When You’re Ready to Green Your Fleet, Also Freshen Up Your Policies

The automotive world is changing, and it is for the better. More than 50 years ago, cars and trucks were identified as major pollutants – detrimental to both public health and the environment. Ever since then, the automotive and fuel industries have been working diligently to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Innovation from these efforts have sparked a new generation of vehicle technologies that will offer more choices beyond fossil fuel vehicles.

It’s not a matter of if your fleet will integrate more sustainable vehicle types, but eventually, when. Electric vehicles (EVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and alternative fuel vehicles will represent a large part of fleet vehicles in less than 20 years. A growing number of states are establishing bans on sales of new gasoline vehicles by 2035 or sooner. At the same time, many automobile manufacturers plan to transition to all electric vehicle production by 2035.

You will be able to run your gasoline-powered fleet vehicles past that point, as long as keeping them in service is cost effective. But when it comes time to replace them, it may also be time to make a change.

It’s hard for anyone to avoid news around sustainability developments. They are as relevant to your employees and consumers as they are to your company and its fleet. Unless your company is an early adopter, some of your drivers may even purchase or lease electric or alternative fuel vehicles for their personal use ahead of your transition.

Therefore, it should be of no surprise to them when their company vehicles become electric or alternative fuel powered. As you do begin to phase green technology vehicles into your fleet and install charging infrastructure where applicable, you will also need to review and update your fleet and driver policies and communicate them to employees accordingly.

To do that, these are the top points to cover:

  • Connect the change to your company’s overall sustainability goals – Your company’s transition to green technology vehicles will not be an isolated decision. Inform employees how the changes align with your company’s Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) commitments.
  • Ensure employees of data security measures – With increased vehicle connectivity through telematics devices and other data capture, employees may feel their privacy while operating a company vehicle could be compromised. Reassure drivers that vehicle behavior and emissions data will be aggregated for reporting requirements. However, driver-level identification will not be shared.
  • Define their responsibilities as vehicle operators – Employees will want and need to know when and how they will be responsible for charging electric vehicles. Specify the company’s approach to at-home and public charging, and reimbursement policies. Also share if company charging stations will be available for business and personal EVs.
  • Encourage excitement – New vehicle technologies give drivers a lot to be excited about beyond being kinder to the environment. Examples include:
    • Advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) that make driving easier and travel safer.
    • Connectivity with our mobile devices and smartphone apps for convenient and timely vehicle alerts and updates.
    • Improved camera features for increased visibility, including 360-degree cameras, video rearview mirrors, and blind-spot view monitors.

Change is often challenging, but when we feel informed about what’s going on around us, we feel more prepared to face it. You can assist your fleet drivers in their transition to electric or alternative fuel vehicles by providing timely and forthright communications.

Not sure what to say or how to say it? To help ensure you get it right, our team can apply the experience we’ve gained from working with other fleets much like yours.

Also stay up-to-date with auto industry news and other current happenings by signing up for our twice-weekly newsletter, The Morning Brake, or monthly podcast, MOTIVE.