The Brits reveal ways they’re shaving dollars off fleet expenses
Sussex Community fleet has saved half a million dollars by simply reducing the number of miles its grey fleet racks up.
The Sussex NHS Community Trust has saved nearly one million miles from they grey fleet use and made a clear 500K saving, and it;’s happened simply by tracking vehicle mileage, FleetNews.co.uk reports.
Logistics head Jim Thomas found an excess of six million miles per year, at an average cost of £3 (AU$5.14) per mile (1.6km). Thomas created a pool of 20 hybrid and electric vehicles to be spread among the Trust’s key sites. This reduced the need for driving to work, encouraging public transport, walking/cycling or ride sharing.
“We save 17% on grey fleet mileage,” Thomas said, “which equated to 949,500 miles (over 1.5 million km) and, based on an average reimbursement of 50p (AU86c) per mile, that comes to roughly £500,000 (AU$857,967 approx.) The pool cars show an ROI of 38% in their first year.”
South Central Ambulance Service is expecting to save £174,000 (AU$300,000 approx) over a life cycle of five years having fitted solar panels to the roofs of their ambulances.
The emergency vehicles covers four regions, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Hampshire, and now use a secondary battery charged from the solar panels for powering mobile data systems and medical equipment, as well as lights and radio. Previous setups required idling the vehicle or charging at depots through a shoreline system, limiting their ability to respond to emergency calls when batteries weren’t fully charged.
The solar panel system allows not only immediate response, but mobile charging that no longer requires station power systems, further reducing costs. Additional costs are saved by not having to replace flattened batteries from insufficient charging and overuse, vehicle downtime and fuel savings. Estimated CO2 emissions reductions are approximately 6.5 tonnes thanks to 10-year life cycles for solar panels.
The South East Coast Ambulance Service has also done some belt-tightening of 13% by fitting dynamic speed control systems to its 300-strong fleet.
The initiative also combined fitting CCTV internally and externally in 2014, as part of a three-phase driver safety system. The speed controller limits the vehicle’s regular top speed to 62mph (100km/h) until blue light mode is engaged in case of an emergency. The move has returned a fuel saving of approximately £800,000 (AU$1.37M) thanks also to an additional acceleration restriction that comes with the system, as well as improving wear and tear on the fleet. Ride comfort also benefits from the program.
The dynamic speed controller is fitted to all emergency response vehicles and is soon to be implemented on patient transport vehicles as well. Considering the fleet spend the equivalent of AU$11.4m on fuel expenses responding to emergency call-outs, more money can be reinvested into improving services.
Alloy wheels have saved the West Midlands Ambulance Service has stemmed the loss of $516,000 of expenditure on parts and servicing of their 368 ambulances by fitting their Fiat Ducato and other makes/models with alloy wheels.
The slightly higher cost of alloy wheels over cheaper steel wheels allows better heat dispersion through improved air flow around brake rotors and pads. the emergency service can now extend its servicing intervals which means less downtime and again saves on costs considering the vehicles will cover over 64,000km per year. Oil, fuel, coolant and other major replacement parts like spark plugs and tyres also get an easier life as a result.
Tony Page, GM of the WMAS said it had been trialled and proven effective.
“It was a great idea we trialled on a few vehicles, including fitting ducting to where the fog lights are,” he said, “but fitting allow wheels made a fairly significant difference and allowed us to extend our service intervals from 6000 miles (9600km approx.) to 9000 miles (nearly 15,000km).”
Oxford City Council has decided to use electric pool vehicles which is saving the council thousands of pounds a year.
The council’s move replaces distance travelled in grey fleet vehicles for business use, which is appropriate as an Energy Saving Trust, and is now in its third year as part of a businesses cost analysis in 2013.
Nissan LEAFs were the vehicle chosen and are now saving the 10,000 miles (16,000km) of annual grey fleet use. Cost saving from the use of the LEAF according to the council is £720 (AU$1246) over four years and £2645 (AU$4552) over six years. Staff surveys revealed 82% of journeys made in the plug-in electric car were within the suitable range of an EV which included the Oxford ring road arterial motorway.
Oxford council uses a centralised booking system to allocate staff to vehicles under a policy that only allows grey vehicle mileage claims under extraordinary circumstances. Thus far, the response has been positive.
“There was no big uproar about removing the grey fleet and getting people to use pool cars because there were clear alternatives,” said sustainable energy officer Jennifer Carr. Also in the fleet are two plug-in Citroen C-Zeros (pictured) and six electric bicycles.