April 19, 2023

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Editor’s Analysis & Top Industry News

Happy to Be at NAFA I&E!

I’m writing from NAFA I&E in Baltimore, and my experiences here have strongly reconfirmed my belief that fleet managers today are operating in a sea of constant change. 

In addition to the familiar faces I’ve seen at educational sessions and on the expo floor, I’m excited to say I’m seeing a lot of new faces as new technologies and new players emerge. It’s been a fantastic experience, and I’m thankful to be a member of NAFA.

The 100 Best Fleets Announced

The announcement of the 100 Best Fleets in the Americas is always a highlight at this convention, and this year didn’t disappoint. This program recognizes peak-performing public and commercial fleet operations, and was originally created by the late Tom Johnson. You can see the winners here.

Ted Roberts

VIDEO: Innovative EV-Specific Upfitting from Ranger Design

Ranger Design has pioneered EV-specific innovations – starting with their drill-free floor and aluminum and composite products that reduce the weight of the upfit by 20-25%.

VIDEO: Home Charging for Fleet Vehicles

  Blink Launches Home Charging Program for Fleets

Blink is launching two new options for home charging for fleets, which will complement their depot charging and DC fast charging solutions.

VIDEO: The Forth Roadmap Conference

  Forth Roadmap Conference Offers a Diverse, Holistic View of Electrification

The Forth Roadmap Conference in Portland, Oregon, in May brings together over 1,000 diverse stakeholders – including government agencies, fleet managers, OEMs, charging companies and offers very practical hands-on learning.


NAFA Names the 2023 100 Best Fleets in the Americas at its Annual I&E Convention

NAFA Fleet Management Association (NAFA) today announced the 100 Best Fleets in the Americas for 2023. NAFA’s 100 Best Fleets in the Americas program recognizes peak-performing public and commercial fleet operations, and the winners were announced this morning during NAFA’s annual Institute & Expo (I&E) in Baltimore.

The 100 Best program identifies and encourages the ever-increasing levels of performance improvement and innovation within the fleet industry. The goal of the 100 Best contest is to foster pride in the industry, build recognition within the national fleet community, increase levels of productivity and operational effectiveness and to encourage more individuals to consider fleet operations as a career choice. The contest was originally created by the late Tom Johnson, and NAFA will be holding a fundraiser for ALS in Tom’s name at the NAFA booth during I&E.


Shell Fleet Solutions Launches "Accelerate to Zero" Decarbonization Program for Fleets Shell Fleet Solutions Launches ‘Accelerate to Zero’ Decarbonization Program for Fleets

Shell Fleet Solutions announces the launch of the ‘Accelerate to Zero’ program in the US market on May 5, 2023, to help fleets meet their sustainability targets. The comprehensive new fleet offering brings together a mix of solutions Shell developed to help like-minded businesses decarbonize and improve sustainability.

“Sustainability is a business imperative for fleets of all sizes worldwide and Shell is committed to helping them decarbonize and optimize their operations,” said Andrea Brecka, Vice President & General Manager Shell Fleet Solutions Americas.


Roadz Announces Fleetstore Online Marketplace for Commercial Fleet Operators Roadz Announces Fleetstore Online Marketplace for Commercial Fleet Operators

Roadz, a Silicon Valley based fleet-tech company, announced the latest Roadz-powered SaaS marketplace: Fleetstore, a Bosch Initiative. The one-stop-shop environment offers a range of digital solutions to help commercial fleets of all sizes address operating costs, productivity, safety, and regulatory compliance.

Fleetstore enables fleet operators to save time and money by using a simple and intuitive marketplace interface to discover, compare, and purchase solutions from a curated ecosystem of leading solution providers across multiple categories, at competitive pricing.


FMW Brand Acceleration: Meet the Fleet Marketing Experts at NAFA I&E

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Whether you have internal marketing resources, rely on an agency, or call on multiple resources, FMW has a new, customized, fleet-specific branding solution that can meet any company’s marketing and lead generation need or budget.

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Passion for Client Success

By Suresh Rajapakse, Vice-President of Client Management, Wheels

The new Wheels is now comprised of three legacy fleet and mobility management leading organizations. The merging of three distinct corporate cultures is not simple, but it has been made much easier because of one significant common denominator. We all operated with a single-minded passion for client success.

It starts with understanding our clients’ businesses and fleet operations at a deep level and then collaborating with them to discover new ways to achieve their goals and overcome challenges. The result is a clear understanding of our clients’ objectives, along with alignment on how each client defines success.

It doesn’t just stop with the plan. Once we have achieved the goals we have set for our clients in that initial period, we may improve or exceed that same target, or we might focus on a different area. It is a continuous cycle and a strive for optimal fleet performance.



NAFA Regional Councils

NAFA Fleet Management Association (NAFA) today announced the leaders that make up the Regional Councils as part of NAFA’s new regional governance model rolled out earlier this year.

“The new regional structure was born from a multi-year effort and driven by NAFA leadership, staff and groups of members that shaped a plan to allow all members to make the most of their membership regardless of where they work,” says Bill Schankel, CAE, CEO of NAFA.

“We were overwhelmed by the outpouring of interest to serve on our new Regional Councils and know these leaders will be instrumental in our ongoing evolution of NAFA to expand our member value as our industry continues to evolve at a rapid pace.”

NAFA is pleased to welcome these dedicated individuals to the Regional Councils. Their service to the fleet and mobility world inspires innovation, creates progress and truly keeps our industry moving forward.



The Fleet Success Summit

“If you’re miserable at work, what does that do to your family? As leaders, we have a stewardship and responsibility to our people to create an amazing environment so they can go home and have energy for the people who matter most.”

Josh Turley, the CEO of RTA, reiterated that point as he talked about the importance of establishing an Intentional Culture during the closing of the second Fleet Success Summit.

The event, held in Las Vegas from March 21-22, brought together fleet professionals from various industries to spend two days focusing on skills fleet leaders don’t always get at other conferences – leadership, business, and technology.

With so many great ideas from a dozen extraordinary leaders, attendees are sure to improve themselves and their operations by utilizing some of the tips.



Experts Offer Guidance for Impaired Driving Prevention Tech on All New Cars

The Technical Working Group on Advanced Impaired Driving Prevention Technology (TWG) released recommendations for the U.S. Department of Transportation as it establishes a new car safety standard that will prevent impaired driving, as required in the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

The guidance, based on months of research by the TWG’s auto safety experts and consumer advocates, recommends a path forward to meet the law’s 2024 deadline for USDOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to complete a rulemaking for the new safety standard. Automakers would be required to build the technology into all new vehicles beginning in 2026-2027.

“The best driver impairment detection system will be capable of detecting a wide range of impairment types and reacting in a way that limits risk to everyone on the road, including the driver,” the guidance states.


Radical New Battery Tech for Electric Cars Could Unlock Rapid Fast-Charging

Israeli electric-car battery-maker, StoreDot, claims its next-generation power packs could use radical technology that would cut charging times in half – while offering a weight and cost advantage compared to existing batteries.

According to StoreDot, the Extreme Fast Charging (XFC) battery uses a silicon anode rather than the metal oxides found in a traditional lithium-ion battery, providing faster charging and better driving range by up to 160 kilometres after just five minutes. The cost savings could transform the accessibility of electric vehicles and sustainability of batteries, with better car efficiency, fewer raw materials needed and less recycling at the end of their in-vehicle life.

via The Drive

Rivian, VW, Nissan, Others Lose Full $7,500 EV Tax Credit, Tesla Base Model 3 Cut in Half

We’ve been aware of the battery guidance from the US Treasury for a few weeks now and have known those requirements will take effect on April 18. However, automakers aren’t generally super open about how and where they source all their materials, so it remained unclear which EVs may or may not still qualify for the tax credit.

Some automakers like GM, for example, have come out publicly and shared that all their EVs will still qualify for the full $7,500 EV tax credit. Others have remained quiet, leaving us guessing. Today, the government has made things a lot clearer… and more disheartening for those consumers looking to purchase a new Rivian or Nissan LEAF with hopes of getting a $7,500 kickback.

via Electrek

Feds Bust Theft Ring That Allegedly Stole Some $2 Million In Catalytic Converters

A theft ring that orchestrated the theft of some $2 million worth of catalytic converters and more is off the streets today. Federal authorities allege that the group stole the valuable part from at least 471 vehicles across New Hampshire and Massachusetts between 2022 and 2023.

Authorities say that the group often stole catalytic converters so quickly that they could accomplish the complete task in less than a minute and that on at least one night they believe the crew took a total of 26. Police connected the crew with the thefts during its “Operation Cut and Run”. Scrap dealers have also been charged with interstate transportation of stolen property and money laundering.

via Carscoops

Best Fleet Value

The 18th annual Vincentric Best Fleet Value in America™ Awards were announced with Ford earning an outstanding nine awards, more than any other brand. Toyota also had an impressive performance for this year with five winning vehicles.

“The Vincentric Best Fleet Value in America Awards provide guidance to fleet professionals by identifying vehicles that will bring proven value to their fleets,” said Vincentric President, David Wurster.

“Managing costs is a critical part of fleet management, and our awards give valuable insight into which vehicles offer the lowest lifecycle costs in their segments.”

Other brands with award winners were Audi, Chevrolet, Dodge, Jaguar, Kia, Lincoln, Mercedes, Nissan, Suburu, Tesla, and Volvo.



Fleet Repair & Maintenance

By Fleet Management Weekly Staff

Fleet Management Weekly recently had the opportunity to interview ServiceUp’s Chief Business Officer Mark Hodes, who spoke about how the company’s innovative solution is streamlining the maintenance and repair of fleet vehicles.

Established in late 2020, ServiceUp is quickly growing by making the fleet repair process faster and more convenient than ever. Their vertically-integrated software as a service (SaaS) helps fleet managers, drivers, and shops alike efficiently and cost-effectively manage all repair and maintenance tasks.

ServiceUp uses technology to manage the entire repair experience. Hodes says, “We shield the driver and the fleet manager from inefficiencies and deliver shorter cycle times to improve utilization. We do this across the entire fleet lifecycle from acquisition to disposal.”



Customer Driven

By Laura Jozwiak

This morning I had the pleasant experience of listening to birds chirping as I got ready for the day. It may sound cliché or unextraordinary but after months of steadfast silence, it was a simple yet poignant reminder that Spring is officially upon us.

Metaphorically, spring is a time of hope, renewal and new beginnings. We clean our homes and go outdoors. We become more energetic, alive and optimistic. We get excited about the possibilities to come. The world is full of potential.

It is about really looking at yourself, becoming aware of who you are, awakening to what could be and being active about making it happen. It is not just about having big dreams, but making those dreams reality.


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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 Donlen LeasePlan
Helping vehicle fleets exceed their business goals since 1939, Wheels Donlen LeasePlan is committed to truly understanding your unique needs and providing solutions to help you succeed.

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