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Increasing use of low emissions zones may force fleets into running ULEV pools, says Chevin

The company points to the recent naming of the UK's first four Go Ultra Low cities – Nottingham, Bristol, Milton Keynes and London – saying that there is a general trend towards government encouraging and enforcing use of ULEVs in urban areas.

Managing director Ashley Sowerby said: “Until now, the only major low emission zone was London, so the effects on fleet operations were very localised. Now we are moving into a situation where national and local government clearly want to extend the use of low emissions policy much further across the country.

“Having a much wider geographical footprint means that the new moves are likely to affect a much wider range of fleets and it is probable that more cities will follow suit. We could soon reach a point where fleets have to address the issue operationally.” 

Sowerby said that the most likely solution, especially for larger fleets, was to operate a pool of ULEVs that could be used for those entering low emissions zones.

“Some kind of flexible provision seems to be the way forward and there are various ways to do this. You could specify that a certain percentage of your fleet are ULEVs and then swap them as needed among your drivers but this can be complicated. For most fleets, creating a ULEV pool could be the simplest operational solution.

“The pool could simply be used on as-needed basis and will especially make sense if your organisation requires a large number of journeys into the affected cities.

“Pool fleet management is something that can be quite challenging in itself because it breaks the principle of one person being responsible for a vehicle which can create, for example, duty of care issues. Then there is the issue of allocation.

“However, technology can help. There is a pool fleet module available in our core FleetWave system and we have seen this become more widely used recently.”

This year's Silverstone Fleet Show will offer fleet operators the chance to drive some of the latest ULEVs in the market – for more details of the Show, click here.

For more of the latest industry news, click here.

Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.