Too often, fleet sustainability solutions are written off as too expensive, time-consuming or inefficient. Many times, this is true; in a rapidly evolving landscape with a range of solutions that seem simultaneously in your face and out of reach, fleet managers are increasingly tasked with striking a precarious balance between profitability, operational efficiency and sustainable progress.
When it comes to making fleets more sustainable, the market points to wide-spread electrification as the sole solution. But spending significant time and money transitioning fleets to electric vehicles (EVs) and installing EV charging infrastructure is not the only way to lower emissions. There are simpler, shorter-term methods that can be implemented today to see huge achievement toward sustainability gains.
A simple change in how fleets are fueled can lower emissions, save money and boost holistic sustainability. With mobile fueling, fleets trade the gas station errand for on-site, off-the-clock refueling, avoiding unproductive gas station trips and the administrative burden associated with tracking and managing gas card transactions.
Emissions reductions remain a key benchmark for fleets under the growing umbrella of sustainability. But costly EVs and zero-emissions vehicles are still an emerging market, and fleet managers who are looking for an immediate win – with far less investment – should look to mobile fueling. Mobile fueling reduces emissions in two ways: 1) by reducing overall miles driven (and thus emissions generated), and 2) reductions realized by the adoption of sustainable alternative fuels.
At Booster®, our mobile fueling service can lead to up to 14% fewer fleet emissions, even with traditional fuel. This reduction is possible through the elimination of individual gas station trips; Mobile fueling omits the need for the gas station errand by delivering fuel directly from the terminal to fleet vehicles wherever they park overnight.
How? According to GeoTab, the average fleet vehicle drives approximately 2.2 off-route miles per gas station trip. At an average of 7.7 gas station visits monthly, those miles add up quickly, with each fleet vehicle burning an extra 13 gallons of gas traveling to and from the gas station annually. According to the EPA, every gallon of gasoline burned creates about 8,887 grams of CO2. For a fleet of 20 vehicles, that amounts to about 2.31 metric tons of CO2 annually, or the equivalent of burning more than 2,500 pounds of coal.
Mobile fueling cuts this number entirely – a significant win for fleets, and for the environment. And while these numbers are impressive, reductions increase greatly when fleets utilize sustainable fuels. Though sustainable fuels are gaining traction as a decarbonization solution, they are rarely available at gas stations. Out of about 145,000 fuel stations in the United States, the AFDC reports that only 827 carry biodiesel — fewer than 1%.
Mobile fueling makes a range of sustainable fuels readily available. For example, Booster’s mobile fueling system expands access to Renewable Diesel, a fuel made from biomass and categorized by the U.S. Department of Energy as an emerging alternative fuel. With Booster’s renewable diesel service — which currently fuels nearly all of our California-based fleets — fleets can realize an immediate reduction of carbon emissions by up to 70% without sacrificing performance or requiring expensive equipment or infrastructure modifications or upgrades.
The other benefits of mobile fueling are savings in money and time. Mobile fueling improves operational efficiency by offering fleet vehicle drivers more time to accomplish work, and less time spent at the pump. At an average of 20 minutes per gas station trip – multiplied by the rate of 7.7 gas station trips per month – the time adds up quickly. So does the money.
Let’s revisit those 13 gallons of gas used by each fleet vehicle traveling to and from the gas station annually. For a fleet of 20 vehicles, at the national average gas price of $3.765 per gallon (as of September 28), that amounts to $978.90 in gas that could be saved annually through adopting mobile fueling. Add in the $748 of labor costs spent on refueling annually per fleet vehicle, and you’re looking at nearly $16,000 in potential annual savings simply by adopting mobile fueling.
Plus, none of this accounts for the time and administrative burden associated with managing and organizing fuel cards and hundreds of transactions, which are eliminated when allowing a mobile fueler like Booster to take the fueling errand off your hands. We even offer fuel and emissions insights in an easily accessible customer dashboard, so you always know how much you’re spending and how much you’re saving.
Stepping into The Future of Fueling
In the ongoing energy transition, solutions will vary greatly in cost, speed and effectiveness. In many cases, each fleet will deploy several solutions throughout their multi-year journeys to ESG sustainability. But for fleets looking to adopt a solution now that can grow with them along their journeys, mobile fueling checks the boxes.
Mobile fueling is sustainable both for the environment and as an operational practice, offering efficiency gains, room for growth and cost savings. This is a solution that supports the whole of ESG; this is the future of fleet fueling.
Ericka Ramon leads Booster's customer experience organization, where she drives Booster's customer strategy from onboarding and support through growth and expansion. Ericka is driven by the "Voice of the Customer," and continually works to improve customer experience with Booster products & services, delivering long-term customer value in Booster's offerings.