April 27, 2021

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Editor’s Analysis & Top Industry News

The Earth is What We All Have in Common

Wendell Berry, American novelist, environmental activist, and author of the title of this column, says, “To cherish what remains of the Earth and to foster its renewal is our only legitimate hope of survival.”

Last Thursday was Earth Day 2021 and we were delighted to read that LeasePlan USA has signed The Climate Pledge in a commitment to create a net zero society by 2040 – ten years ahead of the Paris Agreement.

Bill Bishop, sales and marketing chief at FLD Remarketing, gives us some insight into the semiconductor shortage that is hitting the auto and fleet industries. It doesn’t look like this dire scarcity is going to end anytime soon.

Motus research manager Ken Robinson clearly has his finger firmly on the pulse of the fleet industry, so Ed Pierce was eager to interview him for an in-depth dive into current trends. Don’t miss Motus Delves Into Post-Pandemic Fleet Cost Trends in New Report.

Enjoy the issue and please check in with FleetManagementWeekly.com for daily updates.

Janice Sutton
Editor in Chief

VIDEO: OnceOvr Pro App Quickly Establishes Fair Market Values

Using FLD’s Zero Days to Sale methodology, the OnceOvr Pro app can quickly establish fair market value for all kinds of vehicles, without incurring a bunch of expenses.

VIDEO: Staying Connected

 NAFA is Keeping Members Connected

NAFA has worked hard to keep members connected in the past year – improving and enhancing memberships, and expanding the ways they share relevant information.

Video 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: ted@fleetmanagementweekly.com.

The Fleet Spot

LeasePlan Renews Commitment to Environmental Initiatives on Earth Day 2021

LeasePlan is targeting net zero tailpipe emissions from its funded fleet by 2030

LeasePlan USA has renewed its commitment to environmental initiatives on Earth Day 2021. The company has pledged to reach a target of net zero tailpipe emissions from its funded fleet of 1.9 million vehicles by 2030.

LeasePlan believes that climate change demands urgent and universal action, so today we’re proud to sign The Climate Pledge. LeasePlan stands with Amazon and Global Optimism in a commitment to create a net zero society by 2040 – ten years ahead of the Paris Agreement.


Biden Clears Way for States to Curb Vehicle Pollution

By Luke Tonachel, Director, Clean Vehicles and Fuels Group, Climate & Clean Energy Program, NRDC

President Biden is following through on his promise to re-establish the long-held authority of governors to adopt vehicle pollution regulations to protect the health and welfare of people in their states.

The Biden EPA today proposed reinstating a Clean Air Act waiver that allows states to enforce vehicle tailpipe standards that are stronger than federal standards.

The state standards have been key drivers in advancing the technologies to clean up gasoline cars and diesel freight trucks while also ramping up much-needed deployment of zero-emission electric vehicles.


Registration is Now Open for NAFA I&E


NAFA is hosting a hybrid experience for I&E 2021, offering both an in-person meeting in Pittsburgh, PA, taking place August 30–September 1, as well as a limited virtual program that takes place September 13-15.

This innovative format will provide everyone the opportunity to connect, collaborate, and experience I&E.

Check out the Program and Schedule!


Agile Fleet’s Joe Poznick Takes Helm of Client Success Group

Poznick succeeds retiring longtime Agile Fleet VP Matt Wade

FleetCommander creator Agile Fleet, Inc. has tapped fleet industry veteran Joe Poznick to lead the company’s client success group. He succeeds Matt Wade, who is pursuing a well-earned retirement. (Wade will continue on with Agile Fleet as a Board of Directors member.)

Poznick, who joined Agile Fleet in 2020 as Senior Director of Client Success, brings with him over 20 years of experience working with multi-national fleet operations with business process analysis, fleet solutions development, telematics, systems integration, as well as car-sharing and mobility.

“Joe’s dedication to advancing technology to solve complex fleet challenges makes him a natural choice to fill Matt’s formidable shoes,” says Agile Fleet President Ed Smith. “We are confident that Agile Fleet will not only continue to assist our clients with best-in-class service but will go above and beyond.”


Effective Fleet Management

By Adam Danielson, Sales and Business Development Director

“There’s an app for that” has become a common catchphrase that pretty much sums up today’s reliance on and easy access to technology.

The fleet industry has become a beneficiary of this technological boom with the ability to access all types of data related to vehicles, location drivers and more.

Aside from the convenience of these customized technology solutions, which help make the fleet manager’s job easier, is the added safety that goes along with many of today’s digital products.

Among these is a powerful tool that every fleet has at its disposal to pinpoint the riskiest drivers in the fleet and act before a crash or a fatality occurs: continuous driver monitoring.



The Chip Shortage

By Bill Bishop, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, FLD Remarketing

Auto assembly lines shuttering from Kansas City to Beijing.

Luxury car models like Mercedes Benz hoarding parts for their most expensive models, while simultaneously halting production on cheaper offerings.

And some manufacturers – like France’s Peugeot – looking for ways to drop modern touches like digital speedometers in favor of previously obsolete analog models – something previously unthinkable.

At a time when global demand for new vehicles may be at an all-time high, what in the world is causing such strange behavior from the world’s most powerful vehicle manufacturers?

In a word – and a short one at that – chips.



Fleet Cost Trends

By Ed Pierce, Contributing Editor

As Market Research Manager at Motus, Ken Robinson has his finger on the pulse of the fleet industry. That includes economic considerations, and especially cost data that informs the company’s vehicle management and reimbursement solutions.

“The Motus Platform powers a growing number of solutions for mixed-use assets — vehicles, devices and locations. In our role as a strategic partner with our customers, we aggregate a ton of cost data with very granular geographic levels,” Ken explains.

“One of the ways we leverage this data is to aggregate fair and accurate reimbursement rates. We also work with corporate fleet programs, offering personal use tracking and safety solutions. We are proof that a harmonious coexistence can be maintained between company-owned and personally-owned vehicles and other assets.”

“By conducting such research into trends and influencers, we are well positioned to share our insights with the industry. Because we have other lines of business that help companies wanting to empower their anywhere workforce, I write monthly reports that span into location intelligence and also mobility expense management.”


Fleet Trends & Issues

With More Electric Vehicles Comes More Proof of Safety


Evidence is growing that electric vehicles are at least as safe as conventional ones, with two more vehicles that run exclusively on battery power earning safety awards from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. 

The 2021 TOP SAFETY PICK award requires good ratings in all six IIHS crashworthiness tests — driver- and passenger-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraints.

“It’s fantastic to see more proof that these vehicles are as safe as or safer than gasoline- and diesel-powered cars,” says IIHS President David Harkey. “We can now say with confidence that making the U.S. fleet more environmentally friendly doesn’t require any compromises in terms of safety.”

Read the article at IIHS.

Consumer Reports Shows a Tesla Can Drive With No One in the Driver’s Seat


A Consumer Reports test driver has demonstrated in a new video that, yes, a Tesla vehicle with the Autopilot feature will drive with no one in the driver’s seat.

The question came up after a fatal accident in Texas last weekend, said Jake Fisher, head of auto testing at Consumer Reports. In that crash, according to police, no one was in the driver’s seat of a Tesla Model S when it crashed at high speed, killing two passengers.

The researchers at Consumer Reports said they found that it would be easy to trick Tesla’s Autopilot feature into driving without a driver in the driver’s seat.  “In our evaluation, the system not only failed to make sure the driver was paying attention, but it also couldn’t tell if there was a driver there at all,” said Fisher, who conducted the experiment.

Read the article at CNN.

Honda to Phase Out Gas Cars, Aiming for 100% Electric Vehicles in North America by 2040

USA Today

Honda is aiming to sell only electric vehicles in North America by 2040, calling it a goal, not a commitment, echoing similar language used by its competitors as they leave open the possibility of selling conventional cars for longer.

The automaker currently sells only one vehicle in America that uses a plug to generate power: the Honda Clarity plug-in hybrid. Virtually all of Honda’s lineup is made up of conventional gas vehicles, and it does not sell any battery-electric vehicles after discontinuing the Honda Clarity electric car in 2019.

New EVs are coming beginning with the 2024 model year and ramping up in the second half of the decade.

Read the article at USA Today.

Streetlights, Utility Poles Pivotal to EV Future

The Car Gossip

The push to widen the adoption of electric vehicles in the U.S. is driving the conversion of utility poles and streetlights into EV charging destinations.

The idea is to enhance the feasibility of owning and operating electric vehicles in areas where drivers are less likely to have access to off-street garages, driveways or parking lots.

Blink Charging, which builds pole-mounted EV charging stations for both public and private entities, sees streetlight and utility pole charging destinations playing a pivotal role in the company’s business strategy and the overall future of zero-emission mobility.

Read the article at The Car Gossip.

Used Car Shopping

Car and Driver

CarGurus’ tool for tracking used-car price trends shows the average price of a used car is $23,723, up almost 14 percent compared to this time last year. That’s more than 10 times the 2020 rate of inflation. 

New car production isn’t at full strength thanks to shortages of materials as varied as steel, semiconductor chips, and seating foam. Fewer new car purchases mean fewer used cars to choose from

Lurking in a corner of the market many used car buyers typically avoid: vehicles with more than 100,000 miles. Both the novice and the savvy enthusiast used to view 50,000 miles as the bright line separating jewels from junk. But with vehicles having gotten so much better over the last 15 years, and absurd demand, dealers report that used cars with six figures on the odometer are finding good homes.

Read the article at Car and Driver.


Buying EVs


Electric cars, SUVs, and trucks are either shiny new toys, the wave of the future, or the scourge of the automotive business, depending on whom you ask.  Manufacturers are casting a wide net within the EV genre to cover a variety of interests.

Some people buy EVs for the Federal Electric Car Tax Credit of up to $7,500.  Others want to limit their time and money buying gas at the pump. Some want them for environmental aspects, while others enjoy the quick response to the touch of the accelerator.

Companies like Blink Charging, which just launched an emergency roadside charger for EVs, may lessen the concern of range anxiety among buyers.  Whether that’s enough for you to buy an EV and drive it full time remains to be seen.

Read the article at MSN.


Vehicle Sharing

By Ed Smith, President, Agile Fleet

I have never been more confident than right now that vehicle-sharing is your best bet for running a cost-effective and safety-conscious fleet operation.

I get it – this runs counter to much of the present narrative being offered, but to be blunt about it, there are aspects of the present narrative I feel are incorrect. Here’s why.

Since the pandemic hit us one year ago, fleets are being tasked to save money more than ever. The good news is it might not be as hard as you think. You may need to overcome misconceptions and understand where the dollars are to be saved.

Organizations face mandatory cost reductions, and even rounds of layoffs to meet the economic challenges of the moment. The workload, however, has not changed and may have increased. That’s why running a safe, shared vehicle fleet makes sense.


Fleet Management Resources


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

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