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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
Boots
Bristow & Sutor
City Plumbing Supplies
Cummins
East Riding of Yorkshire Council
EMCOR Group
Freight Management European Ltd
FSH
GBA Services
Grosvenor Facilities Management
Isle of Man Government
JN Bentley Ltd
Kier Group
Kilnbridge
London Borough of Islington
Mabey Hire
Marston Holdings Limited
MD Group Ltd
Optivo
PD Hook (Hatcheries) Ltd
Polar Speed
Restore Datashred
RPS
RSPB
RSS Infrastructure Ltd
St John Ambulance
Stannah Management Services
Surrey County Council
Telent Technology Services Ltd
The AA
Whistl
Wickes
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
PROCUREMENT MANAGER
Category Buyer – Fleet
Head of Fleet
Head of Fleet, Transport & ACT
Transport Manager
Head of Fleet & Transport
Fleet Manager
Waste Services & Fleet officer
Director
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.

ABOUT PAYBYPHONE 

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 www.paybyphone.co.uk.

Lightfoot launches new Live Overspeed Alerts feature

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Driver coaching and rewards platform provider Lightfoot has unveiled a new development for its fleet management package – the Live Overspeed Alerts feature.

Available to add on to the existing Lightfoot solution, this feature targets the problem of speeding within fleets, helping to prevent approximately 80% of incidents. It does this by alerting drivers whenever they travel over the speed limit through a series of audible and visual warnings via the Lightfoot dashboard device. This helps raise awareness in drivers of how fast they’re travelling whilst they’re on the road, giving them the ability to correct their driving in real-time and prevent the speeding event from occurring.

Speeding remains one of the most prevalent motoring offences in the UK, and accounts for around 13% of all accidents on Britain’s roads. For fleets, it brings with it the added disadvantages of increased wear and tear on the vehicles and the risk of damage to brand reputation if drivers are repeatedly caught travelling at illegal and unsafe speeds. It’s clear that more needs to be done to curb speeding incidents in commercial vehicles, and this latest development from Lightfoot is a great example of the tools that are available to help fleets create safer, more responsible drivers.

Find out more at Live Overspeed Alerts | Lightfoot

Factors to consider before getting your first electric car

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By James Morris, Which EV

Ten years after Nissan began selling the Leaf in UK showrooms, the UK market for electric vehicles finally took off in 2020. Now, almost 15% of all the cars sold so far in 2022 are pure electric, but with so many options to choose from, it can be difficult to pick the best car for your needs. To help you make that choice, we’ve covered the six most important questions you need to answer before making your purchase or starting a new lease.

So what are the major factors you need to consider? Click here to read WhichEV’s guide for fleet and private users.

LEVC has now sold 7,000 TX ‘electrictaxis’ globally

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LEVC (London Electric Vehicle Company) has marked a major milestone of 7,000 global sales of its TX ‘electrictaxi’, and has given Londoners the chance to hail a ride for free.

From Thursday 19th May until Thursday 26th May, there will be three unique ‘celebration cabs’ roaming around central London. Each will be kitted out with a unique exterior, as well as a special surprise inside for passengers to enjoy, celebrating not only 7,000 global TX sales but also the upcoming Jubilee.

Over the next seven days, anyone who hails one of the three distinctive taxis will be able to travel from their pick-up point to any destination within the North and South Circular, with the fare being picked up by LEVC.

Since launching in 2018, the TX has provided sustainable transport to both owners and passengers in more than 20 countries. Over the last four years, LEVC claims its electric TX taxi has travelled more than 418 million miles globally and prevented 127,000 tonnes of CO2 being emitted into the atmosphere.

LEVC’s TX has flexible space for up to six passengers, the vehicle includes an integrated wheelchair ramp, enabling it to accommodate a forward-facing wheelchair – the only taxi of its kind to do so. The TX’s eCity technology provides a pure EV range of more than 64 miles and a total range-extended capacity of 318 miles.

Joerg Hofmann, CEO of LEVC, said: “LEVC is proud to have sold 7,000 electric TX taxis across the globe. The iconic black cab can now be seen from Paris to Madrid and Cairo to Tokyo; it truly is a vehicle for everyone, everywhere.

“As the iconic “black cab” is an integral part of the London landscape, we wanted to mark 7,000 global sales of our TX in the capital. As the British population will also be celebrating Queen Elizabeth II’s reign of 70 years, we felt it was appropriate to bring a classic British street party theme to our three celebration cabs.

“The black cab has been a familiar sight on city streets for more than a hundred years and today’s TX has never been more fit for purpose. Offering unrivalled accessibility, capable of zero emissions  and eliminating range anxiety, the TX is the ideal choice for both cab-drivers and passengers in any city.”

Do you specialise in Telematics and Tracking? 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 June we’ll be focussing on Telematics/Tracking 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 Telematics/Tracking 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 / c.cannon@forumevents.co.uk.

Here’s our features list in full:

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

RoSPA study says e-scooters far safer than bicycles

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By Farooq Beloch, WhichEV 
As a new study from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents reveals that electric scooters are five times safer than bicycles: Are we about to see new legislation which revolutionises inner city travel?
Given that scooters are likely to be limited on speed, not raw power – will the UK Government allow for a broader definition of ‘electric scooter’, that might open up new ‘last mile’ delivery options for companies that want to show their green credentials?

The case for decarbonising existing fleet vehicles

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Lightfoot have launched their latest video titled ‘Doing Nothing Is Not An Option’, the video makes the case for actively decarbonising existing ICE vehicles within fleets whilst concurrently planning for the electric future.

Whilst the transition to EVs is the accepted long-term solution for the fleet industry, the reality is that the supply of electric vehicles is not currently available for an all-out adoption of EV fleets, and many fleets simply do not have the resources or infrastructure to go fully electric today.

Instead of making future plans to tackle decarbonisation solely through the eventual replacement of ICE vehicles with EVs, industry-leading green-tech provider Lightfoot argues that fleets should instead be looking to their existing fleet vehicles to reduce emissions, reduce fuel consumption, and take action now to protect the planet.

Watch the video to learn more.

Oxford University unveils autonomous cars research project with Capgemini

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Capgemini has revealed a collaboration with the University of Oxford focused on the safety and human factors of interactions with AI autonomous systems.

The firm is working in collaboration with the university ecosystem around cutting-edge technologies, creating thought leadership, assets, and the services of tomorrow. These joint efforts are designed to answer the crucial question: “How can technology help solve the key challenges of a more intelligent industry in society?”

David Jackson, Chief Technology Officer for Product & Systems Engineering at Capgemini Engineering, will work with a team of researchers supervised by Marina Jirotka, Professor of Human Centred Computing and lead for Responsible Research and Innovation in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Oxford, on a project entitled, “Being safe, feeling safe: designing, measuring and evaluating underlying factors determining safety and trust in autonomous vehicles”.

“The impacts of novel technologies on societies and individuals can sometimes get lost in the excitement of new tools and innovations. We believe this project with Capgemini gives us a great opportunity to really examine how we can keep human needs and interests at the forefront of research and development,” said Professor Jirotka.

“The wide adoption of innovations such as autonomous vehicles and aircraft needs people to trust them, so we are proud to tackle this challenge with the University of Oxford. This new initiative will further strengthen our strategic research program on Intelligent Industry,” commented William Rozé, CEO of Capgemini Engineering and Group Executive Board Member.

Capgemini says it’s committed to the adoption of AI in a way that delivers clear benefits from AI technologies within a trusted framework, by adopting the Code of Ethics for AI.