Alternative Powertrains Present New Challenges for the Global Fleet

Pic­tured: Bart Van­ham & Hans Damen, TCOPlus

The new chal­lenge for inter­na­tion­al fleet man­agers is map­ping the dri­ving pat­terns of their dri­vers and link­ing them to the cor­rect pow­er­train. Bel­gian com­pa­ny TCOPlus has devel­oped a tool and an approach to help fleets make the right deci­sions.

Glob­al warm­ing and the effect of Co2-emis­sions have ini­ti­at­ed a focus on reduc­ing the foot­print of our beloved vehi­cle. The Euro­pean Par­lia­ment has pushed OEMs to pro­duce envi­ron­men­tal­ly friend­ly cars while many gov­ern­ments have found the social accept­abil­i­ty of tax­ing cars based on their Co2-emis­sions. In the ear­li­er stages of this evo­lu­tion, switch­ing to diesel cars was a quick win. Diesel tech­nol­o­gy improved tremen­dous­ly, mak­ing these cars fun to dri­ve. For many fleets with inter­na­tion­al sourc­ing pro­grams, diesel vehi­cles became the one size fits all answer in Europe, reduc­ing (tax) cost, reduc­ing Co2-emis­sions and pro­vid­ing a fun dri­ving expe­ri­ence.

In its search for fur­ther Co2-emis­sions reduc­tions, OEMs are focus­ing on oth­er tech­nolo­gies; tech­nolo­gies where appar­ent­ly the improve­ment pos­si­bil­i­ties are yet to be explored in depth. Today, diesel tech­nol­o­gy stands next to (improved) gaso­line, CNG, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and elec­tric pow­er­trains. All have their advan­tages and dis­ad­van­tages and spe­cif­ic user pro­files. The future is about choos­ing the right pow­er­train for the dri­ving pat­tern of your dri­vers, opti­miz­ing the fuel mix in the company’s fleet meet­ing cost, envi­ron­men­tal and dri­ver sat­is­fac­tion objec­tives.

The new chal¬≠lenge for inter¬≠na¬≠tion¬≠al fleet man¬≠agers, how¬≠ev¬≠er, is map¬≠ping the dri¬≠ving pat¬≠terns of their dri¬≠vers link¬≠ing them to the cor¬≠rect pow¬≠er¬≠train. This map¬≠ping calls for a very per¬≠son¬≠al approach ‚ÄĒ clus¬≠ter¬≠ing your dri¬≠ver pop¬≠u¬≠la¬≠tion and link¬≠ing it to the typ¬≠i¬≠cal dri¬≠ver pro¬≠files of the dif¬≠fer¬≠ent pow¬≠er¬≠trains. A task which, against all trends of the last years, push¬≠es again for a local and decen¬≠tral¬≠ized per¬≠son¬≠al approach.

Def­i­nite­ly new chal­lenges ahead

That is why the Bel­gian com­pa­ny TCOPlus, under the super­vi­sion of Hans Damen and Bart Van­ham, has devel­oped an approach and a tool enabling fleets to map these dri­ver pro­files, respect­ing pri­va­cy, enhanc­ing the clus­ter­ing of dri­vers linked to the typ­i­cal user pro­files of the dif­fer­ent pow­er­trains, and pro­vid­ing insights into any TCO effect, includ­ing tax effects for the coun­tries in scope.

The out­put of such an exer­cise is get­ting insights in the opti­mal fuel mix for your com­pa­ny dri­vers based on their indi­vid­ual user pro­files, under­stand­ing the TCO effect of these alter­na­tive pow­er­trains, and know­ing the envi­ron­men­tal impact of the pro­posed changes.

~Bart Van­ham, Car tax­a­tion expert,

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