New U.S. Department of Energy GPS-powered tool helps fleet vehicle companies track vehicle expenses, including fuel usage.
Companies that have fleet vehicles for their operations, whether it is five or 25 vehicles, are in luck if they have been looking for better ways to track their vehicles. A new tool that is powered by global positioning systems (GPS) technology helps managers of these businesses track everything from gasoline usage to driving off-route. The online calculator has been developed by multiple federal environmental agencies, including Clean Cities and Argonne National Laboratory.
The tool, called Alternative Fuel Life-Cycle Environmental and Economic Transportation (AFLEET) tool, uses spreadsheet inputs and is available online at the government AFLEET tool website. It lets fleet vehicle managers track fuel usage, air pollutant emissions, greenhouse gas emissions, and even the cost of owning the vehicles.
There are calculators that fleet managers can use with the tool.
- The first is a Total Cost of Ownership Calculator, which looks at the fixed costs and net value of operating new vehicle, including petroleum, air pollutant emissions, and greenhouse gases used over a lifetime. Another tool is called the Simple Payback Calculator.
- This is a more basic calculator that factors in this information, plus annual operating costs for a new alternative fuel fleet vehicle.
- Finally, there is a Fleet Energy and Emissions Footprint Calculator, for looking at the air pollutant emissions, annual petroleum use and greenhouse gases of older fleet vehicles that typically have more air pollutant issues than newer vehicles.
The AFLEET tool works by using data from a fuel cycle model that looks at emissions, called Argonne’s Greenhouses gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy use in Transportation (GREET). Other data is from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Motor Vehicle Emission Simulator. Some other sources for the data include the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act awards, and the Clean Cities Alternative Fuel Price Report.
Fleet managers can use this tool and the included calculators to compare the cost of ownership of old and newer vehicles by using the data represented, as well as looking at comparisons of light duty and heavy duty vehicles in their fleets. It is easy to use with basic spreadsheet inputs that provides them with an accurate and effective results.
Additionally, fleet vehicle owners can also track other information, like how fast the vehicles are driving, if they go off-route, how long their engines are idle, and additional data while the vehicles are being operated. This helps them determine how their money is being spent, in what ways they can save on operating the fleets, and how best to encourage better fuel usage and spending. It is a great tool for managers to save money and gasoline with their fleet vehicles.
Another great tool for business that have fleet vehicles is commercial auto insurance. Contact BOLT Insurance Agency to discuss your fleet vehicle insurance needs.