April 5, 2022

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Editor’s Analysis & Top Industry News


The FMW team has not attended any industry gathering since COVID dominated our lives and we are super excited to see old friends and meet new ones at NAFA I&E next week in Columbus. We are so looking forward to interviewing a host of fleet services providers and fleet management professionals.

Speaking of old friends, it is a pleasure to see Will O’Connor talking about the City of Austin’s EV initiatives. And we welcome back Mike Quimby to these pages. In his article Material Handling Equipment – The Next Frontier of Fleet Management, Mike offers us the simple path to transformation in managing this vital fleet.

See you in Columbus!

Janice Sutton
Editor in Chief

VIDEO: City of Austin Has a Long History with EVs

The City of Austin – in partnership with Austin Energy – has been an active player in the EV space for over a decade.

VIDEO: Stopping Distracted Driving

  How to Eliminate Cell Phone Distractions While Driving

This app from NoCell Technologies can remove cell phone distractions for your drivers whenever vehicles are in motion.

Request for Video Interviews at NAFA I&E

  Request for Video Interviews

We’re in the midst of setting up video interview’s in FMW’s press room at NAFA I&E in Columbus, and looking for a few great interviewees!

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.


Elevate Your Fleet Knowledge at NAFA I&E

Don’t miss out on learning from the brightest minds in fleet and mobility as they discuss emerging trends and cutting-edge solutions that will help you make an impact on your fleet’s operations.

At this year’s NAFA Institute & Expo, build your expertise in the fleet management industry, discover solutions to today’s most common challenges, and explore new and emerging solutions that impact your fleet operations.


The Importance of MVRs in Minimizing Risk

By Adam Danielson, Sales and Business Development Director, SuperVision

If a company only pulls driver records (MVRs) at hire and then once per year, and a driver receives a violation or license suspension the day after, he or she has a 364- day grace period before the infraction is discovered.

If this driver were to have a traffic stop or be involved in an accident, the company could face large fines, direct and indirect accident costs and be held liable for negligent entrustment.


WIFM Social to Be Held at NAFA I&E

If you are attending NAFA I&E in Columbus next week, please plan to join WIFM for a one-hour reception at DENMARK, on Monday, April 11th from 5-6pm. Refreshments will be provided at this connection event.

DENMARK is on High Street directly across from the Columbus Convention Center.

All AFLA members and corporate fleet professionals are invited to attend and we encourage you to RSVP for this free event.

New Cars Must Average 40 MPG by 2026: Feds

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration confirmed it’s undoing the Trump-era rollbacks that would’ve required new vehicles to average 24 miles per gallon by 2026. Instead, they must hit 40 mpg in four years’ time.

These new rules have average fuel economy increasing eight percent per year for model years 2024 and 2025, then jumping 10 percent in the 2026 model year.

The NHTSA claims this will save more than 200 billion gallons of gasoline versus the previously set requirements, which themselves were a drastic reworking of those established by former President Obama.

via The Drive

Fleet Marketing

By Ed Pierce, Director of Stakeholder Relations, Inertia Marketing

“Digital selling is taking over…are you prepared?” “Identify the existing gaps in the desired sales experience.” “Dealing with scale in a digital-first future.”

As a fleet marketer, you have surely seen the steady stream of alarming online opinions from generalist research firms and one-dimensional product vendors. They start by fearmongering — “Change is coming!” …duh – and offer snake oil salesmen-like promises of technology that can remedy every symptom.

As any fleet marketer knows, the road to a future-proof marketing nirvana is littered with unknowns; unforeseen economic conditions; unavailable application-specific proof, untried integrations with existing technologies, unbudgeted expenses that won’t see the light of day in budget-constrained businesses, and many other reasons the journey can come all undone.



Crash-Free Culture

Distracted driving isn’t just bad for people, it’s bad for business

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

Distracted Driving Awareness Month (April) is a good time to take stock of the current status of road safety in the United States, think about progress toward zero fatalities on our roads, and examine how we are doing as we tackle threats to safety, old and new.

This March, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released its analysis of motor vehicle crash data from 2020, which provides us a good look at where we are. The results are not encouraging.



IVY, EVs and Intelligent Data

By Ed Pierce, Contributing Editor

Data is one of the most powerful tools that companies can use in 2022.

In order to learn more about the future of data and EVs, we sat down with Jeff Davis, senior director of IVY ecosystems business development at BlackBerry to discuss the newest product they’re co-developing with AWS.

Davis walked us through IVY, an intelligent middleware system designed to alleviate the problem for OEMs and developers to pull data from EVs across their entire fleet.

Here’s what we learned ~



2023 Chevy Silverado Police Truck is Good for On-and-Off-Road Pursuit

Image courtesy of Chevrolet

April 2, 2022The 2023 Silverado PPV (Police Pursuit Vehicle) is a new chase vehicle courtesy of Chevrolet that’s capable of pursuit on public roads, through the back woods, and everywhere in between.

It’s the first time Chevy has built a pursuit-rated pickup truck, and it joins the Tahoe PPV that’s been a trusty steed to police departments since it debuted in 1997. Every 2023 Chevy Silverado PPV is configured with a crew cab and the short five-foot-eight-inch cargo box.

Lawbreakers will have a harder time using treacherous terrain to hide. The Silverado PPV comes equipped with some notable off-road hardware. There’s a skid plate for extra underbody protection, a set of Rancho shocks from the regular truck’s Z71 package, and a locking rear differential.

via Car and Driver

New Car Markup Tracker Crowdsources Huge List of Greedy Dealers Nationwide

April 1, 2022 Dealer markups have become a lightning rod for controversy this year. Some dealer locations aren’t slowing down on making all they can while they have the opportunity, and prices are jacked up for popular and hard-to-get vehicles.

That has led to frustration across the board, and the founders of a new site called Markups.org have harnessed that collective energy to crowdsource and track prices at dealerships across the country.

If Markups.org is able to stay alive and avoid litigation from angry dealerships, it will remain a valuable resource for buyers looking for a car at sticker price. Meanwhile, they’re taking note of which sites are charging more and brand-loyal buyers say they won’t forget.

via The Drive

Many SUVs Struggle in First IIHS Seat Belt Reminder Evaluations

March 31, 2022Federal standards specify that seat belt reminders must include an audible signal that lasts for 4-8 seconds total and a visual alert that lasts at least 60 seconds whenever the driver’s seat belt is unbuckled.

To earn a good rating, a seat belt reminder system must generate an audible signal and visual alert on the dashboard display, overhead panel or center console when the vehicle is moving at least 6 mph and the system detects an unbelted occupant in one of the front-row seating positions or the unfastening of a second-row belt that was previously buckled.

Among the 26 vehicles tested, only two Subaru models, the Ascent and Forester, earn a good rating. Five others, the Hyundai Palisade, Hyundai Tucson, Nissan Murano, Nissan Pathfinder and Nissan Rogue, earn acceptable ratings.

via IIHS

Biden Aims to Lower Gas Prices with New Round of Reserve Releases

April 1, 2022In a bid to head off more increases in the price of gasoline at the pump, the Biden administration plans to release 1 million barrels of oil per day from the U.S. Petroleum Reserve for the next 180 days.

The withdrawals from the strategic reserve are designed to last through the summer driving season when gasoline prices are very likely to bump up against $5 per gallon. Biden also warned domestic oil companies to pick up the pace of drilling in the continental United States, reminding companies they could lose their old leases to drill on federal land if they don’t use them.

The steady economic recovery in North America, Europe and East Asia sent demand for oil up even before the conflict in Ukraine.

via The Detroit Bureau

Material Handling

By Michael Quimby, Chief Operating Officer at TFS, an OnPoint Group Company

When it comes to managing, optimizing and maintaining our material handling equipment fleet, such as the forklifts relied upon by our nation’s largest manufacturers and distributors, our approach is still stuck in the 1990s.

The fleet management playbook for on-road trucks and commercial vehicles has matured rapidly over the last 25 years. We’ve made great strides when it comes to operational productivity, vehicle and equipment safety, and the environmental footprint we leave behind. The progress we’ve made as a fleet management industry has been inspiring to watch, and it gets me excited to see what’s next for the industry in the years ahead.

But for some reason, the ways in which we monitor and manage our other important fleet – our material handling equipment vehicles – still mirror the tactics utilized by fleet managers decades ago. Systems and processes are incredibly outdated, lacking in investment and efficiency, and rarely if ever evaluated for potential improvement.



The F-150 Lightning

Image courtesy of Ford

By Dave Bean, Associate Editor

Ford has long been proud of the fact that it’s F-150 pickup truck has been the best-selling vehicle in its class for some time.

Now, with the introduction of the all-electric F-150 Lightning pickup, Ford hopes to extend its dominance to include the new electric pickup truck category, as well.

To ensure that the Ford F-150 Lightning is ready to hit the road when deliveries begin shortly, Ford put its new model through some very grueling weather testing. To be sure, severe weather testing has been conducted by vehicle manufacturers in all segments for decades.

In this case, however, Ford needed to push the limits of that testing since it hopes to jump ahead of the competition right out of the gate.



The Age of Batteries

April 3, 2022Buying or selling a used EV is inherently different from its ICE counterpart. The primary reason is that the battery, which is the most expensive part of any electric vehicle, is hard to evaluate. Batteries age differently than combustion engines.

An odometer is not a particularly accurate indicator of battery health. The high voltage lithium-ion batteries that power electric cars naturally degrade with time and charging cycles. As an EV buyer (new or used), to maximize the chance of getting a battery that’s in great shape, pretend you’re in the dairy section of the supermarket, looking for the carton of milk with the furthest out expiration date.

For some EVs, the calendar age of the battery pack starts to really diverge from the production date of the car. Most recently, Chevy has been replacing battery packs in Bolts due to initial manufacturing QA problems. In addition to the safety benefit of the recall, owners are getting a huge range boost with their replacement batteries.

via InsideEVS

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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.

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.

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