cars are quite common in Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne—a testament to the harsh environment down under. Vehicles need protection in Australia’s hostile environment, and one of the best ways to keep vehicles in pristine condition is through car wrapping. Layered film protects vehicles from minor impacts as well as ultraviolet radiation. Cleaning wrapped vehicles are easier; however, opt for car wash establishments that use brushless systems to preserve the integrity of vehicle wraps. Since your company is protecting its vehicles from UV, it might as well protect its drivers. Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer and melanomas in the world. Driving is a significant factor in UV exposure. Simply tinting a vehicle’s windows with UV-filtering film can reduce UV exposure by 99 percent while also reducing heat from the sun by 80 percent.
3. Go Electric
Eliminate fuel costs entirely by going electric. Of course, charging electric vehicles (EV) will still cost money. However, driving an EV costs less than half the costs of driving a standard vehicle. Purchase prices of EVs can be significantly higher, but annual spending on fuel will make up for the higher purchase cost. Several Australian cities are also offering incentives for companies that opt for electric vehicles. Going electric will also insulate companies from carbon or emission taxes as the government strives for a net-zero emission goal by 2050. Unfortunately, going electric-only works for companies relying on light vehicles. Most electric trucks don’t have the capacity and mileage of a standard diesel truck, but things may change in the future.
4. Consider Artificial Intelligence
Self-driving cars—especially trucks—might not be driving in city streets for a while. While driver-less trucks might not be a reality in the near future, a system similar to a plane’s autopilot will soon hit the streets. Truckers can switch to an advanced cruise control system on long stretches of highway, allowing onboard artificial intelligence (AI) systems to manage steering and speed. AI systems can optimize fuel use and reduce costs by up to 20 percent. Onboard AI systems can also perform constant diagnostic checks on vehicles, reducing maintenance costs and allowing vehicles to spend more time on the road. Like commercial airplanes with autopilot systems, automated trucks will still need someone in the driver’s seat. Trucking jobs will be a lot easier with AI, but the need for actual drivers will remain.
Purchasing, running, and maintaining vehicles can be costly. Manage overhead costs by maximizing efficiency, limiting repairs, and preparing for government policies that can affect your operations.