By Bernie Kavanagh, Senior Vice President & General Manager, WEX Fleet
With 28 years in the fleet business, I’ve observed how technology has evolved and expanded to meet the diverse needs of businesses with vehicles. But as we dive into the second half of 2019, one thing is plain: The pace of change in fleet is as fast as it’s ever been… and as slow as it will ever be.
In the span of about three weeks this summer, WEX rolled out payments for EV charges to its 11 million US fleet card holders, doubled its mobile payments network to 25,000 accepting sites and pondered what will happen “When the Car Becomes the Card” at an automotive tech conference in Southern California.
As work to connect the vehicle – and all its data — to your back office continues, the job becomes one of connecting dashboards, giving you an ever-more complete view of your fleet as it operates, visually, in real time.
We’re just getting started.
Putting data in the driver’s seat: DriverDash now available at 13,000 Shell fueling locations
We introduced DriverDash with acceptance at more than 11,000 Exxon and Mobil sites in 2018 and, in July, announced the platform is now accepted at more than 13,000 Shell stations.
The next generation in mobile fuel payments and the first mobile payment platform from WEX, DriverDash is essentially the WEX Fleet card without the plastic. It enables drivers to authorize a fuel transaction from inside their vehicles, and can use a device’s biometric capabilities to ensure security. It documents the purchase electronically, creates electronic receipts and is a seamless, secure transaction that cannot be skimmed.
“Offering payment options such as DriverDash increases payment options for our customers and helps drive brand loyalty for Shell,” Rusty Barron, vice president and general manager of Shell Fleet Solutions, North America, said. “Enhancing customer experience is at the forefront of everything we do at Shell. WEX has great relationships with the nation’s largest fleets”
Built internally by WEX developers in Maine, DriverDash can be deployed in minutes. Send your fleet manager to fleetdriverdash.com and get started.
Boosting electric vehicle charging for fleets nationwide: WEX and ChargePoint sign deal
ChargePoint, operator of the world’s largest electric vehicle (EV) charging network, has made their systems available to WEX Fleet card users after rolling out the program with us at Government Fleet Expo in New Orleans.
WEX EV FleetCharge allows millions of WEX Fleet card holders to pay for EV charges using their WEX cards at more than 66,000 ChargePoint locations nationally.
The system expands the array of fuels available to businesses, makes it easier than ever for them to acquire and pay for electric charges, and helps them meet emissions mandates and reduce their environmental footprints. Municipal fleets, especially, should benefit.
Because ChargePoint provides EV charging and WEX provides fuel cards to the U.S. General Services Administration, the WEX EV FleetCharge payment solution was tested and developed within GSA Fleet—one of the nation’s largest public fleets, with more than 200,000 vehicles under management. It’s the kind of partnership that will allow us to continue to innovate at scale in this space.
Finally, we were overjoyed at the response to our panel discussion in Marina del Rey in June.
“When the Car Becomes the Card” laid out several visions of a connected car future for fleets: a future our panelists reminded us will be very much driven by consumer-type expectations, despite our living in a B2B world.
John Moon of Honda Innovations joined us to show of the latest iteration of Honda DreamDrive, their fantastic in-vehicle experience, while Quaseer Mujawar of Amazon Alexa Auto told our audience of approximately 100 OEM representatives and tech vendors “we’ve been through the smartphone era and we believe that now this is really the era of voice.”
Jeff Schuchardt, Vice President of Information Technology for Enterprise Fleet Management, a leading fleet management provider, joined the discussion as a panelist and provided insight on how vehicle data can simplify transactions such as tolls, parking and fueling.
Schuchardt went on to explain how the same data can be leveraged to capture information on vehicle and driver performance, an important component of overall fleet management.
“Technology provides a nice single ‘pane of glass’ where customers can have immediate access to information about their vehicles,” Schuchardt said, “allowing them to manage their fleets more effectively and efficiently.”
As the connected car really gets going, it is connections made at forums like this one that will drive product development and market adoption in this incredibly exciting space.