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Cost pressures delaying net zero fleets, research finds

Shutterstock|Bridgestone Mobility Solutions

More than three-quarters of fleet decision-makers are postponing their electrification plans with a further 78% stating cost pressures delaying plans for fleet technology adoption.

According to the research from mobility specialists Bridgestone and Webfleet, 78% of respondents admitting that pressures to cut costs this year will negatively impact their longer-term cost-reduction strategies.

Cost cutting measures include fleet downsizing, cited by almost a third (32%) of those businesses surveyed, while almost two-thirds (61%) anticipate having to layoff fleet-related staff over the coming months. A high proportion of fleets (72%) are also looking to extend their vehicle replacement cycles.

“Cutting capital spend is the go-to survival strategy for many businesses as rising costs hit their bottom lines,” said Andrea Manenti, vice president north region, Bridgestone EMIA.

“But when it comes to fleet decarbonisation and digital transformation, it is a case of kicking the proverbial can down the road. What’s more, by deferring expenditure and adopting a short-term approach to cost-control in these areas longer-term profitability risks being compromised.

“With careful planning and management insights, the total cost of ownership (TCO) of electric vehicles – the cost of procuring, operating and maintaining them – can be lower than for their fossil-fuelled equivalents, resulting in savings over the fleet lifecycle.

“Similarly, the cost of fleet tech investments can be rapidly offset by higher productivity, or by savings on everything from fuel and maintenance to insurance and administration.”

Beverley Wise, Webfleet regional director for Bridgestone Mobility Solutions, added: “With the business squeeze continuing to stretch resources, digital systems that harness fleet insights to deliver efficiency and productivity gains can prove invaluable.

“For fleets that have yet to deploy the latest, advanced fleet management solutions, now may be the time to do so. The return-on-investment opportunities – alongside significant sustainability benefits – are far reaching, offering a precious route to greater business resilience when it is needed most.”

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