October 20, 2020

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Editor’s Analysis & Top Industry News

Tough Times Don’t Last but Tough People Do

Many of us in the fleet orbit know Mike Pitcher, former CEO of LeasePlan, USA, and one of the most dynamic and charismatic leaders in the industry. You may know him for his early and enduring work in tackling the deadly problem of distracted driving. It’s still his passion — catch his video this week: Conversations Can Change Your Behavior.

We are all struggling to cope with the challenges of 2020 – we have seen nothing like this in our lifetime – so when we talked with Mike about writing a column centering on leadership, we knew it would be inspiring. It is that, and more.

In Leadership in a Virtual World, Mike first defines leadership: “Leadership is influence. If you are in a position to influence the thoughts, behaviors and/or attitudes of someone else, then you are in a leadership role.” Then he asks, “How will you influence those that you lead?” Start here: Be a positive force.

Janice Sutton
Editor in Chief

Always find time for the things that make you feel happy to be alive ~ Anonymous

VIDEO: Delivery Fleets, the Holidays and the Never-Ending Peak Season

The holidays are upon us, and delivery fleets are already experiencing what many of them have begun to call “The never-ending peak season.”

VIDEO: Keep Your Game Plan in Motion

 Is Your Fleet Staying the Course?

We are in uncertain times, and that’s all the more reason for your fleet to stay the course. Keep your fleet game plan in motion if you have one; and, if you don’t have one, now is a great time to put one together.

VIDEO: Conversations Around Distracted Driving

 Conversations Can Change Your Behavior

Changing your behavior to avoid distracted driving can make more positive differences in your life than you probably realize.

The Fleet Spot

Geotab Delivers Keyless Solution to Help Car Sharing Fleets

Geotab Press Release

Geotab unveiled Geotab Keyless, one of the world’s first platform solutions that integrates a secured digital key function with a comprehensive and data-driven fleet management product.

“We are proud to be the first fully-featured telematics provider bringing a unique data-driven, keyless solution to the burgeoning car sharing market,” said Christopher Mendes, VP, Electric Vehicles at Geotab.

“Geotab Keyless is designed to enhance car sharing across every segment, including in-car delivery services in the future” added Mendes. “Keyless is particularly advantageous for electric vehicle (EV) car sharing fleets, as the solution can reliably manage vehicles’ state of charge (SOC), charging status and range remaining —a capability no other keyless hardware competitor possesses.”

Read the full release

eDriving Wins International Fleet Risk Management Company of the Year at ACQ5 Global Awards 2020

And Founder/CEO Named International Gamechanger of the Year


eDrivingSM has been named International Fleet Risk Management Company of the Year in the ACQ5 Global Awards 2020. eDriving’s Founder/CEO Ed Dubens has also been named International Gamechanger of the Year.

The ACQ5 Global Awards program recognizes companies and individuals that demonstrate achievement, innovation and brilliance in the markets in which they excel. The Awards are based on peer nominations and year-round research into businesses in all global regions.

“Since our founding 24 years ago, we have worked tirelessly to help organizations around the world ensure that those who drive for work purposes make it home safely to their loved ones at the end of every day,” said Ed Dubens. “Our whole team is delighted to receive this global recognition, and I’m very proud to be considered a ‘gamechanger’ in the industry.”

Read the entire press release at eDriving.

Google Assistant Driving Mode Appears To Be Coming To Android At Last

The Verge

The Google Assistant Driving mode that the company first announced in 2019 has started appearing on some Android devices, XDA-Developers reported.

It’s not clear whether the rollout of this new mode is part of a test or will be coming for all users.

The voice prompt doesn’t appear to work yet even on devices enabled with the new mode, according to Android Police. To see if your device has Assistant Driving Mode, open Google Maps and from the navigation settings menu, and select “Google Assistant settings.” If it’s not enabled, you’ll be taken to the main Assistant settings section.

Read the article at The Verge.

Do You Own One Of The Most Stolen Vehicles In The U.S.?


According to the annual “Hot Wheels” list compiled by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) in Des Plaines, Ill., the full-size Ford F-150 is now the most-stolen vehicle in the U.S. 

Rural areas and wide-open spaces, like Alabama, Alaska, and Arkansas tend to have more pickup trucks stolen than in more urban-oriented states like California, Connecticut, and Delaware, where sedans like the Honda Accord and Civic top the list.

Older high-volume vehicles are taken most often because they’re worth more than the sum of their parts. They’re typically driven off, or even towed away to a “chop shop” where they’re dismantled into components that can be passed off to unscrupulous vendors and sold to repair shops and consumers, often via the Internet. .

Read the article at Forbes.

Fleet Leadership

We will always remember those leaders that helped us navigate tough times

By Mike Pitcher, Author and Fleet Industry Leader

October 2020

As the CEO of LeasePlan USA, we were one of the hundreds of companies that launched visionary campaigns called “Vision 2020”. It is now obvious that we were all clueless on exactly what 2020 would bring. And yet, here we are.

Let me begin by stating my definition of leadership. In my opinion, it is very simple. Leadership is influence. If you are in a position to influence the thoughts, behaviors and / or attitudes of someone else, then you are in a leadership role. I do not believe that leadership is the private domain of corporate executives and politicians. I know for a fact that leadership is practiced everyday in schools, churches, non-profit organizations, and in our homes. The leadership role we hold in our family might be the most important of all.

In this challenging environment of political unrest, social injustice, economic uncertainty, and that other little issue (a global pandemic named COVID-19), how will you influence those that you lead?



New Mobility

The Swiss-based Start-up has developed a B2B self-service IT-software enabling Companies to orchestrate their mobility offerings for their Employees

Starting mid-2019, fleetcompetence Group and fleetbay joined forces in order to combine their long-standing industry expertise from fleet and mobility consulting, IT-development and telematic solutions. They now bundled all services related to “New Mobility” in a newly founded corporation: 1st Mobility AG, based in Switzerland.

“Companies establishing a “New Mobility” Program face a significant level of complexity as the mobility needs are different by job role, office location, employee’s personal situation, etc.”, says Tobias Kern, Managing Director of 1st Mobility. “Our Mobility Configurator Solution supports each Employee to configurate their individual mobility package within the boundaries of the corporate mobility policy, which can be fully reflected in the tool.”



Essentials of Fleet Management

This is your last week to register and attend NAFA’s Essentials of Fleet Management Seminar: The Toolbox, Oct. 26 – Nov 4.

Attend to master and walk away with the eight essential fleet solutions during the ten hours of interactive instruction led by a team of industry veterans, all Certified Automotive Fleet Managers (CAFM). REGISTER NOW

The Toolbox is the backbone of this interactive course and will become your go-to resource to breakdown the eight most practical, solutions to improve your fleet including: The Ethical Decision-making Grid, Vehicle Selection Matrix, Risk Management Grid, Policy Templates, Fleet Reporting Matrix, Lifecycle Cost Analysis Spreadsheet, VEU Analysis Worksheet and Fuel Efficiency Performance Measures.

More than just a series of online presentation, this interactive experience includes informative fleet discussions with fellow students and our experienced faculty via a private networking and discussion community.

As an added bonus, you’ll have the chance to build a network of peers who are experiencing the same challenges you are, and can help you find solutions to your current and future fleet needs.


Questions? For more information on this or other NAFA education programs, please contact Tina Mercardo TMercardo@nafa.org.

Fleet Trends & Issues

Volvo Using Technology To Cut Down On Distracted Driving — Due To Technology

The Detroit Bureau 

Distraction has become a fact of life, but Volvo’s safety research and behavioral science work suggests that when used correctly, modern technology inside the car can reduce distraction, boost road safety and help people to be better and more focused drivers.

Volvo Cars actively uses technology to combat the dangers of distraction and build some of the safest cars on the road. For example, its active safety systems with autobrake and steer assist are designed to be on guard to help drivers if they lose concentration or are distracted for a split second.

“Being able to control key features on your Volvo by voice allows you to keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road,” said Malin Ekholm, head of the Volvo Cars Safety Center. “Active safety systems such as City Safety, Run-off Road Mitigation and Oncoming Lane Mitigation with steer assist can act as an extra pair of eyes watching over you.”

Read the article at The Detroit Bureau.

Your Dog Needs To Buckle Up. Here’s Why

The Drive

Many owners allow their fur babies to sit on their laps while they drive, or ride unrestrained in another part of the vehicle.

Listen up: if you have a 10-pound dog in the car and you’re traveling 50 mph, that tiny canine could exert a crushing 500 pounds of force on you or someone else in the vehicle if you crash.

A survey by AAA found that 84 percent of Americans have driven with their pet in the car. However, only 16 percent use any form of restraint. A chest-style harness in the back seat is a great way to keep medium to large dogs in place during long and short trips. Use seat belts to secure smaller dogs in portable pet carriers in the second or third row of your vehicle.

Read the article at The Drive.

Plug-In Hybrids No Greener, Or Even Worse, Than ICE Models, Study Finds


According to a recent study, most plug-in hybrid models aren’t more environmentally friendly than their regular combustion engine counterparts due to their limited all-electric range, and their CO2 emissions can actually be worse than those of a conventional gasoline or diesel model.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer ISI institute and the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) examined usage data found that, at best, a plug-in hybrid car produces average CO2 emissions that are twice as high as what carmakers claim regardless of test cycle.

A big reason for this is the fact that PHEVs are also used as company cars, which in turn are usually driven distances that exceed their relatively limited full-electric range. Furthermore, company car drivers are in most cases incentivized to fill up with gas seen as how their employers pay for the fuel.

Read the article at Carscoops.

Refusals To Wear Masks In Pandemic Echo The Fight To Wear Seatbelts


If the resistance by some Americans to wearing a mask during the coronavirus pandemic feels vaguely familiar, you may be recalling the decades-long campaign to persuade vehicle occupants to wear seatbelts. 

Both situations do share the personal liberty argument. And both share an element of ignorance or denial. There’s a failure of imagination about what happens when one’s body accelerates from 0 to 60 and back to 0 in a fraction of a second. And there’s the mistaken belief that COVID-19 is no worse than the flu, or it’s fake news. Or that not following public health guidelines is some kind of liberal-vs.-conservative badge of honor.

On the flip side, wearing a seatbelt and wearing a mask have one other important thing in common beyond safety: In both cases, you’re modeling responsible behavior for your children.

Read the article at Autoblog.

Climate Change


To paraphrase the global journalism initiative Covering Climate Now, the Green New Deal is a broad resolution that aims to combat the climate crisis by creating a large number of green jobs and business opportunities through government investments.

Donald Trump: Trump doesn’t have a climate change policy.

Joe Biden: Biden’s $2 trillion, specific clean energy plan isn’t called the Green New Deal. It’s called the “Biden Plan” on his website, and it’s the most ambitious climate action plan to ever be floated by a major US party platform.

Read the article at Electrek.


Fleet Spectator

By Mark Boada, Executive Editor

October 2020

Every session at this years’ Automotive Fleet Leasing Association annual conference, conducted virtually last week, was worth tuning into. But the one I found most compelling was on fleet vehicle electrification.

Moderated by Sara Sweeney, senior product manager at Wheels, it featured four seasoned veterans of fleet electrification: Sharon Etherington, senior manager of regional administrative services for Roche Diagnostics; Sila Kiliccote co-founder of eIQ Mobility, a fleet electrification consulting company; Scott Miller, vice president of sales at Charge Point, Inc., a leader maker of electric vehicle charging infrastructure; and Matt Stover, Ford Motor Company’s  global director of charging, energy services and business development.

READ MORE for a transcript of their conversation that has been edited for clarity and length. AFLA announced that a recording of the session and all others from the three-day conference, will be available later this month.


Amazon and BEVs

By Mike Sheldrick, Senior Editor

October 2020

Last week, Amazon’s electric delivery van supplier, Rivian, demonstrated its first operating unit, with plans for 10,000 to be delivered in 2022 and 100,000 by 200, as 2030 part of Amazon’s pledge to achieve carbon-free by 2040.

Rivian’s demonstration caps a months-long surge in announcements and demonstrations of promised commercial vehicles: from pickups, to work trucks, to delivery vans, to Class 7 and 8 behemoths.

How long it will take for this activity to reach high tide can only be a guess. Nevertheless, as an accompanying piece in this issue — an electrification panel at the recent AFLA conference makes clear– all the signs point to the likelihood of a strong, even massive battery electric vehicle (BEV) movement to electrification.


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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