Idle fleet vehicles are risking fines, increased fuel consumption and damaging air quality and the environment, data revealed by Airmax Remote shows.
High numbers of business fleet vehicles have been seen to ‘idle’ – a vehicle not moving for a minimum of five minutes – particularly during the winter and summer months of 2018, according to telematics data collected by Airmax Remote, which looked at data from 15,000 vehicles over 12 months.
Airmax Remote observed that, for example, on 2018’s hottest day of the year (26 July), there were over 10,000 incidents of idling – likely as a result of drivers taking advantage of air conditioning. Similarly, on 28 February in cooler climes, there were 15,000 incidents of idling when drivers likely used their cars to keep warm while stationary.
Airmax Remote points out that, unbeknownst to many, it is already an offence not to switch off an engine when a vehicle is parked, and that engine idling contributes to poor air pollution which each year is linked to an estimated 40,000 early deaths.
With the advent of clean air zones (CAZ) and London’s ULEZ, Airmax Remote argues that fleet managers need to address idling and highlight that its telematics system enables them to Geo Fence a particular geographical area to identify idling events when and where it matters most.
Advice to stop idling
- Try to consider how long you are going to be stationary in traffic. Motorists are advised to turn off their engines if they think they are not going to move for around two minutes.
- Many modern vehicles have ‘stop-start’ systems fitted that automatically switch off the engine when the vehicle is stationary and restart it as soon as the accelerator is pressed.
- For vehicles without ‘stop-start’ it’s fine to turn off your engine, but you should try to avoid doing this repeatedly in a short space of time. In addition, older vehicles (around eight years old) and vehicles with older batteries (around five years old) may struggle if they are started too often in a short space of time.
Commenting on the analysis, Richard Perham, managing director at Airmax Remote comments: “Our findings help support the idea that idling and wider issues of driver behaviour can be addressed by fleet managers if they have the right tools.”
Perham concluded: “Fuel costs are a large portion of a fleet’s spend, and we know fleet providers and fleet managers are constantly looking at ways to reduce or manage this spend and this includes monitoring incidents of idling and the wider ramifications, such as emissions and the possibility of fines. Having the availability of accurate data is key to making informed choices.”