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Chevin white paper offers fuel for thought

Date: 23 August 2018   |   Author: Sean Keywood

A new guide aims to help fleets through what is billed as one of the biggest technological shifts they are facing. Sean Keywood reports.

Software firm Chevin Fleet Solutions has released a new white paper designed to help managers decide what fuel options are best for their firms. 

'Selecting Your Vehicles - The Right Fuel For The Job' reviews the different options available on the market, including petrol, diesel, hybrid and electric, alongside tax and legal changes that can affect fleet decisions. 

The paper, which is available to download for free from Chevin's website, reflects on issues such as changing legislative trends against diesel vehicles, and incentives designed to drive adoption of plug-in vehicles.

The firm says fuel selection can have a considerable impact on the capital and operational costs of a fleet. 

Chevin managing director Ashley Sowerby said, "Having a clear understanding of the pros and cons of each fuel type available, as well
as a good understanding of the cost elements, is paramount when choosing vehicles. 

"Our latest white paper reviews the recent changes in legislation and subsequent implications to fuel types, allowing fleet managers to evaluate all the options available to them before making investments in their fleet."

The paper states that making the right fuel choices can bring benefits including improved fuel economy, reduced emissions, legislative compliance, the chance to benefit from financial incentives and reductions to total cost of vehicle ownership.

Chevin global marketing manager Brendan Adams said, "Along with vehicle autonomy and connected car data, vehicle fuelling is set to be the biggest technological shift for fleets.

"Picking the right fuel type for each vehicle has a big impact on whole life costs, so having the tools and knowledge to help make informed decisions is vital."

Breaking down the pros and cons of each fuel one by one, the paper explains that diesel benefits from easy availability, greater fuel efficiency than petrol particularly on motorways, high torque at low speeds and low CO2 emissions, while the downsides are higher vehicle purchase price, higher fuel prices, higher NOx and particulate emissions, and higher tax.

It explains that petrol is also easily available, cheaper than diesel, incurs lower vehicle purchase costs and can have lower NOx emissions, but has higher CO2 emissions and lower fuel efficiency.

Turning to electric vehicles, the paper says they benefit from cheap refuelling costs, a lack of sensitivity to oil prices, negligible tailpipe emissions, reduced wear and tear costs, no noise pollution, financial incentives and tax benefits.

On the downside, there's a high initial cost, limited make and model choice, longer charging time and uncertainty over disposal values.

Finally, the paper considers hybrid vehicles, discussing how they retain many of the benefits of pure EVs, such as reduced emissions and taxation, but also some of the negatives such as higher purchase prices and remarketing uncertainty.

The paper advises fleets to consider a full range of information regarding planned vehicle use and total cost of ownership, advising, "Compare how different fuel types can help you meet your needs in practice and achieve the best return on investment."

This includes who will be using the vehicle, what it is used for, where it is used, how often it is driven, and how it would meet requirements such as legislation and internal company policies.  

The paper adds that the effect of vehicle fuel choices on a company's image can also be an important consideration. 

It concludes, "Overall, there's a lot to consider. The fact is, taking steps to pick the best vehicles for your fleet early on can help you make real improvements and drive valuable long-term savings in numerous areas."



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