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Join us at the Fleet Summit in Manchester this summer

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We’re hosting a high-end event, the Fleet Summit, this June in Manchester – and we’d like you to join industry peers for what could be the most productive two days you’ll spend out of the office this year.

We’d love to fund your place, which includes an itinerary of relaxed one-to-one meetings with solution providers that you pre-select, an informative seminar programme, all meals and refreshments and an overnight stay, as well as great networking opportunities throughout.

It’s complimentary to attend. Other companies already booked to attend include: AB World Foods Ltd, Superdrug, Cummins, KCom, Bidcorp, LCB Group, Baxter Healthcare and more – There will be 50+ other professionals for you to network with!

3rd-4th June, Hilton Manchester Deansgate

If you’d like to attend, book your place here or for further details, click here.

If you specialise in Fleet Security & Dash Cams 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 February we’ll be focussing on Fleet Security & Dash Cam 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 Fleet Security & Dash Cam 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 Nick Stannard on 01992 374092 / n.stannard@forumevents.co.uk.

Here’s our features list in full:

Feb 24 – Security & Dash Cams
Mar 24 – Driver Training
Apr 24 – Risk Management
May 24 – Fleet Management Software
Jun 24 – Telematics/Tracking
Jul 24 – Contract Hire & Leasing
Aug 24 – LPG/Alternative Fuel & Fuel Management
Sept 24 – EV Charging & Infrastructure
Oct 24 – Duty of Care
Nov 24 – Grey Fleet
Dec 24 – Service, Maintenance & Repair
Jan 25 – Electric & Hybrid Vehicles

Pot hole repair plan unveiled by government

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A crackdown on disruptive roadworks could cut congestion for millions of drivers and generate up to £100 million extra to resurface roads, as the first key measures from the government’s Plan for Drivers are unveiled.

Roads Minister, Guy Opperman, has launched a street works consultation on a series of measures to prevent utility companies from letting roadworks overrun and clogging up traffic as a result.

The consultation seeks to extend the current £10,000 per day fine for overrunning street works into weekends and bank holidays as a deterrent for working on the busiest days for road travel. Currently, utility companies are only fined for disruption on working days. The measures could double fines from £500 up to a maximum of £1,000 for companies that breach conditions of the job, such as working without a permit.

The plans would also direct at least 50% of money from lane rental schemes to be used to improve roads and repair potholes. Lane rental schemes allow local highway authorities to charge companies for the time that street and road works occupy the road.

As a result, the measures could generate up to £100 million extra over 10 years to resurface roads while helping tackle congestion, cutting down journey times and helping drivers get from A to B more easily.

Launching on National Pothole Day, the consultation is part of a series of measures from the government’s Plan for Drivers, a 30-point plan to support people’s freedoms to use their cars, curb over-zealous enforcement measures and back drivers.

Transport Secretary, Mark Harper, said: “After investing an extra £8.3 billion to resurface roads across England, the largest ever increase in funding for local road improvements, this government continues to back drivers with these new measures from our Plan for Drivers.

“Our new proposals seek to free up our roads from overrunning street works, cut down traffic jams and generate up to £100 million extra to resurface roads up and down the country.

Roads Minister, Guy Opperman, said: “Being stuck in traffic is infuriating for drivers. Too often traffic jams are caused by overrunning street works.

“This government is backing drivers, with a robust approach to utility companies and others, who dig up our streets. We will seek to massively increase fines for companies that breach conditions and fine works that overrun into weekends and bank holidays while making the rental for such works help generate up to an extra £100 million to improve local roads.”

While it’s essential that gas, water and other utility companies carry out vital maintenance work to provide the services we all rely on, the 2 million street works carried out in England in 2022 to 2023 have cost the economy around £4 billion by causing severe road congestion and disrupting journeys.

The consultation comes after this government introduced a performance-based street works regime to ensure utility companies resurface roads to the best possible standard, and new lane rental schemes where utility companies can be charged up to £2,500 per day for street works.

The measures can also help boost active travel by preventing street works from disrupting walking, wheeling and cycling while also providing opportunities to improve pavements and pedestrian crossings and make repairs to pavements and cycle lanes.

Edmund King, AA president, said: “Overrunning roadworks and poorly reinstated roads from utility companies frustrate drivers and cause unnecessary congestion, and trench defects can damage vehicles and injure those on 2 wheels.

“We are pleased that the government is looking to extend the fines for over-running street works, invest more of the surplus fines in roads and ensure that those who dig up the roads repair them to a high and timely standard.

In addition, the government plans to make all temporary, experimental or permanent restrictions on traffic digital. These so-called traffic regulation orders (TROs) include things like the location of parking spaces, road closures and speed limits.

Making these digital means they must now be added to satnav systems, ensuring drivers have the most up-to-date information, making journeys easier and paving the way for more reliable autonomous vehicles.

RAC Head of Policy, Simon Williams, said: “Drivers shouldn’t have to put up with temporary roadworks for any longer than is necessary, so we’re pleased to see the government is looking to do more to guarantee that utility companies minimise disruption by carrying out roadworks as quickly and efficiently as possible. They should also leave roads in better condition than they found them, which unfortunately is hardly ever the case at the moment.”

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

THE WHICHEV VIEW: Ioniq 5 N NPX1 revealed by Hyundai

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By WhichEV

Hyundai Motor Company has been pioneering in the car market since its inception in 1967 – and it has just made a splash at the Tokyo Auto Salon 2024 with the unveiling of the ‘IONIQ 5 N NPX1.’

This concept model, laden with prototype N Performance Parts – aimed at enhancing the high-performance electric vehicle (EV) experience. The resulting vehicle looks serious and promises a boost in performance and handling. Hyundai is looking to develop and release ‘N’ variants of future EVs.

The venture into N Performance Parts was first launched in 2019, and marks Hyundai’s ongoing dedication to high-quality tuning parts for its customers. This particular journey began in the ICE-age with vehicles like the Elantra N, i30 N, and i20 N.

Read more about the new model over at WhichEV…

Are Electric SUVs a viable alternative to diesel and electric vans?

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New analysis from Arval suggests Electric SUVs (eSUVs) are being chosen by some fleets as an alternative to diesel and electric vans.

The mobility specialist says that as long as the space, payload and towing capacity offered by eSUVs is adequate, they can bring a wide range of advantages over their electric van (e-van) counterparts.

Ben Edwards, Consultant at Arval, said: “We’re at a moment in time when, having largely completed electrification of their car fleets, many businesses are looking to their light commercial vehicles (LCVs) and wanting to complete a similar transformation. However, for some, the current e-van choices available present some operational issues for their needs, especially around range and payload capabilities.

“We have been working with several of these fleets and have presented the concept of using eSUVs as an alternative. It’s quite a radical idea in itself – replacing vans with cars – but it does have many benefits as long as a model with sufficient carrying capacity can be identified.

“These eSUVs will tend to offer better range than vans, often up to 250-300 of real-range miles, solving the key problem that these fleets wanting to electrify their LCVs are facing. Also, the security and safety features offered by the car choices are frequently superior, offering better protection for whatever products and equipment are being carried, as well as more driver safety features such as parking and lane keep assistance technology.

“Additionally, chargepoint accessibility eases with an eSUV compared to an eLCV, although there is innovation and investment in this space, with initiatives such as charge hubs and electric freightways being launched to cater for larger vehicle and tow-charge requirements.

“Supply is another benefit. Generally speaking, new electric SUVs are more easily available than vans, certainly for some of the models that fleets are adopting. This is important because businesses will tend to want to adopt an identical, standard SUV across all of their activities in quantities of hundreds.”

“Of course, there is a human resources advantage to this, too. Generally,drivers would rather have an eSUV than a van and the current benefit-in-kind taxation situation makes this viable for almost all employees and comparable with van taxation.”

Edwards said that the whole life cost comparisons between SUVs and vans were often broadly similar but that this was not always the number one consideration for fleets making this decision.

“The businesses making this move have often made corporate environmental commitments with comparatively short timescales and this is a significant driver behind their current decision making. They want to electrify quickly and the eSUV route is allowing them to achieve this.”

He added that some LCV racking and conversion companies were already taking note of the trend towards eSUVs and producing products especially designed for this sector.

“We’ve been working with supply partners to increase the practicality of eSUV models for specific clients and been pleased to find that they have already been thinking about these vehicles and how they can be made more practical as a van replacement.

“There is also the option of liverying the eSUVs, which can be done in a manner that presents a strong corporate image but can easily be removed when the vehicles are eventually defleeted, ready for private buyers in the used market.”

Edwards added that it was unclear whether the move away from vans towards eSUVs was a long term trend or a solution that would just last one or two replacement cycles.

“As a strategy, this is very much a reaction to current conditions when it comes to electrification. Crucially, we expect to see the range and charging infrastructure to support e-vans improving over the next few years while other options such as hydrogen could start to make something of an impact. The pendulum could yet swing in the other direction and increases the opportunity to choose a zero-tailpipe emission vehicle over a petrol or diesel van.”

Photo by Salim on Unsplash

ELECTRIC & HYBRID MONTH: Fleet Managers at the forefront of transition

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Commercial and public sector fleet managers are increasingly turning to electric vehicles (EVs) as a means to enhance sustainability and operational efficiency. This shift aligns with the UK government’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions and promoting cleaner air, especially in urban environments. Let’s examine the ways in which electric vehicles are being leveraged by fleet managers to bring about a more sustainable and efficient future for their organisations…

Historically, fleets in the UK have been dominated by petrol and diesel vehicles, contributing significantly to carbon emissions and air pollution. However, the rising awareness of environmental issues and the urgent need for climate action have catalysed a change. Fleet managers are now at the forefront of this transition, recognising the long-term economic and environmental benefits of electric vehicles.

One of the primary advantages of EVs for fleet operations is their lower operational costs compared to traditional vehicles. Electric vehicles have fewer moving parts and thus lower maintenance requirements, translating into significant cost savings over the life of the vehicle. Additionally, the cost of electricity for charging EVs is generally lower than the cost of petrol or diesel, further reducing operational expenses.

The UK government’s push towards electrification has also been instrumental in this shift. Incentives such as reduced taxes, grants for purchasing EVs, and investment in charging infrastructure have made the transition to electric fleets more feasible and attractive for organisations. Moreover, the planned ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030 under the UK’s ‘Road to Zero’ strategy has added a sense of urgency to the transition.

Another critical factor driving the adoption of EVs in fleets is the enhanced corporate image. By incorporating EVs, organisations can demonstrate their commitment to sustainability, appealing to environmentally conscious consumers and stakeholders. This aspect of corporate social responsibility is becoming increasingly important in the public and commercial sectors.

However, transitioning to an electric fleet also presents challenges. Range anxiety, or the concern about the vehicle’s ability to cover required distances on a single charge, has been a significant barrier. Fleet managers are addressing this issue by carefully planning routes, ensuring access to charging infrastructure, and choosing vehicles with sufficient range for their specific needs.

Moreover, fleet managers are utilising telematics and fleet management software to optimise the use of their electric vehicles. These technologies provide valuable data on vehicle performance, energy usage, and driving patterns, enabling more efficient fleet operation and management.

The UK’s commercial and public sector fleet managers are increasingly embracing electric vehicles as a key component of their sustainability and efficiency strategies. By leveraging the economic, environmental, and technological advantages of EVs, and overcoming challenges through careful planning and the use of advanced technologies, they are setting a precedent for a cleaner, more sustainable future in fleet management.

Do you need Electric & Hybrid Vehicle solutions for your organisation? The Fleet Summit can help!

Photo by Tim Meyer on Unsplash

Access online courses to boost your Fleet Management skills

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We have a wide selection of online courses tailored specifically for the fleet management sector, enabling you to both amass new skills and improve existing ones in 2024 and beyond – start learning today!

These are specially-curated online courses designed to help you and your team improve expertise and learn new things.

The Management, Leadership & Business Operations online learning bundle provides you with over 50 courses, which cover all areas of both professional and personal development:

  • Costs, Volumes and Profits Certification
  • Agenda Setting Certification
  • Health and Safety in the Workplace (UK) Certification
  • GDPR in The Workplace Certification
  • Project Management Foundation (Small Projects) Certification
  • Project Preparation Certification
  • Making Meetings Matter Certification
  • Marketing Certification Level 2
  • Managing Emotions at Work Certification
  • Managing Your Workload Certification
  • UK Employment Law Certification
  • Workplace Monitoring and Data Protection Certification

And many more!

Find out more and purchase your ticket online here.

Additionally, there are a variety of bundles available on all spectrums;

  • Personal & Professional Development
  • Healthcare
  • Sports & Personal Development
  • Human Resources
  • Customer Services
  • Health & Safety
  • Education & Social Care Skills
  • Sales & Marketing
  • IT & Personal Development

Book your courses today and come out of this stronger and more skilled!

Do you specialise in Electric & Hybrid fleet solutions? 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 January we’ll be focussing on Electric & Hybrid Vehicle 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 Electric & Hybrid Vehicle 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 Nick Stannard on 01992 374092 / n.stannard@forumevents.co.uk.

Here’s our features list in full:

Jan 24 – Electric & Hybrid Vehicles
Feb 24 – Security & Dash Cams
Mar 24 – Driver Training
Apr 24 – Risk Management
May 24 – Fleet Management Software
Jun 24 – Telematics/Tracking
Jul 24 – Contract Hire & Leasing
Aug 24 – LPG/Alternative Fuel & Fuel Management
Sept 24 – EV Charging & Infrastructure
Oct 24 – Duty of Care
Nov 24 – Grey Fleet
Dec 24 – Service, Maintenance & Repair

LEVC’s TX hits 50% of all licensed London taxis milestone

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More than half of London’s entire black cab fleet is now zero-emission capable thanks to LEVC’s class-leading electric taxi, as the TX continues to play a vital role in clean green, and accessible urban mobility.

Supporting the UK’s capital to achieve its net zero target, LEVC’s electric TX is accelerating the transition away from fossil fuels. More than 50 percent of London’s 14,700 black taxis are now actively contributing to cleaning up London’s air and the overall environmental impact of London’s iconic taxi fleet is also rapidly reducing.

As the UK’s electric TX fleet increases, so does the positive contribution this purpose-built vehicle is making to cities. Powered by its revolutionary eCity technology, LEVC’s electric TX taxi has travelled more than 700 million miles globally and prevented more than 200,000 tonnes of harmful CO2 emissions from entering the world’s atmosphere since its introduction in 2018.

Alex Nan, CEO of LEVC, commented: “With more than half the black cabs on London’s streets now electric, thanks to the iconic TX, today represents another momentous milestone for LEVC. We would like to thank London’s famous black cab drivers, who have been instrumental in this achievement.

Since its launch, the TX has delivered an unrivalled sustainable mobility solution. Globally the TX has saved an incredible 200,000 tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere, with London leading the way in helping us to achieve that. But there is always more that we can do. Other cities can learn from London’s world-leading approach, improving air quality throughout urban settings, to the benefit of the public and the environment.

“LEVC is committed to working alongside policymakers to demonstrate the positive impact that the TX is having in our cities, as we seek to continue building a greener and more accessible transport network better suited for all.”

Helen Chapman, Transport for London’s Director of Licensing and Regulation, said: “London’s black taxis are recognised worldwide and we are proud to see that so many drivers are helping clean up our air and assist us in tackling the city’s health emergency by driving zero emission capable vehicles (ZEC). Reaching this milestone is a great reflection of how London is working hard to be a greener, more sustainable, environmentally friendly city. We know that by bringing more electric and ZEC vehicles to London we can continue to bring down the level of harmful chemicals in the air and reduce the impact of road transport on our environment.

“Making the taxi fleet cleaner and bringing more electric vehicle charging points to the capital are significant parts of the wider efforts we’re making to help continue being London’s strong, green heartbeat, cleaning London’s air, and helping get Londoners around the city in the greenest ways possible.”

The TX taxi is an accessible and inclusive vehicle for all, regardless of age or disability. Featuring flexible space for up to six passengers, the vehicle includes an integrated wheelchair ramp enabling the TX 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 78 miles and a total range-extended capacity of 333 miles, making it ideally suited to London’s busy black cab drivers. LEVC manufactures the electric TX at its state-of-the-art facility in Ansty, Coventry. With an investment of over £1 billion from the Geely Holding Group since 2014, LEVC has built the UK’s first dedicated manufacturing plant for electric vehicles. LEVC recently announced its new strategy that will see it grow beyond manufacturing the TX, to become a leading zero-carbon mobility technology company.

Procurement leaders faced with ‘insufficient talent’ for future demands

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New data indicates that just 14% of procurement leaders express confidence in their talent’s ability to meet the future needs of the function, as business acumen and technology/data competencies have rapidly grown in importance over more traditional procurement skills.“Procurement leaders are generally confident in the current state of their talent and the ability to meet their near-term objectives,” said Fareen Mehrzai, Senior Director Analyst in Gartner’s Supply Chain Practice. “However, our data shows that chief procurement officers (CPOs) are worried about the future and having sufficient talent to meet transformative goals based around technology, as well as the ability to serve as a strategic advisor to the business.”

The Gartner survey of 111 procurement leaders in June 2023 showed a bifurcation between procurement leaders’ assessments of current and future talent needs in the function.

While 46% of respondents are confident in their current talent needs, only 14% agree they have adequate talent to meet future requirements. The number of respondents who strongly disagreed with the statement that they have adequate talent tripled from current levels when asked about their future requirements (see Figure 1).

Figure 1: Procurement Talent Readiness, Current vs. Future Needs
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Source: Gartner (November 2023)

Driving the lack of confidence in future talent readiness is a shift in the key competencies CPOs need to help drive objectives associated with procurement transformation. Sixty-nine percent of respondents said business acumen had gained importance in the last 12 months, while 68% said technology and data skills had increased in importance. Only 26% said “traditional procurement competencies” had gained importance in the same period.“Procurement leaders are aware that the competencies required to drive transformation are different from traditional procurement skills, and that there are significant gaps between their current and future needs for the most important competencies,” said Mehrzai. “Ninety-six percent of respondents reported at least a small gap in their needs for technology and data skills, while 86% reported the same when it came to business acumen.”

Gartner’s survey data suggests that more work needs to be done in refining competency planning strategies to meet future talent needs in the procurement function. While more than 65% of respondents reported that their organizations have dedicated strategies to target the most critical competencies, only 31% believe that their current competency models are relevant to their staff’s work.

“In evaluating current competency levels, we see procurement leaders relying most on peer and stakeholder feedback, while less than half report engaging in competency-driven interviews to directly evaluate their staff’s skills,” said Mehrzai. “Considering the significant gaps in the most critical future competencies, CPOs need to consider expanding their options in how they train and evaluate their staff.”

Photo by Memento Media on Unsplash