Inside the Industry: Ted Roberts, COO & Chief Content Officer of Fleet Management Weekly
As the number of sustainable and green fleet options available to fleet professionals continues to grow, successful fleet professionals are tasked with exploring a variety of opportunities to maximize their company’s performance.
Green fleet initiatives have had a substantial impact on the transportation industry as a whole and the focus on sustainability doesn’t look to dwindle anytime soon.
In this PEAK Commercial & Industrial Inside the Industry Q&A,
Lifeblood advisory member Ted Roberts, COO & Chief Content Officer of Fleet Management Weekly, shares his views on the green fleet industry. Lifeblood, the newly launched online resource from PEAK Commercial & Industrial, provides a variety of information, tools, research and industry profiles to aid fleet professionals in their day-to-day responsibilities.
In your experience, what are a few significant triggers that have driven the transition to green fleets?
A significant factor in fueling the transition towards sustainable fleets is the ever-increasing profusion of new technologies that are making fleets greener. In the case of corporate fleets, subtle pressure from customers has been a key force behind the transition. For public fleets, constituents have been influential as concerned citizens look to minimize costs as well as environmental impacts.
In addition, more direct pressure from top management looking to do the right thing for the environment and reap the public image benefits associated with going green has resulted in increased emphasis on sustainability programs.
Please explain the most important steps fleet managers should take in greening their fleets. Any good tips to share?
The most important step any fleet manager can do is to carefully and systematically look at all of the options available. This is because the best solution is likely to be a combination of things — factors like rebates, prices, and incentives will certainly come into play.
For many fleet managers, it will make sense to include some electric vehicles (EVs) and compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles, but internal combustion vehicles will be an important part of the mix as well. Fuel economy in internal combustion vehicles has improved dramatically in the past few years, and this trend is only going to continue.
Is sustainability a good financial decision for a commercial fleet? In what ways?
It used to be that sustainability was primarily a good decision to enhance a company’s public image. But now it’s also becoming more of a smart financial decision as well — especially because electric vehicles and alternative technologies are continually becoming less expensive. In fact, the day in which many ’regular‘ vehicles are at parity with many ‘alternative’ vehicles is nearly upon us.
What do you expect the relationship between the transportation industry and sustainability to look like in the next five years?
This relationship will become more integrated and more entrenched. The line between ‘standard’ and ‘sustainable’ transportation options will begin to erode as ‘sustainable’ options become more commonplace and affordable.
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