ALD Automotive, in conjunction with the University of the West of England (UWE), has conducted a study into how Bristol’s Clean Air Zone proposals could affect fleet vehicles. The research concludes that the combined financial and administrative impact could become too great for companies to withstand, forcing them to adopt cleaner vehicles.
Matt Dale, Head of Consultancy for ALD, agrees that CAZs will accelerate the move towards cleaner motoring. He comments: “We all know that we need change the way we travel to help improve air quality, and CAZs will provide a significant financial reason to push the cleaner motoring agenda.”
He continues: “Awareness is not enough, we need to act now. But Government and local authorities must accept that we need time to act, and we need the information to act upon. Fleets will not be able to change their vehicles overnight, and will need confirmed details in order to make informed decisions.”
The ALD study found that the potential cost to a typical fleet of 30 cars could be over £30,000*. The study also looked at ten months’ worth of data, from vehicles fitted with ALD telematics, to understand the movement of vehicles in Bristol and the surrounding area. It found that, depending on the position of the Bristol CAZ boundary, almost half (49%) of all vehicles entering the zone were non-compliant and would therefore potentially attract a charge. For vans (LCVs) the figure was over 80%.
“The findings of our study have huge implications for everyone” says Matt, “not only for the financial impact but the administrative burden too. Employers wishing to minimise the impact will also nee to consider the HR implications of forcing drivers to change their vehicles.”
It is not just business trips that will be affected. Commuters could also be hit, particularly as just 6% of all the UK’s cars are compliant under the CAZ plans. For some commuters, the impact could be double, as Matt explains: “With neighbouring cities around the country considering introducing CAZs, commuters living in one zone, for example Bath, and commuting into another such as Bristol, will attract two daily charges.”
ALD has worked with fleets to reduce CO2 emissions for many years. It has introduced a Four-Step process to assist fleets that could be impacted by a CAZ. The company’s State of the Nation view provides the starting point of what will affect an individual fleet. ALD then takes the client through an interactive Mobility Experience, the AME, which takes a wider view of all staff mobility, not just company cars. The AME considers all possible mobility options and their impact on all areas of the business, including financial, HR and CSR concerns.
The unique AME points fleets towards a mix of sustainable scenarios for further discussion – one size no longer fits all. Finally, ALD conducts a ‘Test and Trial’ to ensure that the tailored solutions will work for the business.
Matt Dale concludes: “If we all respond to CAZs by choosing cleaner cars for all our travel, then the area of positive impact will be much wider than the CAZs themselves. Where we live, work and enjoy our leisure time will all see cleaner air for everyone, and ultimately we could see the UK become one single clean air zone.”
The full ALD study, including advice for fleets, is available from ALD Automotive