Stuart O'Brien, Author at Fleet Summit
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Stuart O'Brien

Greener Transport Solutions lobbies Chancellor on carbon tax

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Greener Transport Solutions has called on the Chancellor to introduce a ‘universal carbon allowance’ to help households cope with the cost-of-living crisis and accelerate the transition to net zero.

The not-for-profit cites the war in Ukraine means that oil and gas prices have risen sharply, whilst food prices have hit record highs, while last week the cost of filling up an average family car with petrol hit £100 for the first time and inflation is expected to reach 10% later this year – and as high as 14% for poorer households.

On 26th May the Chancellor announced a £21 billion package to help households with their energy bills. However, Greener Transport Solutions says further measures are likely to be needed by the autumn and has asked how the Chancellor will ensure the right level of targeted support for those who most need it whilst avoiding inflationary pressures in the economy.

Its answer is to urge the Chancellor to develop a strategy to tackle the cost-of-living crisis that will accelerate the transition to net zero and protect our energy security. Namely, he should introduce a universal carbon allowance for every individual in the UK funded by putting a carbon price on everything we consume.

This would be a very progressive measure, the organisation claims. Individuals on higher incomes would pay more in carbon tax through all the goods and services they buy, whilst receiving the same fixed allowance as those on lower incomes. According to the Treasury’s Net Zero Review, higher income households consume three times more carbon than lower income households.

The IPCC has warned “now or never” if world is to avoid climate disaster. To avoid overshooting 1.5C global emissions must peak before 2025 and fall by 43% by 2030.  Such rapid emissions reduction is possible but only if every sector of the economy is targeted. Reducing energy demand across all sectors could deliver a 40-70 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Greener Transport Solutions has published a report on its ‘Pathways to Net Zero’ roundtable discussion series investigating how to decarbonise transport.

The key conclusion is that we are not seeing anywhere near the scale of change needed to achieve our net zero targets for transport.  Lack of leadership and lack of joined-up thinking undermines net zero ambitions. Spending is skewed towards road building and unsustainable transport policies.  We are still building car dependent housing developments. It says urgent focus is needed on traffic reduction.

Claire Haigh, Founder & CEO of Greener Transport Solutions, said: “The transport sector on its own cannot achieve net zero.  It’s clear that we urgently need a new approach.  We need a solution for the whole economy.

“The current crises we face all demonstrate that we must break our dependency on fossil fuels.  If we are to wean ourselves off fossil fuels, we must price properly for carbon.  This will generate the revenue needed to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.

“Record high fuel and energy prices are a game-changer.  We urge the Chancellor to seize the opportunity to tackle the cost-of-living crisis, shore up our energy security and accelerate the transition to net zero at the same time.”

Book your place now: Lightfoot launches free webinar series for fleet professionals

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Pioneering driver training technology provider Lightfoot is launching a brand-new series of webinars for fleet professionals, with the first webinar focusing on all things to do with fleet electrification. You can sign up for this free webinar here.

Live With Lightfoot: Rolling Out Your EV Fleet will take place on Thursday 23rd June at 10am, and will feature Paul Hollick, Lightfoot’s Managing Director, discussing how to successfully transition to EVs and make the rollout of electric vehicles as stress-free as possible.

Attendees will also get the opportunity to learn more about Lightfoot’s electric fleet management solution, as Chief Technology Officer Calum Roke will be speaking about all the latest developments within the Lightfoot platform for both mixed and EV fleets.

Additionally, anyone attending the webinar will receive VIP access to Lightfoot’s soon-to-be-launched Fleet Sustainability Benchmarking Calculator, which provides tailored advice on how fleets can hit their ESG targets.

If you’d like to register for this free event, you can do so here.

Strategic partnership looks to accelerate transition to electric vehicles in the workplace

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Durham-based, Anglo Scottish Asset Finance, is partnering with Diode, an electric vehicle (EV) suitability assessment software platform, to help break down the barriers to EV adoption and drive forward electrification in the workplace.

The partnership has been spearheaded by Charlotte Enright, business development manager and sustainability lead at Anglo Scottish Asset Finance.

Following discussions with Diode, which was established in 2020 in response to the climate change emergency and is a recipient of Innovate UK and Department for Transport grant funding, the two companies are partnering to provide a full circle service for businesses looking to invest in EVs.

Diode, an innovative web-based software platform that provides an all-in-one solution to help businesses, employees and consumers assess their electric vehicle suitability, generate a tailored charge point roll-out plan and purchase charge points through an automated tender process, identified that initial investment for many businesses would require finance and, as such, the relationship between the two companies was agreed.

The partnership coincides with the recent publication of the government’s UK Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy. Included, was a £1.6 billion commitment towards achie3ving a tenfold increase in charge points by 2030, which will accelerate the government’s aim to end the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030 and ensure all new cars and vans are zero-emission by 2035.

With the average driver needing to charge for approximately seven hours per week at a standard 7kW charge point, installing charge points at workplaces will be a critical component if the target is to be achieved.

Established in 2007 and with headquarters in Chester-le-Street, County Durham, Anglo Scottish is an independent business finance broker, providing a range of financial services across the UK including asset finance, business loans and vendor and dealer finance, as well as personal vehicle solutions and vehicle sourcing.

Dan Eyre, co-founder and COO, Diode, said: “At current petrol and electricity prices, the cost per mile for electric vehicles is about half that of an equivalent petrol vehicle.

“The high upfront costs of the vehicles and charge points can put businesses and drivers off making the switch and is why finance options are so important, because it means our customers can start taking advantage of low-cost electric driving from day one.

“More than 90% of the drivers that complete our Electric Vehicle Readiness Assessment are in the position to make the switch. For some businesses, they may choose to make a full transition then and there, whilst others may wish to go at a slower pace. Diode can help companies that fit in to both of these groups and with Anglo Scottish as our finance partner, customers will quickly reap the benefits, both in terms of cost savings and accelerating their transition to electric vehicles.”

Charlotte Enright, sustainability lead, Anglo Scottish Asset Finance, said: “Recent figures published by The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders highlighted a huge increase in sales of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in 2021. In fact, more new battery electric vehicles were registered than over the previous five years combined. Interestingly, there were 190,727 battery electric vehicles and 114,554 plug-in hybrids, meaning 18.5% of all new cars registered in 2021 could be plugged in.

“As part of the UK’s transition to electric vehicles, Diode has identified the need for a streamlined, simple, data driven platform that requires very little in terms of time investment. Results are quick and the benefits for businesses that work with the platform are huge.

“Once employees have completed their assessments, and businesses have generated their roll-out plans, thoseseeking finance are directed to Anglo Scottish, where we will find the best possible finance deals for electric vehicles and charging stations, via our vast panel of lenders.

David Foster, managing director, Anglo Scottish Asset Finance, said: “As we continue to strengthen our sustainable finance offering, with the aim of becoming the leading provider in the UK, we need look no further than the current investment taking place within electrification.

“For many, the journey towards making workplace operations sustainable will be on-going and Anglo Scottish aims to make this transition as smooth as possible, both for existing and new customers.”

Here’s how to choose the best electric truck for your business

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Feep in the Bedfordshire countryside is a unique testing facility called the Millbrook Proving Grounds. Tucked behind a small forest of trees are several private tracks allowing you to test a vehicle in every environment possible – from small town to race track, extreme hills to extreme bumps and undulations. WhichEV was invited along to see the latest electric commercial vehicles from DAF, Volvo and Renault by the SMMT.

In one of the rare few places in the UK where you can drive a 26 ton truck without an HGV license, we put these silent monsters through their paces, trying to decide: Are UK businesses ready for the move to electrification and, if so, what would be the best electric truck for your business?

When WhichEV visited Renault’s new electric mobility factory in Blainville-Sur-Orne back in March, its team were given a detailed breakdown of their plans to move the world’s transport systems from diesel to electricity. Alongside Volvo (part of the same group) and DAF (which has been supplying commercial vehicles for close to 100 years), Renault will play a major role in moving commercial haulage away from fossil fuels.

Click here to read WhichEV’s hands-on with three of the main contenders for the switchover.

SAVE THE DATE: Fleet Summit – November 2022

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The next Fleet Summit will take place on November 7th & 8th 2022 at the Radisson Hotel & Conference Centre, London Heathrow – Register for your FREE delegate place today!

Demand is already high following our successful June event.

Your delegate pass will give you access to industry presentations, as well as your itinerary of 1-2-1 relaxed meetings with budget-saving suppliers.

There is no hard sell at this event, just a great opportunity to gain industry insight and build business relationships to prepare for every eventuality.

Confirm attendance here for November 7th & 8th 2022.

Do you specialise in Contract Hire & Leasing? We want to hear from you!

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Each month on Fleet Management Briefing we’re shining the spotlight on a different part of the fleet market – and in July we’ll be focussing on Contract Hire & Leasing solutions.

It’s all part of our ‘Recommended’ editorial feature, designed to help fleet buyers find the best products and services available today.

So, if you’re a supplier of Contract Hire & Leasing solutions and would like to be included as part of this exciting new shop window, we’d love to hear from you – for more info, contact Chris Cannon on 01992 374096 /

Here’s our features list in full:

Jul – Contract Hire & Leasing
Aug – LPG/Alternative Fuel & Fuel Management
Sept – EV Infrastructure
Oct – Duty of Care
Nov – Grey Fleet
Dec – Service, Maintenance & Repair

No obligation trial allows fleets to experience real-time results

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Lightfoot, leading provider of in-cab driver engagement and rewards technology, is offering commercial fleets of over 50 vehicles the opportunity to trial its game-changing fleet management software with no cost and no commitment.

The unique Lightfoot trial is delivered over a period of several weeks, with drivers first using the Lightfoot devices in blind mode – where they’re simply collecting data on how the vehicles are driven without any driver interaction – the benchmark. For the second half of the trial, the in-cab devices are switched to live mode, which is when they come to life and start providing real-time feedback and alerts scoring drivers and rewarding them based on their performance.

The improvements made during the live phase of the trial can be seen in the comprehensive ROI report provided at the end, with reductions in fuel expenditure, vehicle wear and tear, carbon emissions, and accident rates among the projected savings.

To find out more about this free trial opportunity, visit

Supply chain issues see new car sales slump in May

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New UK car registrations fell -20.6% to 124,394 units in the second weakest May since 1992, after the 2020 pandemic-hit market, as supply shortages continued to hamper new purchases and the fulfilment of existing orders, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The decline, compared with the first full month of reopened showrooms in May last year, demonstrates the impact of continued global supply chain disruptions, with the market -32.3% below the 2019 pre-pandemic level despite strong order books.

While private consumer purchases fell -10.3%, their market share increased year-on-year by 6.1 percentage points to 53.2%, in part due to manufacturers striving to fulfil deliveries – particularly of electric vehicles – to private buyers, with the commensurate effect on the business and large fleet sectors, which now comprise 46.8% of the market.

Despite the myriad challenges affecting the industry and a high level of market distortion due to restricted supply of all vehicle types and technologies, manufacturers have worked hard to sustain progress towards the decarbonisation of road transport and the delivery of UK’s ambitious net zero targets. May saw registrations of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) rise by 17.7%, representing one in eight new cars joining the road last month. Plug-in hybrids declined -25.5%, while hybrids were up 12.0%, meaning deliveries of electrified vehicles accounted for three in 10 new cars.

Superminis continued to be the most sought-after segment by British motorists, making up 32.7% of registrations in the month, despite their registrations falling -16.4% to 40,667 units, followed by dual purpose, which accounted for 28.9% of the market even after a -14.1% fall in volumes. The small volume luxury car segment was the only area of growth, up 16.8%, to 369 units.

The supply chain challenge has contributed to an overall market decline in the year to date of -8.7%, equivalent to 62,724 fewer units. This is -40.6% below the five-year average recorded from January to May, as the new car market continues to struggle to emerge from the impact of the pandemic.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “In yet another challenging month for the new car market, the industry continues to battle ongoing global parts shortages, with growing battery electric vehicle uptake one of the few bright spots. To continue this momentum and drive a robust mass market for these vehicles, we need to ensure every buyer has the confidence to go electric. This requires an acceleration in the rollout of accessible charging infrastructure to match the increasing number of plug-in vehicles, as well as incentives for the purchase of new, cleaner and greener cars.

“Delivering on Net Zero means renewing the vehicles on our roads at pace but, with rising inflation and a squeeze on household incomes, this will be increasingly difficult unless businesses and private buyers have the confidence and encouragement to do so.”

Last call for the Fleet Summit – Register your delegate place today!

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There are only a handful of complimentary delegate places left at the Fleet Summit, taking place next week – grab them now if you’d like to attend!

You’ll be provided with an itinerary of 1-2-1 meetings with suppliers, who you select to meet. You can also attend insightful seminars and network with peers who share your challenges.

You’ll be joining representatives from:

Company Job Title
Acorn Stairlifts
Aldwyck Housing Group
Alliance Healthcare
AS Watson
Atalian Servest
Auto Windscreens
Babcock International
Baxi Heating
Bristow & Sutor
City Plumbing Supplies
East Riding of Yorkshire Council
Freight Management European Ltd
GBA Services
Grosvenor Facilities Management
Isle of Man Government
JN Bentley Ltd
Kier Group
London Borough of Islington
Mabey Hire
Marston Holdings Limited
MD Group Ltd
PD Hook (Hatcheries) Ltd
Polar Speed
Restore Datashred
RSS Infrastructure Ltd
St John Ambulance
Stannah Management Services
Surrey County Council
Telent Technology Services Ltd
The AA
Fleet Manager
Fleet Controller
Fleet & Transport Manager
National Fleet Manager
Fleet Operations Manager – UK & Ireland
Fleet Manager
Fleet and mobility manager
Service Operations Manager
Category Manager
Fleet Manager
Fleet Business Partner
Senior Fleet Analyst
Fleet Services Manager
Fleet Manager
Transport Manager
Stores & Fleet Manager
Head of Fleet & Compliance
Fleet Manager
Fleet Engineering Manager
Category Buyer – Fleet
Head of Fleet
Head of Fleet, Transport & ACT
Transport Manager
Head of Fleet & Transport
Fleet Manager
Waste Services & Fleet officer
Fleet Manager
Head of Fleet
Logistics manager
Fleet Manager
Fleet Manager
Regional Fleet Manager
Fleet Manager
Green Fleet Manager
Fleet Operations Manager
Commercial Group Fleet Manager
National Fleet Manager
National Transport Control Tower Manager

An overnight stay at the venue, all meals/refreshments and a place at our evening dinner are also included.

Would you like to join them? Book your place or let us know if you have any questions.

5 Minutes With… David McGuinness, Corporate Sales Manager at PayByPhone

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In the latest instalment of our fleet management industry executive interview series, we spoke to David McGuinness, Corporate Sales Manager at PayByPhone, about the company, the perfect storm of challenges being faced by the sector over the last 12 months and how we’re fighting through, the importance of universal efficiencies and transformational impact of electric vehicles…

Tell us about your company, products and services.

PayByPhone is a global leader in mobile parking payments, and our aim is clear: simplify your journey so you can focus on what matters most. Our stats back that up, too. Available in more than 1,200 cities around the world, 50 million global users can pay for parking easily and safely without the hassle of coins, queues or fines thanks to our technology. As a wholly owned subsidiary of Volkswagen Financial Services AG, we are one of the fastest growing mobile payments companies in the world. We process more than £430 million in payments and have over five million downloads per year.

Our smart, intuitive technology is at the centre of our user-first approach, delivered to make everything as simple as possible. This same sentiment is at the core of our fleet management solution, PayByPhone Business, designed to aggregate fleet parking payments in one easy-to-use, centralised system saving time and money for fleet managers and drivers.

What have been the biggest challenges the Fleet Services industry has faced over the past 12 months?

The past 12 months have been particularly challenging for many industries, including Fleet Services. To be honest, I’m unsure if there’s ever been a time where macro-environmental consequence has been so unfavourably changeable. We have seen everything from driver and vehicle shortages to fuel shortages. This is the stuff of every fleet manager’s nightmare. However, it’s been inspiring to witness the resilience in our industry. I’ve been so impressed with the innovative attitude many have adopted in finding and embracing opportunity to evolve amidst the adversity.

And what have been the biggest opportunities?

We have seen businesses put an increased focus on operational efficiency, which has been long overdue in many cases. Not only are they trying to identify the bottlenecks in their current processes, but also, they are actively looking for technological solutions to streamline their operations. If the past two years have taught me anything, it’s that businesses that embrace a reactive approach to innovation are often those who are impacted first and most significantly.

PayByPhone Business, our fleet management solution, has unquestionably accelerated the digitalisation of fleet parking payments, allowing businesses to deliver a much better user experience for their drivers and to control costs for the businesses at the same time.

What is the biggest priority for the Fleet Services industry in 2022?

Skyrocketing energy prices and rising inflation are driving up operational costs for businesses. It’s crucial now, more than ever, that fleet owners look for bespoke solutions to keep their fleets running as cost-effectively as possible.

By that I mean keeping a close eye on expenditure, leveraging existing resources to optimise output, and ensuring that employees are never left out of pocket – even if only temporarily – by moving away from conventional, time-consuming expenses-based systems.

Fleet services providers, like PayByPhone, have a real opportunity to work closely with businesses to make sure that solutions drive efficiencies universally.

What are the main trends you are expecting to see in the market in 2022?

We will see a continued shift towards electric vehicles as businesses want to take positive action to reduce their impact on the environment. Despite a desire to be as early in the adoption curve as possible, there are logistical challenges to navigate.

Fleet managers will need to maintain the same level of ‘road time’, but this is being hampered by the slow roll-out of public charging points. The government recently committed £1.6 billion for the creation of 300,000 public charging points by 2030, but there are already concerns that the roll-out needs to be ramped up quite significantly if it is to meet this target. Having a reliable, readily-accessible EV charging infrastructure will go some way to encourage fleet managers to accelerate their transition from internal combustion engine vehicles to electric cars and vans.

What technology is going to have the biggest impact on the market this year?

Any technology that will deliver efficiency, security and visibility for fleet managers.

In 2025 we’ll all be talking about…?

I am going to look even further ahead than that and say 2026. The transformational impact that autonomous vehicles will start to have on the fleet services industry. Either that, or as a proud Irishman, I’ll say Ireland winning the World Cup of course.

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learnt about the Fleet Services sector?

I am always surprised by the lack of control and visibility businesses have over their fleet. It’s not only highly inefficient and expensive, but also exposes them to unnecessary risks.

With PayByPhone Business, fleet admins have visibility over all parking activity in a simple solution – one app and one interactive dashboard are all they need. It’s scalable, so there is no limit to the number of vehicles or drivers that can be added, and, for added convenience, they can be added in bulk. All payments are made from a centralised corporate payment facility for maximum simplicity and security. And for added protection, once a driver or vehicle is deleted, the associated business payment method will immediately be removed, safeguarding the account. In a world where data is king, our purpose-built reporting suite not only automates the curation of high-volume parking activity, but also it affords invaluable insights enabling better decision making. It’s everything you need, and nothing you don’t.

You go to the bar at the Fleet Services Management Summit – what’s your tipple of choice?

I am unashamedly playing into the stereotype, but it has to be a Guinness. Mainly for the royalties, though!

What’s the most exciting thing about your job?

At PayByPhone, we pride ourselves on being at the forefront of innovation, which is par for the course when you’re a wholly-owned subsidiary of a global, modern organisation like Volkswagen Financial Services. Being in a position where I’m empowered to play an active role in innovating and improving the way clients manage something as business-critical as their fleet is a source of daily motivation for me.

And what’s the most challenging?

There are over 580,000 vans in the UK and that’s before we even look at passenger car fleets. And knowing what I do about the hassles, stress and time constraints fleet managers and fleet admins must deal with, naturally, I want to get them all using PayByPhone Business. Put simply, it’s frustrating that I can’t magically do that – as useful a superpower as that would be! Instead, my team and I are working as hard as we can to simplify things, one fleet at a time.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

“The harder you work, the luckier you become.” I now realise she didn’t come up with this herself, but it was said to me by my late, industrious grandmother who was a hugely influential figure in my life.

Peaky Blinders or The Crown?

Almost as instinctively as I answered Guinness earlier, it’s got to be Peaky Blinders.


PayByPhone’s aim is simple: simplify your journey so you can focus on what matters most. As a wholly-owned subsidiary of Volkswagen Financial Services AG, we are one of the fastest growing mobile payments companies in the world, processing more than £430 million in payments and over 5 million downloads per year. Available in more than 1,200 cities across the globe, PayByPhone helps millions of consumers easily and safely pay for parking without the hassles of coins, queues, or fines. Our smart, intuitive technology is at the centre of our user-first approach, delivered to make everything as simple as possible. Our multi-award-winning environmental initiatives, our Carbon Neutral status since 2019 and our cashless ethos, all contribute to helping us and our clients on the green journey in this interconnected world.  For more information, please visit