March 9, 2021

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Editor’s Analysis & Top Industry News

Once in a Lifetime

This week, Ed Pierce and Ted Roberts are attending Work Truck Week 2021 and thoroughly enjoying the virtual show. We’ll be excited to get together, in person, hopefully at NAFA I&E in late August, but these virtual conferences have exceeded expectations.

Ed reports that the first day of the event got off to a notable start with the Ford Commercial Vehicles press conference. Today, we feature his first story from the show in which he talks to Ford’s industry-leading connectivity technology and fleet electrification. Gotta say, it’s impressive.

Richard Mallek, director of business development at FLD, writes an interesting article on what the remarketing business has experienced during this pandemic. He’s an optimist – don’t miss Once in a Lifetime Conditions Mean There May Never Be a Better Time to Remarket Vehicles.

FMW thanks AFLA for giving us permission to publish Debbie Struna’s article about WIFM that appeared in February’s AFLA Fleet Insight. Most of us have been working from home for a year now; getting connected is good for the soul.

Drive Safety!

Janice Sutton
Editor in Chief

VIDEO: Maintenance Data Portal from Shell Fleet Solutions Makes Things Easy

The Shell Fleet Maintenance Hub makes maintenance easier and more affordable, and now Shell’s new partnership with Spiffy adds mobile maintenance to the menu.

VIDEO: Vehicle Donation

 Make a Difference – Donate Vehicles to Your Local Ronald McDonald House

By donating vehicles to your local Ronald McDonald House you can make a real difference in the lives of people with kids in the hospital, plus your organization will get a tax deduction. It’s a win-win for everyone.

For more information visit or email Ryan directly at

VIDEO: CrewVanCo.

 The Innovative Crew Cabin Van From CrewVanCo.

Crew Cabin Vans are changing the way you look at vans. Perfect for commercial and recreational use, separating crew from cargo with our integrated bench seat and partition. Seats 5-6 passengers safely and comfortably. Crew cabin vans are available nationwide through Ford, RAM & Mercedes dealerships now!

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The Fleet Spot

IARA Kicks Off Its 2021 Virtual Conference March 18th

The International Automotive Remarketing Association, IARA, opens the doors … virtually …to its 2nd Virtual Conference on March 18th with a busy schedule of noteworthy topics and expert speakers intended to recount the lessons from a historic year and project how to traverse the road to a successful 2021.

While the remarketing industry faces new leadership in Washington and fitful pandemic news, the lessons from 2020 remain fresh and relevant. They need to be considered by consignors intent upon mapping a course for business success in the face of buffeting economic and social winds.

After “Welcome” remarks, the virtual conference picks up steam with “2021 Key Trends & Outlook,” moderated by Steve Greenfield and featuring Tom Kontos and Jonathan Smoke. Next, Doug Campbell (moderator); Alan Lang (Manheim); Jason Ferreri (Adesa); Laura Taylor (Xlerate); Charles Nichols (ServNet) participated on the timely “Adapting to the Socially Distanced World” presentation.


Wheels Expands Reimbursement Program with FAVR


Wheels, Inc. expands its reimbursement program to include Fixed and Variable Rate (FAVR), further diversifying their suite of mobility solutions.

Wheels FAVR Reimbursement leverages data from their extensive vehicle and driver base. It is delivered in accordance with the IRS FAVR program guidelines, providing companies and employees flexible, fair, localized and accurate payments.

Companies can manage all facets of their FAVR program with Wheels’ award-winning support resources and technology platform.


2020’s Road Death Count Was the Highest in 13 Years Due to Reckless Lockdown Drivers: Study

The Drive

As COVID-19 swept across the country this time last year, states instituted emergency lockdowns, slowing the virus’ spread and attempting to prevent the overrun of hospitals nationwide. Many Americans endangered themselves anyway via reckless driving.

The National Safety Council projects 42,060 Americans died on the roads in 2020. This marks an increase of eight percent over 2019’s total, and the highest since 2007.

These changes to Americans’ driving behavior contributed to a $474 billion impact on the American economy according to the NSC, whose estimate includes costs related to injuries, deaths, and property damage.

Read the article at The Drive.

Dealing with High-Risk Drivers and Tackling Risk Factors Including Speeding

Pareto’s Principle states that 80% of outcomes or results are attributable to about 20% of inputs or activities

By Ed Dubens, Founder/CEO of eDriving

It’s a relatively well-known principle within the fleet and risk industries, often applied to driver risk, and confirmed by a study conducted by the Transportation Research Safety Board that concluded that 20% of drivers were involved in 79% of crashes/incidents and 76% of violations.

Critically, the 80/20 rule tells us just how important it is for organizations to identify, train and coach their most “at-risk” drivers, typically the 20% of drivers that account for approximately 80% of the organization’s risk, insurance, and liability costs.


Ford Commercial Vehicles

By Ed Pierce, Contributing Editor

The first day of NTEA’s Work Truck Week got off to a notable start with the Ford Commercial Vehicles press conference, moderated by Philip Podgorny, Commercial and Government Sales General Manager, and Alex Purdy, Director of Business Operations, Enterprise Connectivity.

Podgorny began by noting that 100% of Ford commercial vehicles now included embedded modems with 4G LTE WiFi for up to 10 devices that unlock connectivity to Ford’s intelligent fleet management tools. “These services are already helping to improve driver behavior and bring electric vehicle data and charging solutions to our valued fleet customers.”

Taking this feature one step further for 2021, Alex Purdy announced that the company is extending its industry-leading connectivity technology to include non-Ford vehicles while paving the way for an electric future.



A Great Time for Remarketing

By Richard Mallek, Director of Business Development, FLD

Each quarter, FLD produces our quarterly White Metal Market Report, an in depth look at the factors affecting the wholesale used vehicle market.

And as in just about every industry, Covid has made predicting the future of the wholesale used vehicle – or really any used vehicle – market an exercise in futility. From shuttered businesses, to sheltering in place, the world is a much different place than any of us could have imagined just one short year ago.

Looking back, most of the companies and industries we work with were at a virtual standstill once the pandemic hit. And for the first few months, little happened as fleets took a wait and see attitude.

Then, something very surprising happened. Suddenly, the remarketing business kicked back into gear, and the second half of 2020 was a flurry of activity.



The Power of Mentorship

Previously published in AFLA Fleet Insight, February 2021 member newsletter

By Debbie Struna, WIFM Task Force Member

I don’t think any of us believed that the pandemic that began in early 2020 would still be impacting our lives as we move well into the year 2021.

While our pets have been happier than ever, and we might have learned how to bake our own bread, the past year has brought about many changes to the fleet industry. To some, the challenge of working from home had to be navigated. Parents had to set up home offices as well as tutor their children through cyber learning.

Certain fleets were mobilized into action to help combat the pandemic, others were stalled or slowed down due to restrictions. I think it’s fair to say that life has changed measurably for all of us.


Fleet Trends & Issues

Lawmakers Question USPS Fleet Contract


A House panel made plans to examine the U.S. Postal Service’s awarding of a blockbuster truck-building contract to Oshkosh Corp. and another lawmaker raised questions about stock trades just prior to the contract announcement.

Workhorse’s bid to replace delivery trucks for the Postal Service with an all-electric fleet had been viewed as the favorite, especially after President Joe Biden ordered the government to utilize emissions-free vehicles. But Oshkosh won the bid last month with a fleet that will be mostly gasoline-powered.

“So, you want to replace the second largest fleet in America with fossil-fuel-based vehicles?” said House Subcommittee on Government Relations Chairman Gerry Connolly of Virginia. “If you project from now until 25 years from now, you’ll be the only gas-powered or diesel powered vehicle on the road.”

Read the article at Autoblog


FedEx Investing $2 Billion to be Carbon Neutral by 2040

The Detroit Bureau

By 2040, the entire FedEx parcel pickup and delivery fleet will comprise zero–emission electric vehicles, according to the delivery services giant. The effort starts with phased programs to replace existing vehicles.

By 2025, 50% of FedEx Express global package pickup and delivery vehicle purchases will be electric, rising to 100% of all purchases by 2030, the company said.

GM’s newly launched subsidiary, BrightDrop, which will offer new electric first-to-last-mile products, from ePallets to a fully electric commercial delivery vehicle, is partnering with FedEx Express. The delivery company plans to test two BrightDrop vehicles. FedEx is scheduled to get the first 500 BrightDrop vans by year end, thousands more later on.

Read the article at The Detroit Bureau.

From ‘Experiment’ to ‘Daily Driver’: Latest EVs Offer Good Range at Affordable Prices


It’s the dilemma every automaker is frantically trying to solve: Convincing Americans to give up gas-powered cars for electric vehicles. The barriers are diverse. There’s range anxiety. A lack of nationwide chargers. Steep prices. A general bewilderedness of what an electric vehicle is and how it works.

Many automakers, however, are deciding to build snappy EVs that offer solid range at attractive prices – a strategy that could pump up sales and market share – of EVs this year. The average transaction price of an EV in 2020 was $54,206 vs. an industry average of $39,251 – an increase of 38.1%, according to Edmunds.

The most affordable EV on the market currently belongs to British marque MINI Cooper. The quirky automaker unveiled its hardtop two-door SE last March. Roughly 1,200 units of the $29,995 hatchback have been sold in the U.S. and more than 80% of SE buyers are new to the brand.

Read the article at MSN/ABC.

EV Rollout will Require Huge Investments in Strained U.S. Power Grids


During several days of brutal cold in Texas, the city of Austin saw its fleet of 12 new electric buses rendered inoperative by a statewide power outage. That problem will be magnified next year, when officials plan to start purchasing electric-powered vehicles exclusively.

More electric cars will require both charging infrastructure and much greater electric-grid capacity. Utilities and power generators will have to invest billions of dollars creating that additional capacity while also facing the challenge of replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy sources.

A model utility with two to three million customers would need to invest between $1,700 and $5,800 in grid upgrades per EV through 2030, according to Boston Consulting Group. Assuming 40 million EVs on the road, that investment could reach $200 billion.

Read the article at Reuters.

Mobility Transformation

McKinsey & Company

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has temporarily slowed growth, the mobility sector is undergoing a profound transformation and opening new opportunities for players that are willing to invest in vehicle electrification, autonomous driving, and other revolutionary products and services.

The next normal has accelerated the interest in autonomous technology, with more North American respondents stating that they would be more likely to take deliveries from autonomous vehicles (AVs) and were willing to use AVs for people transport. This shift in consumer sentiment and acceptance could unlock opportunities for AV players to test, pilot, and deploy AV deliveries.

Educational efforts will be particularly important for AVs, since public trust remains low and many people are still reluctant to use these vehicles. In addition, the greater openness of consumers toward autonomous-delivery solutions could make them more familiar with AV technology, potentially opening more opportunities.

Read the article at McKinsey & Company.


EV Infrastructure


When Winter Storm Uri swept through Texas, the whole state shut down. Electricity was hit-or-miss for several days, with certain areas of the state (read: lower-income areas) hit the hardest. And that doesn’t bode well for introducing electric vehicles on a wider scale.

Austin, the state capitol of Texas, has spent the last two decades budgeting $650 million for electric buses and a charging facility for 187 of those vehicles. In 2022, if Austin needs to buy a vehicle, it’s going to buy an electric one. But city officials certainly didn’t plan or a winter storm to render those buses essentially inoperable because they couldn’t be charged. If there’s ever a surge in demand for power again in the future, the whole city could suffer.

Power grids across the country have been overtaxed for years. The switch to EVs will ultimately require grids to be taxed even further as a result of a more robust charging infrastructure. A multi-million dollar investment in EVs will require a multi-billion dollar investment in infrastructure to ensure the country keeps functioning.

Read the article at MSN.


EV Acceptance

By Donald Dunphy

It’s too late in the game to deny the profound effect electric vehicles will have over transportation very soon.

With well-worn concerns regarding vehicle pricing, infrastructure, and the ever-present range anxiety being addressed, resistance is fading.

Add to that a renewed commitment to EV from the Biden administration and that includes the United States Postal Service,

Fleet Management Weekly spoke to Marc Geller, a director with the Electric Auto Association on the subject. He is a writer in the area of public and corporate policy related to electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids, and related source energy, and was a co-founder of the non-profit advocacy group Plug In America.

“We’re now at the point where the cost of making a battery-electric vehicle shows no tremendous premium over an internal combustion vehicle, and if you’re looking at the overall cost of ownership, EV and internal combustion vehicles are pretty much at parity already, given the lower cost of electricity compared to gasoline and diesel.”


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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