November 2, 2021

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Editor’s Analysis & Top Industry News


We read with great interest about the recently announced merger between Chicagoland fleet management companies Donlen and Wheels. As an alumna of Wheels and familiar with their management philosophy, and a long-time observer of Donlen’s approach, this match has all the earmarks of success.

We also note the news that two other fleet management leaders, ALD and LeasePlan, are in talks to merge. We suspect that we’ll be hearing about more planned alliances in the weeks and months ahead.

Fleet management software company RTA recently held its 31st Annual Users’ Conference wherein RTA’s CEO Josh Turley, asked this prescient question: “What does it mean for fleets to succeed?”

Drive Safety!

Janice Sutton
Editor in Chief

VIDEO: Element Focuses Its Expertise on Untapped Markets

Element is focusing its expertise on a big, untapped market that’s beginning to realize the importance of fleet management.

VIDEO: Electric Vehicles

  The Intersection of EVs and Connected Vehicles

Geotab is positioned at the intersection of EVs and connected vehicles and aims to do all it can to use data to build confidence around fleet electrification.

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.


Wheels and Donlen to Merge — Athene is Lead Investor


HAMILTON, Bermuda, Oct. 28, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Athene Holding Ltd. (NYSE: ATH) (“Athene”), an industry-leading financial services company, has closed a transaction in which it is the lead investor in a combination of Wheels, Inc. (“Wheels”) and Donlen, LLC (“Donlen”).

Merging the highly complementary operations of Wheels and Donlen will allow the combined company to bring enhanced mobility solutions and product offerings across large, mid-sized and small fleets to a broader universe of clients.

Wheels Chief Financial Officer Shlomo Crandus will lead the new company as CEO, and both the management team and Board of Directors will contain representatives from Donlen and Wheels. Donlen CEO Tom Callahan will become a senior executive and board member of the combined company.


AFLA 2021 — Lessons Learned

By Donlen Staff

Life is full of “lessons learned”— hopefully, not acquired the hard way.

Sharing industry wisdom at AFLA is one route to avoiding the fleet school of hard knocks. Being able to finally share in person was like coming home. It was exciting to see everyone in San Antonio and we seamlessly joined back in on exchanging perspectives, research, and experience.

AFLA 2021 revolved around learning, teaching and providing viewpoints on where the industry is headed during these challenging times—if there was ever an era for the need to exchange our acquired knowledge, it is now! And even with the long months away, we didn’t miss a beat! So, what did we share?


Majority of Fleets Are in Market for EVs Despite Infrastructure Concerns

With many fleet leaders replacing their vehicles over the next three years,manufacturers and service providers must address EV adoption hurdles to seize the opportunity

Livonia, Mich., Nov. 2, 2021—Fleet decision-makers are so optimistic about the promise of electric vehicles (EVs) for their fleets in the coming years that nearly two-thirds (65%) are already shopping for EVs. However, underlying operational and infrastructure concerns—including financing for private charging, variable routing patterns, and calculating EV operating costs—remain among the most significant barriers to widespread adoption.

Those are the latest findings from Fleet Advisory Hub™, a platform designed to explore the needs, expectations, concerns and emotions of fleet decision-makers.


Element Fleet Teams with Enel X to Provide Smart EV Charging for Fleet Customers

Element Release

Element Fleet Management Corp. today announced a new electric vehicle charging agreement with Enel X, the advanced energy services arm of the Enel Group.

“We are pleased to welcome Enel X to Element’s fast-growing network of electrification and energy services suppliers,” said Chris Gittens, Executive Vice President of Strategic Relationships for Element. “Our collaboration with Enel X is the latest example of our continued prudent investment to support our clients and lead the fleet management industry through the gradual electrification of automotive fleets over the next decade.”


Fleet Marketing

By Ed Pierce, President of ITA Communications. Fleet.

In a recent blog by the marketing firm, Strum, Karen McGaughey, vice president of client services, suggested four ideas to help businesses focus their 2022 marketing planning and budgeting.

As the past year has shown, the “new normal” is defined by uncertainty and disruption. With time to adapt to a chaotic business environment, smart companies have learned the importance of flexibility in planning and budgeting. This year’s supply chip manufacturing disruptions at the beginning of the year turned into a much larger and deeper challenge for a wide and diverse number of industries.

The key to successful marketing planning in this era of unpredictability is striking the right balance between responsiveness and higher costs. Look to construct a balanced plan and budget with a mix of highly nimble investments that deliver more immediate results yet build long-term value.



Crash-Free Culture

By Sarah Bechtold, Senior Vice President, Global Driver Risk Management, eDriving

Whatever the size of your fleet, a formal, comprehensive safety program is important.

Official statistics remind us regularly that vehicle crashes are a common cause of work-related injuries and fatalities, and we know that such crashes are very costly for organizations. According to the latest NETS (Network of Employers for Traffic Safety) report , on-the-job highway crashes cost employers $26,081 per crash, $66,119 per million miles of travel, and $78,418 per injury.

A comprehensive driver risk management program addresses employers’ responsibilities to keep those driving for work purposes safe. But there’s one common hurdle that can prove the biggest challenge for organizations: getting the program funded.

Here are some recommendations to help you obtain that all-important funding approval:



RTA Connect

Pictured: Scott Devore, Steve Saltzgiver, Jeff Jenkins

RTA CEO Josh Turley started off his keynote at the company’s 31st annual users’ conference with a comforting salutation: “Welcome back.”

After the long pandemic, RTA held its annual RTA Connect conference to bring its clients together – both in-person in Las Vegas, and virtually on Zoom. While the conference has been held each year spanning three decades, this year’s event was different.

Not only was it in a new, three-day format, but it tackled a problem that is not widely discussed in the fleet industry – Fleet Success. More specifically, what does it mean for fleets to succeed?

Turley posed this question to the attendees. Some responses included “up time,” “controlling costs,” and others.

These were aligned with some of the responses Turley and his colleagues received when they asked other fleet professionals throughout the industry earlier this year. What they found was there isn’t a concrete definition for Fleet Success.

So, Turley, his colleagues and other fleet experts developed a definition:



Here’s How GM Plans to Roll Out 40,000 Public Fast Chargers in North America

The Drive

General Motors announced last week that it’s making a roughly $750 million investment into electric vehicle charging but didn’t really give any details about what that would actually entail. Now, though, the manufacturer has explained that the first step starts in 2022, with 40,000 public fast chargers being installed across the United States and Canada.

The chargers will be installed organically, GM says, to address what it calls “charging deserts” where communities are significantly under-served by public chargers.

Of GM’s 4,500-and-a-few dealerships across the U.S. and Canada, each one can request to become part of the Dealer Community Charging Program and GM has allocated roughly ten chargers per dealership. When the store is signed up, then GM will—with the dealer—identify good locations nearby to install chargers and work to get agreements with them.

Read the article at The Drive.

Free EV Charging Perks for Car Buyers? Here’s What Each Automaker Offers


Car manufacturers sending out press releases that herald free charging for their current and forthcoming electric vehicles continue to hit us left and right. At a certain point, it gets difficult to keep them all straight.

Some are unlimited charging offers, while others only give you a few charges to get going. There are even different programs within car companies for different EVs. Just because one model gets free charging for years, doesn’t mean the rest of that company’s EVs do, too.

This handy guide lists what OEMs and what EVs offer free charging. You’ll find all the car companies that currently (or are about to) sell EVs in the U.S. on this list. charging

Read the article at Autoblog.

$12,500 Electric Vehicle Incentive Survives Biden’s Updated ‘Build Back Better’ Proposal


Ever since President Joe Biden took over the White House and the Democrats achieved a majority in both the House and the Senate, they have made it clear that they plan to reform the federal EV incentive program with the updated ‘Build Back Better’ proposal.

The main flaw in the current program is that it caps the $7,500 tax credit to 200,000 electric vehicles per manufacturer. 

The second biggest problem is that the incentive takes the form of a $7,500 tax credit, which requires you to have the equivalent federal tax burden, and it is only applied on your next taxes. The framework’s electric vehicle tax credit will lower the cost of an electric vehicle that is made in America with American materials and union labor by $12,500 for a middle-class family.

Read the article at Electrek.

Many Americans Are Overpaying for Their Car Loans

Consumer Reports

Most borrowers pay their car loan with no problem.

But in recent years, tens of thousands of consumers have found themselves in financial sinkholes after receiving high-interest, longer-term auto loans that put them at serious risk of default.

“You’re not helping somebody to get a car if the odds are they’re going to lose it,” says Kathleen Engel, research professor at Suffolk University Law School in Boston who studies subprime financial products and is also the vice chair of CR’s board of directors. “That’s not getting somebody a car. That’s taking their money.”

Read the article at Consumer Reports.

Insurance Losses


Compare loss information for hundreds of vehicles under six types of coverage for damage, injuries and theft. The study provides tables containing results for passenger vehicles grouped by class and size under six insurance coverages: collision, property damage liability, comprehensive, personal injury protection, medical payment and bodily injury.

The percentage and color coding help consumers see which models have insurance losses that are better or worse than average. Since they are displayed by size and class, they also show how individual vehicles compare with similar models.

Results are adjusted to reduce possible distortions from other nonvehicle factors — operator age, calendar year, density, gender, marital status, model year, risk (standard or nonstandard) and state. Collision and comprehensive also are adjusted for deductible amount. These insurance loss results generally are good predictors of the experience of current versions of the same vehicle models.

Read the article at IIHS.


Fleet Remarketing

By Carol Fowler, Director of Business Development/FLD Remarketing

Traditional vehicle remarketing has many moving parts. Consigning vehicles. Transporting them. Funneling them to third-party sellers like auctions and dealers. Waiting for payment to finally arrive.

That’s why everyone here at FLD is so proud of the fact that our process is not just simple, but straightforward: Get a quote today. Get a check tomorrow. And move on to more important things faster.

But of all the ways we help make a customer’s job easier and them more effective perhaps nothing sets FLD apart from our competition like our WebAccess solution, a single online dashboard that helps fleets monitor and manage their entire remarketing universe in real time from any device, anytime, anywhere!



Employee Retention

McKinsey & Company

Over the last 24 months, every employer has been scrambling to meet the needs of a fast-changing workforce. Too often this means playing defense, reacting to the next obstacle. Now is the time for leaders to go on offense, to build environments that attract talent, and create a people and organizational competitive advantage.

There is tremendous potential in creating individuals and teams that achieve high performance, which in turn will lead to sustainable performance in organizations. The role of the company in people’s lives has changed.

This is an opportunity to do away with bureaucracy and non-value-added processes and meetings, and really re-think how an organization works. When people are cared for, can focus on what matters most, enjoy their day-to-day experience, and deliver on their purpose, individual performance will peak, organizational health will be at an all-time high, and the organization itself will achieve high performance sustainably.

Read the article at McKinsey & Company.

Fleet Management Resources


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

The fast, easy way to remarket without risk. Get an offer in hours, paid in a few days. Improve TCO. Save time, money and resources.

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

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

Fleet Street
Fleet Street has 30+ years of experience and knowledge using a spectrum of wholesale and retail channels to simplify your involvement in the remarketing process.

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

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.

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

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

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