September 15, 2020

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Editor’s Analysis & Top Industry News

So Many Winners!

We are thoroughly enjoying NAFA’s 2020 Virtual Fleet Conference. We plan to stop by as many booths as possible over the next few days to learn about fleet’s latest products, services, and solutions, and to thank the exhibitors, whose support means so much to NAFA.

Remember last spring when we thought we would be meeting in Indianapolis in May and honoring FLEXY winners? In the “new now,” today we are celebrating these talented individuals virtually.

We were delighted to hear about another winner this morning! Recognizing his important contributions to the industry, Tom Johnson, founder of the 100 Best Fleets program, was lauded with NAFA’s prestigious Honorary Lifetime Membership Award. Congratulations, Tom!

A few days ago, we learned that our friend Art Liggio, CEO and president of Driving Dynamics, will be inducted into the Fleet Hall of Fame at AFLA NextGen2020 Virtual Conference in October and we couldn’t wait to congratulate Art on this well-earned commendation. We could not be more excited for him.

What a day it has been! Stay safe, everybody!

Janice Sutton
Editor in Chief

VIDEO: Miami-Dade’s Fleet Department Rises to the Challenges of the Pandemic

There have been a lot of changes in response to the pandemic – including updated safety protocols and new safeguards for personnel – but Miami-Dade’s fleet department has risen to the challenge.

VIDEO: On-Site Fleet Maintenance

 Wrench Grows Its On-Site Fleet Maintenance Business

Some fleets are busier than ever, and Wrench has continued to grow its on-site fleet maintenance business during the pandemic.

Interview with YOU Here?

 Request for Zoom Video Interviews

We’re ramping up FMW’s video interviews via Zoom given the times, and are looking to speak with a variety industry experts (and we know that many of you are reading!).

Please feel free to suggest yourself, or someone you know. Any and all timely industry topics will be considered, and we look forward to speaking with you!

Email Ted Roberts to learn more:

The Fleet Spot

Tom Johnson Receives NAFA’s Honorary Lifetime Membership Award

By Janice Sutton

Tom Johnson is the recipient of NAFA’s prestigious Honorary Lifetime Membership Award, presented at NAFA 2020 Virtual Institute & Expo.

Tom founded the 100 Best Fleets program which recognizes and rewards peak-performing fleet operations in the Americas. Tom told FMW in a brief interview today, “I have been associated with NAFA since 1979 and this is an honor of a lifetime.”

In bestowing the award, NAFA president Patti Earley, CAFM, said, “It is my great pleasure to present NAFA’s Honorary Lifetime Membership Award for 2020 to Tom Johnson, someone who has been an evangelist for the best of fleet, promoting pride in and for our industry, amplifying the good work we do to the larger community and to our supervisors.


White Paper: Automating Your Fleet Management Processes

September 2020

New White Paper: Getting Started Guide to Vehicle Sharing

New to car sharing? If you are just starting to plan your motor pool, or just considering starting to share vehicles, don’t miss this report written by fleet experts who have implemented money-saving self-service motor pools. Don’t miss this guide and be sure to bypass costly startup mistakes.

You’ll learn:

  • The #1 most important foundation for any car sharing initiative
  • Three phases to getting your initiative up and running
  • How to share the good news with fleet staff and drivers that sharing vehicles will offer many positive changes for them
  • How to get a handle on vehicle utilization metrics before you start, and how to improve it going forward
  • Where to start when planning your motor pool
  • Download the White Paper Now
Countdown to AFLA NextGen 2020

We are less than 30 days away from the AFLA NextGen 2020 Virtual Corporate Fleet Conference – what are you most excited for?

Check out this year’s lineup of top-caliber live keynote speakers focused on topics immediately impactful for your continued career growth and success – no matter your role in fleet.

Register today to secure your spot – and share your excitement with #AFLANextGen on Twitter and LinkedIn!

Used-Vehicle Market Digs Out from Supply-and-Demand Chaos that Caused Enormous Distortions in Wholesale Prices

Wolf Street

Used vehicle wholesale prices jumped 3.6% in August from July, and 15.8% from August last year, capping one heck of a magnificent price spike, based on Manheim’s mix-, mileage-, and seasonally adjusted Used Vehicle Value Index.

But in late August, prices started backtracking But in the week ended August 30, auction sales of vehicles up to eight years old plunged 23% from the prior week, to 73,000, J.D. Power said in a note sent out last week. This was the lowest since May 3, and down about 35% from the pre-Pandemic range.

J.D. Power expects wholesale prices to continue to decline through the end of the year to where they’ll be just “slightly” higher than before the Pandemic.

Read the article at Wolf Street.

In the Public Interest

September 2020

More than 50 other fleets cited, ranked; innovations seen

By Mark Boada, Executive Editor

The City of Fort Collins, Colorado won first place last week in the 2020 Green Fleet Award for leading efforts to reduce greenhouse gas and noxious emissions by adopting the use of electric vehicles and alternative fuels, including ethanol, biodiesel, hydrogen fuel cells, and natural gas, and other fuel-saving practices.

Fort Collins’ was among the more than 50 government and commercial fleets from all around North America recognized in the contest’s 13th year. It was the sixth consecutive year that the city was included in the winners’ list. In previous years it had ranked as high as third, and placed 16th in 2015 and 2016.

The runner-up this year was Denver International Airport. Rounding out the list of the top five winners were, in descending order, Dublin, Ohio, Riverside, California, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The contest is run by Tom Johnson, founder of the 100 Best Fleets award program. The full list of this year’s Green Fleet Award winners is posted on that program’s website.



Globally Speaking

Business will be dedicated to transparency, cost effectiveness and sustainability

Fleet Logistics Release, September 15, 2020

Fleet Logistics Group, Europe’s largest independent fleet management company, has created a new Global Mobility Solutions unit that will engage with fleet customers on the issues of cost effectiveness, sustainability and electrification, and corporate mobility alternatives.

The new business brings together the expertise of the existing consultancy division in terms of market intelligence and methodologies, with the data management and analytical skills of the international reporting team.

It is led by Thibault Alleyn as the new Head of Global Mobility Solutions, who said: “Our Global Mobility Solutions unit combines the best of advisory and reporting experts in Fleet Logistics Group and will accelerate our focus on today’s and tomorrow’s hot topics in the fleet and mobility world.”



Work Truck Forum

September 2020

Adoption is growing in “record numbers”

By Mark Boada, Executive Editor

A study by a clean energy consulting firm has found that there is no significant loss of performance when surveyed commercial fleets convert from diesel and gasoline to most alternative sources of energy.

The 141-page report, published last month by the California consulting firm of Gladstone, Neandross & Associates, also asserts that the use of alternative fuels by fleets of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles is “at a critical inflection point where…adoption is expanding from the gradual uptake in niche applications over the past several decades to faster and broader adoption within the last few years.

The report, entitled “The State of Sustainable Fleets 2020,” says that although diesel and gasoline are likely to remain as the dominant choice of commercial fleets for some time, “fleets are now testing and purchasing sustainable vehicle technologies in record numbers.”


Fleet Trends & Issues

To Compete With Uber And Lyft, Taxis Make The Switch To Upfront Pricing


Curb is one of several on-demand taxi-hailing apps that enable riders to use their mobile device to request a taxi, track its arrival, and pay their fare. Users will be quoted a fixed rate for their trip in advance that will help them figure out how much the trip will cost before they request a ride.

Fares are determined dynamically using live and historical trip data, and have been fine-tuned using hundreds of thousands of trips during its public beta program the company started in 2018.

Prior to implementing upfront pricing, Curb used to charge a flat $1.95 booking fee in addition to the fare. Curb now bundles the booking fee into the fare, which varies slightly based on supply and demand, but on average is around $2 per trip. However, drivers know exactly how much they’ll be charged by Curb before they accept a trip. Unlike Uber and Lyft, Curb does not charge drivers a percentage-based commission.

Read the article at Forbes.

Nikola’s House Of Cards Crumbles As GM Acts Like Nothing Is Happening


Nikola Motors and its founder, Trevor Milton, are scrambling to save face after a research report exposed years of deception. This follows their new deal with GM, who doesn’t seem very concerned about their new partners’ past deception.

Among the dozen of claims in the report, some of the more damaging ones include an allegation that the first video of Nikola’s truck actually driving was the result of towing the truck up a hill and pushing it down. Another claim they developed their own inverter and released a video of it, but they were able to figure out that it was a Cascadia inverter, and Nikola simply put masking tape over their logo:

In the deal with GM, Nikola would use the automaker’s battery and fuel cell technology in Nikola’s Badger electric pickup truck and future vehicles, despite the fact that Nikola has been claiming for years that they are developing their own battery pack technology.

Read the article at Electrek.

Lucid Motors Reveals Lucid Air Luxury Electric Car With 517-Mile Range Aimed At Tesla

USA Today

Silicon Valley-based Lucid Motors, one of several electric vehicle startups hoping to become the next Tesla, debuted the production model of the Lucid Air, a slickly designed midsize sedan capable of going up to 517 miles on a single charge.

The base model, called the Lucid Air, will start at “below $80,000” with unspecified range and engine output. The Air Grand Touring will start at $139,000 with a range of 517 miles and 800 horsepower. Tesla’s longest-range electric car is the Model S Long Range Plus, which gets 402 miles and starts at $74,990, though it can cost more than $100,000 when options are factored in.

Lucid CEO and Chief Technical Officer Peter Rawlinson said the company’s goal is to make 34,000 vehicles per year once it completes its first phase of ramp-up, with plans to get up to 400,000 per year within six years. By comparison, Tesla sold 367,500 vehicles worldwide in 2019, up 50% for the year.

Read the article at USA Today.

Electrify America Moving Into Home Charging Market

The Detroit Bureau

Electrify America is expanding its product portfolio with the launch of a new business unit called Electrify Home designed to make it easier for EV owners to charge their vehicles with convenient home charging solutions.

“Right now, about 80% of electric vehicle charging is done at home. With the launch of Electrify Home, we’re providing flexible and forward-thinking home charging solutions for EV drivers of today and tomorrow,” said Nina Huesgen, senior manager, Home and eCommerce at Electrify America.

Beyond its Electrify Home offerings, Electrify America will continue to grow its public network of ultra-fast EV chargers with a goal to install or have under development approximately 800 total charging station sites with about 3,500 chargers by December 2021.

Read the article at The Detroit Bureau.

Reforms in the UK

Fleet World

Life sentences for killer drivers in the UK will finally be introduced to parliament next year; a near four-year wait after a previous pledge from the Ministry of Justice.

It means someone found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving – or careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs – now faces a maximum penalty of a life sentence instead of the current 14 years.

“Driving is a privilege not a right and yet our flawed legal system continues to allow convicted dangerous drivers on the roads where they can endanger others. We all want safer roads but we will only achieve this if the law treats road crime with the seriousness it deserves.”

Read the article at Fleet World.


In the Public Interest

September 2020

Effects on fleets could last for years

By Mark Boada, Executive Editor

The Great Recession of 2007 lasted only 18 months, but it took another three to four years for state, county and municipal budgets to recover to pre-recession levels. Now, with the recession brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, it looks like things are going to be even worse, and fleet suffering may be greater and longer than in the last economic contraction.

But, as Steve Saltzgiver, a long-term government and corporate fleet manager, wrote here in July, there are a number of initiatives that fleets can take to soften the blows and put themselves in a better position when the economy recovers. Before recounting them, though, it’s important that fleet managers understand the basics of the current recession and how it compares to the last one.

The current recession is in only its eighth month, but in some respects it’s already the worst U.S. economic contraction since the Great Depression of the 1930s.



Weather Extremes

CBS News

While extreme weather is a part of the natural cycle, the recent uptick in the ferocity and frequency of these extremes, scientists say, is evidence of an acceleration of climate impacts, some of which were underestimated by climate computer models.

But many scientists believe that there is more at play contributing to this extreme weather than simply the direct effects of warming and drying. One of those mechanisms is the indirect impacts of global warming on the most influential weather-maker on day-to-day conditions: the jet stream.

“While the extent of the ongoing fire siege is beyond what most have seen in the West, the alignment of ingredients for such fire seasons is becoming more favorable as a result of climate change and land-use practices,” Dr. John Abatzoglou, climate professor at the University of California Merced said. “We should expect, adapt, and prepare for similar years moving forward.”

Read the article at CBS News.

Fleet Management Resources


The Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association. Advancing corporate fleet worldwide.

eDriving partners with its clients to engage with drivers and their managers to create a culture that supports lasting behavioral change to reduce collisions, injuries, license violations as well as a fleet’s total cost of ownership.

SuperVision is a fleet driver management solution for MVR & license monitoring, fleet management, fleet safety oversight and driver performance and retention.

The CEI Group Inc.
CEI is North America’s largest provider of fully integrated fleet accident management, driver safety and risk management services.

NAFA Fleet Management Association
NAFA is the association for the diverse vehicle fleet management profession regardless of organizational type, geographic location, or fleet composition.

WEX fuel cards and fleet management solutions give you powerful tools to reduce spending — for any business, any fleet, any size.

Driving Dynamics
Driving Dynamics was established to help corporate fleet drivers develop expert, safe driving skills using proven, advanced driving techniques.

PARS’ mission is to provide you with high-quality service at competitive prices for all of your transportation needs.

Wheels, Inc.
First in fleet for 80 years. Wheels helps you build tomorrow’s fleet today.

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