Everybody worries about fleet fuel costs, especially as diesel prices surge. After all, fuel constitutes nearly half of a fleet’s operating expenses. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to save on fuel and improve your fleet’s fuel economy. 

How to save on fleet fuel costs

Most strategies for fleet fuel efficiency fall into the following four categories.

1. Fleet upgrades

Making changes to your fleet can be the most impactful way to cut fleet fuel costs and consumption, but this approach can be expensive. If you’re ready to replace your combustion engine vehicles with a fleet of EVs, you can improve your fuel economy dramatically, but few fleets can afford to do that. Other approaches, including aftermarket aerodynamic components, low-rolling resistance tires, and engine accessories can improve fuel economy as well, but such capital expenditures can be steep at a time when fleets are trying to save.

2. Vehicle maintenance

Strategies such as ensuring correct tire pressure, inspecting vehicles regularly, optimizing maintenance schedules, and getting regular engine tune-ups have been proven to improve fuel economy as well. However, you’re likely doing many of these things already, and their direct impact on fuel mileage is more modest than what many fleets need today. 

3. Driving behavior

Driving habits can make a big impact on fuel economy. Safe, efficient drivers can account for up to 20% reduction in fleet fuel costs. Driving behaviors such as idling, speeding, and harsh acceleration tend to burn the most fuel. Fortunately, you can improve fleet fuel economy by coaching drivers to be mindful of fuel-wasting habits. 

Tools such as the Motive AI Dashcam and Vehicle Gateway can provide detailed insights into the driving behaviors and telematics data of your fleet. The Vehicle Gateway captures telematics data and the AI Dashcam alerts drivers in real time of poor driving behavior.

Using the collected telematics data, Motive can coach drivers to become more aware of fuel-wasting habits like idling, harsh acceleration, and speeding. When these behaviors occur, Motive sends automated coaching tips to drivers directly through the Motive Driver App. Drivers can then see what happened and get timely instruction on how to improve. 

Telematics, coaching, and fleet fuel cost

Telematics data from the Motive Vehicle Gateway feeds into the Fleet Dashboard where you can see your fleet’s fuel economy and benchmark your fleet’s fuel performance against Motive’s network of over 700k vehicles. See your fleet history and trends on idling, MPG, and more to identify specific areas for improvement. You can also proactively reduce fuel wasting behaviors like setting up idling alerts to get notified of idling in real time.

A recent Motive study on fuel ROI found that fleets using fuel insights together with driver coaching achieve up to 13% greater fuel economy than other fleets. Drivers in these fleets also displayed better driving quality, resulting in a whopping 79% drop in hard acceleration, a 40% reduction of hard braking, and 20% less vehicle idling time. 

4. Fleet cards

The payment method your drivers use to pay for fuel won’t improve your fuel economy, but it can be a very compelling way to save on fleet fuel costs. After all, the cost of fuel is one of the highest cost factors for most fleets today.

The Motive Card is a fleet card that comes with impressive savings, including $0.20 per gallon at partner fuel stations such as Loves, TA, and Road Ranger; and $0.05 everywhere else. It’s accepted everywhere Mastercard is accepted and those discounts can add up to some impressive savings. 

The Motive Card also enables fleet managers to control who can use, and how they use their fleet cards, a compelling benefit. Using the Motive Spend Management application that’s seamlessly integrated into the Motive Fleet Dashboard, you can manage your spend where you’re already managing your fleet, while automating IFTA reporting, and identifying unauthorized use and fuel theft — a significant way to reduce fuel costs. If you don’t have this fleet card yet, apply for the Motive Card now

Clearly, small improvements in your fleet management can make a big impact on your bottom line, reducing your overall fleet fuel costs.