“With the 2040 ban on selling new petrol and diesel HGVs edging closer, you’ll struggle to find a fleet that isn’t actively working on – or at least actively planning – its transition to electric,” so says Marc Preedy, Managing Director, Truck Replacement Sales, Europe, Goodyear.
He explains: “But electrifying an entire fleet isn’t a straightforward process. For one thing, while EV fleets yield returns in the long run with lower whole-life costs, the initial cost of acquiring those vehicles can be a real barrier. With the fuel crisis causing ongoing financial concern, and some fleets only just beginning to bounce back from the pandemic, going electric right now is quite the feat. Then, of course, there’s the challenge of actually getting hold of EVs. Thanks to the semiconductor shortage, we’re seeing a huge shortage, with orders taking months to fulfil. Despite these difficulties, however, it seems our industry is determined to be more environmentally friendly. Last year, Goodyear’s own Sustainable Reality Survey found that three-in-four fleets recognise their carbon footprint is an important issue, and that 70% of larger fleets have defined clear green goals to work towards.
So, how can fleet operators who, for whatever reason, can’t yet go electric still find ways to be more sustainable, while also remaining efficient and competitive? Could tyres hold the answer?
Retreading is one of the best ways fleets can use their tyres to operate more sustainably. Through rigorous testing, we’ve found that retreading can actually extend tyre life by 150%*. Even the manufacturing process is more sustainable, with retreading using 56% less crude oil than the manufacture of new tyres. With these figures in mind, we were delighted to learn from our Sustainable Reality Survey that 42% of fleets are already using retreaded tyres.
It’s also worth considering the financial benefits that high-quality retread tyres can provide, with retreading having the potential to cut tyre bills by as much as 10%. At Goodyear, fleets can choose to either retread just their own casings or join a casing exchange programme.
Of course, the tyres that fleets choose to fit have a huge amount of influence over how sustainably they’re operating. But of these products can be further enhanced with the use of a wide range of digital tools. Maintaining optimum pressure can help to extend the lifespan of a tyre, benefiting both your bank account and the environment.
Finally, a comprehensive strategy to bring each of these components together is the best way of making sure you’re operating as sustainably as possible. There’s plenty of room for sustainability when it comes to tyres. And, while these changes may not be quite as drastic as transitioning an entire fleet to EV, they’ll help to improve your green credentials and demonstrate your intent to do better. For fleets looking to go even further, coupling a more economical tyre strategy with additional small changes, such as reducing idling, implementing sustainability-focused driver training and opting for last mile delivery schemes, will go a long way towards meeting consumer demand for more sustainable services.