Shell steps in as more fleet owners employ telematics

  • 28-May-2010 01:40 EDT

Shell is turning to telematics to help its FuelSave members analyze their fuel consumption and emissions.

Shell Oil is using telematics to help commercial transport fleet owners in Europe manage fuel consumption. In May it tapped Airbiquity as the solution integrator for its Shell FuelSave Partner program.

The new fuel-management solution links customers’ Shell fuel cards with in-vehicle systems, letting a central database see how far the vehicle has been driven and how long it has idled. The resulting analysis can help customers save up to 10% on fuel while better managing their CO2 emissions. The fuel-management system can also calculate fuel-related CO2 emissions on a per ton-km basis.

Airbiquity helped Shell develop and test the technology, which is now being rolled out across the continent. IBM and Continental Automotive were also involved in the program’s development.

With fuel accounting for nearly 30% of operating costs and increasing pressure to cut vehicle CO2 emissions, more fleet owners are looking for new ways to monitor fuel consumption.

“We know how tight the margins can be for our transport customers, so we’re always looking at ways to help them manage fuel costs,” said Ruth Cairnie, Vice President for Shell Commercial Fuels.

Berg Insight estimated the number of fleet management systems in Europe grew 15.4% year-on-year, bringing deployment in commercial fleets to 1.5 million in 2009. Growth is expected to improve slightly in 2010, at 16.7%.

The entrance of one of the largest oil suppliers emphasizes another trend addressed by the latest Berg analysis. Given the lingering economic slowdown, the overcrowded field is likely to see a consolidation.

“We believe in a scenario where a group of financially strong international players will gradually squeeze out their local smaller competitors. Some will be acquired, but many more will simply be forced out of business,” said Johan Fagerberg, Senior Analyst at Berg.

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