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 challenge for international fleet managers, however, is mapping the driving patterns of their drivers linking them to the correct powertrain. This mapping calls for a very personal approach – clustering your driver population and linking it to the typical driver profiles of the different powertrains. A task which, against all trends of the last years, pushes again for a local and decentralized personal 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, TCOPlus

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