3 October 2019

Fleet management is no longer what it was ten years ago. Newer technologies, market trends, and legislation geared for sustainability have all contributed to a newer way of managing fleets.

In this article, we at sgfleet would like to explain what these changes are and how they affect the way fleets operate and are maintained.

What are the factors that affect fleets?

New technologies

With innovations in the automobile industry and vehicle management systems, vehicles are becoming more like computers compared to the cars of the past.

‘Smart’ vehicles have high processing power, are connected to the Internet, and have wireless data sharing options.

Driverless vehicles are becoming a very real option too. These cars don’t require a person operating them, leaving passengers free to use their commute time for other pursuits.

In fact, the future of mobility is said to be EASCY – Electrified, Autonomous, Shared, Connected, and Yearly Updated.

woman reading in a self-driving car

The Road to Zero

The UK Government announced the Road to Zero plan to gradually phase out petrol and diesel vehicles.

The strategy aims to reduce the sale of conventionally fuelled vehicles by 50% to 70% by the year 2030. By 2040, the sale of such vehicles should be down to 0%.

This will affect fleets in the future, as all new vehicles will need to be electric or petrol-hybrid electric.

Electric vehicles to have 0% company car tax

In an attempt to encourage businesses to adopt low-emission vehicles, the Government has announced a 0% company car tax on fully electric vehicles.

A 0% BiK should be a good motivation for companies to lean towards a greener fleet.

How does this affect fleet management in the future?

Smart, connected cars EASCY vehicles will be the biggest factor affecting fleet management in the next year. These vehicles are connected, both to each other and to a central administration point.

Since they are connected to the internet and can transmit information wirelessly, you can get a real-time report of their location, vehicle status, and more.

As vehicles become smarter, they can monitor their own ‘health’ and maintenance needs.

Mobility-as-a-service

Many young people are choosing not to drive, which is the main reason ride-sharing services have become so popular. With people opting not to own cars, they are now looking at on-demand services instead.

This means that the company fleet model might change to reflect this trend. Instead of outright owning their vehicles, companies might rely on car-sharing and leasing.

As a result, fleet managers will find their role evolving, spending less time micromanaging the fleet upkeep and tracking. Fleet management will thus become more responsive, efficient, and productive.

In fact, certain parts of Europe are already transitioning from fleet management to mobility management. These mobility managers don’t manage a fleet but incentivise sustainable transport choices.

The way it works is that mobility managers offer employees a corporate mobility budget. The employees can then decide how they travel using only that budget. They can even choose to use public transport and keep the savings for themselves. This way, they are motivated to use sustainable travel options.

Mobility managers in such a scenario are more than just managing a fleet. They are now responsible for mobility, which could also include cycle-to-work schemes and cars and travel as part of the benefits package.

Commuters in cars and on a cycle

Low emission vehicles

Low emission vehicles will become a bigger part of fleets, with the Road to Zero and the low company car taxes it comes with. This means instead of traditional fuel expenses, companies will need to invest in charging points at work.

The range of these vehicles is currently not as high as that of traditionally fuelled vehicles. This might change in the future. However, as of now, this is something managers will have to bear in mind.

Telematics and the dangers

Smart cars come with smart data collection that can share their location, report issues, inform managers about the engine and fuel status, and much more. These vehicles will also be able to report details like the driver’s identity, where they are going, at what speed, etc.

Unfortunately, this level of information will be valuable to more than fleet managers. Hackers would love to get their hands on it too and they most likely will, if there are no security measures in place.

This means fleet managers will now also be responsible for data protection and need to ensure that their fleet telematics cannot be accessed or stolen. If there is a data breach, they will have to deal with the legal implications as well as negative publicity.

In summary, smart technology and low emission vehicles will change the landscape of fleet management. The role of a fleet manager will become more that of a mobility manager.

 

Further Reading

If you want to move towards smart fleet management or find out more about how we can help you with employee benefit solutions and driver services, get in touch with us. Call to speak with a member of our team on 0844 854 5100 or email csalmon@sgfleet.com.

A futuristic car control image with text overlay that says self driving