DOSSIER I Green Fleet Management
La Carterie goes hybrid With its fleet of 104 hybrid vehicles, gift card manufacturer La Carterie is aiming to save 250 tonnes of CO2 per year for a cost comparable to using petrol-driven vehicles. The savings made in tax and fuel will cover the additional cost of the technology.
or many businesses, vehicles are the outward expression of their efforts to improve their environmental credentials. Since 2010, gift card group La Carterie has been pursuing a company-wide approach to saving natural resources and limiting the impact of its various business activities. At the end of 2012, the company’s directors decided to replace the entire fleet of vehicles. Until then, La Carterie’s car policy saw it pick its petrol-driven models from manufacturers such as Citroën, Peugeot, Renault and Volkswagen. Now, every vehicle used is a hybrid, and the group has decided to entrust its car pool entirely to Toyota. The company’s employees are now driving either a Toyota Yaris, Auris or Prius, depending on their ranking in the company hierarchy. “The Japanese manufacturer’s range met our specifications in terms of safety, comfort and the structure of our commercial operation,” explains Claire Georges, head of sustainable development projects, adding: “The models chosen have all the features in the Toyota Business range, including parking sensors, satnav, handsfree kits and automatic gearbox, which drivers especially appreciate.” For La Carterie, switching to a hybrid fleet is a measure of its real intention to promote sustainable mobility. Sales activity is at the heart of the business and necessitates travelling. Rationalising this is the principal lever for reducing the company’s carbon footprint. Even so, the switch to hybrid vehicles was dependent on maintaining the economic balance of the fleet. “Today, hybrid vehicles enable us to meet both the environmental and social conditions set by management and the commercial goals,” Georges is pleased to report. Positive outlook Negotiations with Toyota and Arval took place in November and December 2012, which was a particularly favourable time for obtaining attractive commercial terms. “We agreed the figures for each of the three vehicles and received rebates on the models and on all the orders,” continues Georges. “Thanks to the bonus, the exemption from company car tax and the projected fuel savings, plus the considerations made by Toyota and Arval, decid-
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71% of La Carterie drivers thought that the hybrid technology encouraged a more considered driving style. ing to go hybrid has kept the vehicle budget the same.” To further reinforce the economic and environmental efficiency of the hybrid vehicles, Arval helped the group organise training on environmentally-friendly driving. Almost a year after deploying its hybrid fleet, La Carterie carried out an internal survey to measure staff satisfaction. More than 71% thought that the hybrid technology encouraged a more considered driving style, 59% that their vehicle is more environmentally friendly, 59% more modern, 51% better to drive, and 50% quieter. On the other hand, half thought fuel consumption was higher. But, says Georges: “The smaller size of the fuel tank - 45 litres in the Toyota Prius as opposed to 60 litres in the old vehicles - might explain this impression. We are working on validating the actual level of consumption so we can carry out a comparison using concrete data.” In terms of satisfaction, the staff taking part in the survey cited various avenues for improvement: the noise level when driving outside built-up areas, the size of the fuel tank, and pedestrian safety in view of the silent engine. Despite this handful of concerns, La Carterie is already planning to move on to the next stage. “The agreements with Toyota and Arval run to the end of 2014,” explains Georges. “At the moment we are once again looking into the technology that best matches our needs, while adhering to our sustainable development approach. We already know that electric vehicles won’t make the cut, even in an urban environment.” ■ Eric Gibory
Published on Jan 24, 2014