The last few months have seen some hesitation from the UK’s commercial vehicle industry to discuss EU regulations, particularly when it concerns one of the most seismic shifts to hit the sector in years.
For the commercial vehicle sector, the radio silence surrounding incoming Euro 6 legislation could see a number of operators left unprepared at a time when the discussion is particularly pertinent, which is why we need to talk about how we step up our offer.
Euro 6 was introduced to target a host of vehicle emissions, with emphasis on limiting nitrogen oxides (NOx) from 180mg/km to just 80mg/km. This has encouraged new options such as reduced compression radio, vehicle weight reduction, and replacing oxidation catalytic converters with the after-treatment systems AdBlue.
For some of us in the industry, this led to a stockpiling of Euro 5 vehicles for our customer base, as we anticipated the full force of the new changes. Now, with Plan A established, we must look at innovative approaches to implementing the new rules so that we can assure best practice for our Euro 6 customers.
The highest priority for the fleet sector, in my view, should be educating fleet operators and customers alike about the use of after-treatment solutions such as AdBlue. An essential reductant for use in Euro 6 vehicles, AdBlue could be the difference between your vehicle being on the road and being left adrift.
This is because the use and display of AdBlue varies from vehicle to vehicle: many do not include level gauges to warn drivers when the level is dipping, and some slow to a complete halt if the fluid runs out. The display can also vary between models, making preparation absolutely vital before your vans hit the road.
The capacity to deal with the potential challenges of Euro 6 are what could separate the more ambitious fleet operators from their hesitant counterparts. Commercial vehicle rental providers ought to now be thinking ahead, providing AdBlue with the vehicles, and taking a conscientious approach to instructing customers about its use, whether this is in the form of handbooks or in-vehicle first aid kits.
This initiative would not have to indicate spiralling costs for manufacturers or fleet operators – for example Dawsonrentals | vans charges customers only when the AdBlue is used, as you would with any other noticeable changes to the vehicle’s original condition – and it benefits the business by instilling a sense of trust in clients and regulators alike.
While it will likely be a rocky few months for Britain and its European partners, the effect of emissions will remain a vital environmental and political issue. In order to successfully evolve in line with the industry, fleet businesses must be prepared to utilise the options available to them, ensuring that customers receive the correct support to run clean, smart vehicles for years to come.