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Smarter driving techniques come to fore in WLTP Challenge 2019

There’s just two weeks left to go until the Fleet World WLTP Challenge 2019 gets underway, proving that today’s official fuel economy figures are more representative than ever – with the help of eco-driving techniques from IAM RoadSmart.

IAM RoadSmart says the new WLTP regime means drivers are now better able to understand the benefits of eco driving

Starting and finishing in Bristol on 10 October, the one-day economy driving event will see a range of the latest fleet cars – including petrol, diesel, hydrogen or electric – put to the test on everyday roads around the Midlands to show that the new quoted WLTP figures are representative of real-world driving and that, in many cases, vehicles will exceed these figures.

IAM RoadSmart – one of number of event partners alongside ALD Automotive, Airmax Remote, Chevin Fleet Solutions and RAC – will play a crucial role in this as it spotlights how the transition to WLTP testing as of September 2018 has put a spotlight on the idea of achievable, real-world vehicle efficiency, giving businesses more realistic expectations and reliable data for calculating fleet costs, including in comparison to plug-in vehicles.

According to the leading road safety charity, the old NEDC testing regime seemed to promote a great deal of apathy around fuel efficiency, because it was generally accepted that manufacturers’ mpg claims were unachievable in normal driving conditions. Many businesses felt that there was therefore little point in encouraging drivers to adapt their behaviour, and that high fuel bills were inevitable. Many drivers, even those who consciously drove with a view to maximising efficiency, would remain disappointed that they were unable to get close to the advertised mpg.

But this has all changed under the new WLTP regime, with drivers now having realistic targets to aim for, and better able to understand the contribution they can make through subtle changes to their skills.

This is where IAM RoadSmart’s trainers come in as they have the knowhow to help drivers achieve significant, measurable improvements in their vehicle’s efficiency.

And as such, through the 2019 Fleet World WLTP Challenge – which will showcase some of the latest and most technologically advanced vehicles on the market – IAM will be able to demonstrate that long-established techniques and principles, rooted in the charity’s Advanced Driving qualification, remain key to getting the best out of these vehicles.

Telematics also has an essential role in this; IAM highlights that, as more businesses adopt telematics as part of their risk management and insurance strategies, it will be necessary for fleet managers to understand the relationships between efficiency, collision risk and driver behaviour, which will increasingly be highlighted by telematics data.

Vitally, with road safety remaining IAM’s main concern, the charity will use the WLTP Challenge as an opportunity to demonstrate the clear link between efficient driving and improved safety, and to show the positive impact of developing drivers’ skills and attitudes.

For more details on the event, visit the Fleet World WLTP Challenge 2019 website or phone 01727 739160.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 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. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.