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FleetManagementWeekly
January 4, 2022

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Editor’s Analysis & Top Industry News

Charging Into 2022

EVs are very much on the minds of fleet managers everywhere. We note in this issue that NYC has ordered 184 Ford Mustang Mach-Es and Pittsburgh unveils a new charging depot. We also read today that Ford is doubling production of its F-150 Lightning and Chevy will launch the Silverado EV at CES tomorrow.

Clearly, transitioning to an EV fleet takes some careful planning. Contributing editor Ed Pierce interviewed a trio of top leaders at Element Fleet Management, ChargePoint, and WEX to discuss how their new collaboration will benefit fleets with this transition. It’s an excellent read.

New Year, New Distractions writes Paul Atchley, PhD, eDriving’s Brain Science Advisor. What’s a fleet manager to do? Dr. Atchley has some ideas.

We wish you and your family a happy and healthy 2022!

Janice Sutton
Editor in Chief


VIDEO: Looking Forward: Vehicle Availability in 2022

Looking forward to vehicle availability in 2022: this industry expert expects an easing in the production of Class 1 vehicles.

VIDEO: Driver Safety


  ADAS Can Support Drivers and Keep Them Safer
 

With ADAS features drivers have the opportunity to improve their entire situational awareness, thereby keeping themselves – and everyone around them – safer.


PODCAST with You Here?

  Request for Podcast Interviews
 

FMW is about to launch our new podcast series, and we’re looking to speak with a variety of 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!

Email Ted Roberts to learn more: ted@fleetmanagementweekly.com.


Spotlight

Kickstart 2022 Success With Two Free Fleet Webinars

A new year is a great time to take action to improve your fleet’s utilization, savings, your staff efficiencies, and your organization’s overall bottom line. Agile Fleet is offering two free webinars that can put you on the path to making 2022 your fleet’s best year yet.

This Thursday, 2:00 Eastern, Agile Fleet president and fleet expert Ed Smith presents Understanding Your Fleet Utilization Metrics

On January 20, the new Fleet Technology Overview will show you how fleet technologies can improve your fleet management and help you save time and money. Scott Farmerie will help you understand how to use fleet management technology.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THESE FREE WEBINARS

State of Auto Insurance in 2022

ValuePenguin.com by LendingTree

Auto insurance rates have risen again after falling last year — consumers can expect an average increase of 0.6% across the U.S. for 2022. And the average cost of full coverage car insurance across the U.S. has reached $1,935 annually.

ValuePenguin used the Quadrant Information Services database to analyze 15 million quotes for drivers across the country. These, combined with RateWatch filings, show the current and historical pictures of the auto insurance industry.

They also reveal the cost of a traffic violation, ticket or accident by state. Ouch!

Here’s the report

NYC Orders Nearly 200 Mustang Mach-Es for Police and First Responders

The Verge

New York City announced it has ordered 184 fully electric Ford Mustang Mach-Es. The vehicles are set to be delivered by June 2022, as part of an $11.5 million contract that will remain in place for five years.

The city said the Mach-Es would be used by the New York Police Department, New York City’s Sheriff’s Office, the Department of Correction, the Department of Parks and Recreation, the Department of Environmental Protection, and other emergency management and response departments.

New York City plans to buy over 1,250 electric vehicles in 2022, transitioning all law enforcement vehicles to electric ones by 2035. “Every single City vehicle we electrify is one step forward to advance clean air and a climate-friendly New York City,” said Ben Furnas, head of the mayor’s office on climate.

Read the article at The Verge.

Pittsburgh Unveils Large Electric Vehicle Charging Depot For City Fleet

TribLive

City officials on Thursday unveiled a new electric vehicle fleet charging depot at Pittsburgh’s Second Avenue Parking Plaza and announced plans to buy new electric recycling trucks.

The charging station is the largest in Western Pennsylvania, according to city officials. It will allow the city to charge its electric vehicle fleet, which currently includes 26 fully electric vehicles.

The charging depot includes 15 dual-hose chargers, which can fully charge a vehicle in six to eight hours. The site – which will become the city’s main electric fleet charging depot – will be capable of charging 30 electric vehicles simultaneously. This moves the city toward its climate goal of converting to a completely electric vehicle fleet by 2030.

Read the article at TribLive.

Fleet Marketing


By Ed Pierce, President of ITA Communications. Fleet.

“An amazing 91% of B2B buyers’ decisions are influenced by word-of-mouth. So why haven’t you built out your B2B referral marketing program yet?”

My good friends at Sagefrog, a Philadelphia-area B2B marketing agency, recently asked that question to lead off an excellent blog.

Written by Kenzie Fitzpatrick and entitled “Transform Your Business Growth with B2B Referral Marketing,” her article addresses a valuable marketing tool that often times is dismissed as sales’ responsibility.

Specifically, Fitzpatrick distinguishes between “word-of-mouth marketing” and “B2B referral marketing.” The former comprises a simple list of satisfied customers who will advocate for your company. The latter, “B2B Referral Marketing,” a formalized process that engages advocates, documents the number of referrals, and rewards customers for helping the business grow.

READ MORE

 

Crash-Free Culture


By Paul Atchley, PhD, eDriving’s Brain Science Advisor

Firstly, in a bit of good news for the coming year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has indicated that it will examine why Tesla drivers can play video games on their cars’ center consoles while driving!!

As drivers (and the public) discovered after a recent car software update, they can now initiate playing an arcade-style shooter, solitaire or a strategy game on their car’s center display while driving their Tesla, provided they indicate they are the passenger. If that sounds distracting, it’s because IT IS – even if it is truly the passenger tap-tapping on a display that is intended to help the driver drive safely. I’m pleased that the federal safety folks are looking into it!!

From research conducted in my lab at the University of Florida we know that drivers are more willing to rate a technology as “safe”, and to use it while driving, if it is built into the car. Drivers appear to assume that car design is highly regulated and tested for safety.

READ MORE

 

Electric Vehicles


By Ed Pierce, Contributing Editor

Fleet Management Weekly had the opportunity to conduct interviews with Avninder Buttar, Vice President, Strategy at Element Fleet Management; Hannah Young, Director, Global Fleet Strategy at WEX; and Rich Mohr, Vice President, Fleet Solutions at ChargePoint – to hear their thoughts on the companies’ recently announced collaboration intended to enhance the transition to electric vehicles for fleets.

Buttar estimates that while EVs are only 1% of the total number of commercial fleet vehicles in operation today, by 2026, EVs might account for as much as 50% of light vehicle sales. This dramatic change will, in turn, create a range of issues for fleet managers.

These include access to public charging stations, as well as liquid stations for mixed fleets; evaluating plans for charging at customers locations, and creating analytics to measure performance, cost, and other metrics.

READ MORE


Trending

Big Cars Are Killing Americans

Route Fifty

Americans have traded sedans for crossovers and SUVs for full-size pickups with total abandon over the past decade. One common notion—though auto-safety experts will say it’s not that simple—is that it’s safer to get around in what’s basically a tank.

But those benefits are only for people inside the vehicle. People outside—pedestrians, cyclists, wheelchair users—are in more peril. Passenger and driver deaths have remained mostly stable over the past decade while pedestrian fatalities have risen by about 50 percent.

Over the long term, we have to shift our focus from blaming individuals when they are struck by cars – “Did you look both ways?” – to addressing the systemic factors that put them at risk. The government can no longer allow the auto industry to treat walkers and bikers like collateral damage.

Read the article at Route Fifty.

Car Makers Like Some Tech Features More Than Car Buyers Do

Insurance Journal

While car buyers say new vehicle technology is a leading reason they choose one vehicle over another, there are some tech features that they would just as soon do without.

“New-vehicle prices are at an all-time high, partly as a result of an increased level of content,” said Kristin Kolodge, executive director of human machine interface at J.D. Power. “This is fine if owners are getting value for their money, but some features seem like a waste to many owners.”

For example, 61% of owners say they have never used the in-vehicle digital market technology, and 51% of those saying they have no need for it. Owners feel similarly about the driver/passenger communication technology, with 52% saying they have never used the technology, and 40% of those saying they have no need for it.

Read the article at Insurance Journal.

What if Cars Could Stop You From Driving Drunk? A Peek at the Latest Tech

NPR

The recent infrastructure law included a provision mandating that, starting in a few years, all new cars must include some sort of technology to detect and prevent drunk driving.

One system that is being road-tested today involves sensors that automatically take breath samples and look for traces of alcohol, with no need to blow into a tube. Another option would be to bypass measuring blood alcohol levels directly, and instead look for signs of impairment using cameras.

In theory, a sober driver wouldn’t notice the system at all – they’d just get in their vehicle and drive like normal, without doing anything in particular. These examples of technology that could prevent drunk driving still need refinement before they’re ready for mass adoption.

Read the article at NPR.

How to Remove Snow From Your Car and Avoid Being the Most Hated Person in Traffic This Winter

The Drive

Leftover snow and ice on your car might seem harmless, but the consequences can be catastrophic. A large chunk of snow can easily blind drivers behind you, or a big sheet of ice can break free and go sailing through the air, causing serious damage.

Even if it’s a light dusting, take a few seconds to make sure the roof is snow and ice free. If there’s a heavy layer to deal with, you’ll want to start by removing the bulk of it without touching the paint with a snow broom.

Take a few minutes to go over your vehicle’s exterior lights to ensure snow isn’t impeding visibility. While you’re already cleaning, take a minute to check your mud flaps and clear away any heavy deposits that might have built up here.

Read the article at The Drive.

Looking Ahead


NBC News

Automakers worldwide produced about 8 million fewer vehicles than planned in 2021, due to product shortages. Even if production rebounds, dealers won’t be able to build back inventories until well into 2022. As a result, buyers should expect limited choices – while prices will continue rising at a record rate,

When America went into lockdown, the industry discovered a novel idea. Since customers couldn’t come to dealers, dealers came to them – over the internet. More and more customers are shopping for their cars online, and many retailers schedule test drives and then deliver new vehicles to a buyer’s home or office.

EVs start their move into pole position. They account for a modest fraction of U.S. new vehicle sales, but demand for battery-electric vehicles doubled during just the first half of 2021. Several factors will play a role, starting with a plethora of new offerings: Analysts anticipate the number of long-range models will quadruple this year.

Read the article at NBC News.

 

Fewer Miles in Michigan


Detroit Free Press

In the 2021 fiscal year, state vehicles used just under 6 million gallons of fuel to drive about 91.3 million miles, State of Michigan records show. That is down sharply from 2019, before the start of the pandemic, when state vehicles used about 7.2 million gallons of fuel to drive just over 128 million miles.

More dramatic reductions were seen in the area of reimbursements. State employees used their own vehicles to drive just under 4.6 million miles in 2021, down from about 15.7 million miles in 2019. The number of vehicles in motor pools was reduced to 213 in 2021 from 320 in 2019. In 2021, state employees took 8,851 motor pool trips to travel about 1.1 million miles. That is down from 44,289 motor pool trips and nearly 6.2 million miles in 2019.

Total costs in the 2019 fiscal year were $74.3 million, but that year’s total was unusually lower than it would normally be, due to a one-time $2.2 million reduction in insurance costs. Total fleet costs were $75.7 million in 2020 and $76.1 million in 2021.

Read the article at Detroit Free Press.

 

Ringing In 2022


ARI Marketing

It probably goes without saying, but this year has been a rollercoaster ride for many fleet operators. Fortunately, it’s just about time to close the book on 2021.

As we get ready to ring in 2022, there’s certainly reason for optimism – a fresh start, exciting new opportunities, etc. – and now’s the perfect time to wrap-up the last few items on this year’s to-do list and get a jump on next year’s strategic initiatives.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few key trends throughout each stage of the vehicle’s lifecycle that you need to consider as you close out the year and look to set your fleet up for success in 2022 and beyond.

READ MORE





Fleet Management Resources

 

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

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

eDriving
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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