The recent Which? report highlighting the potential cost of ownership difference between running petrol and diesel vehicles showed the need for fleet decision makers to carry outduty-cycle-based whole-life cost modelling in order to understand what fuel types are most appropriate for their fleet operations.

So why is it that the trend of using a single fuel type across a fleet is increasing?

It is recognised by many thatdifferent fuels will deliver different performancesacross a range of operations. However, given the range and recharging requirements of current electric vehicles, duty-cycle-based whole-life cost modelling isessential for their successful economic and operational integrationinto day-to-day operations.

For many fleets a significant number of vehicles will operate within well-definedparameters, with only minor variation in operation. By analysing theduty cycles of these vehicles, it is possible to cluster them and define arange of specific duty cycles. Combining whole life costsand a duty cycle approach therefore enables a fleet manager todetermine whether a certain technology meets thefinancial and operational performance required for the fleet.

However, analysing the duty cycle of a fleet can be a complicated process,especially when it comes to assessing the best mix of vehicles todeliver the required operations.

Analysescarried out by Cenex reveal there are a number of operational sweetspots for lowcarbon vehicles which can reduce carbon and energy consumption and save money. With fuel prices continuing to rise,many fleet decision makers are already prioritising carbon and fuelreduction strategies. While carbon reduction may not be the onlydriver for change within fleets, it is worth keeping in mind that thecontinuing evolution of low carbon technologies will require fleetdecision makers to assess their operational and economic suitabilityto ascertain whether any new technology is worth adopting.