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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.

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.

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 www.paybyphone.co.uk.

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.

Veolia rolls out its first renewable-fuelled fleet

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Broadland District Council has announced the launch of a contract for all waste collection services including residual, recycling and food waste and for street cleaning with Veolia – which is deploying a renewably-fuelled fleet for the first time.

The 10 year contract that started in April 2022 has an option for an extension of up to a further 10 years.

Reducing energy consumption and reaching carbon neutrality is essential for combating climate change and the new contract includes a commitment to reduce operational emissions and to develop low carbon solutions. This supports Broadland District Council’s priority to protect the environment and for continuous environmental improvement.

Every vehicle in the fleet is fully powered by Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO), a bio-based liquid fuel made from vegetable oils and animal fats. HVO is a low carbon, low emission, fossil-free and sustainable alternative to conventional fossil diesel which eliminates up to 90% of net CO2 and reduces nitrogen oxide (NOX), particulate matter (PM) and carbon monoxide (CO) emissions.

HVO fuel is fully interchangeable with conventional diesel and can be used pure or blended with fossil diesel if required. The fleet in the Broadland district will be solely powered by HVO in a first for Veolia in the UK.

Councillor Judy Leggett, portfolio holder for Environmental Excellence, said: “We’re very pleased to be continuing our very successful working relationship with Veolia through the award of this major new contract. The contract brings together an excellent service for residents with innovative new approaches which will help to make our waste and recycling services more effective and even more environmentally friendly. This new contract will help drive us towards our aim of being carbon neutral well ahead of the Government’s 2050 target.”

Pascal Hauret, Managing Director Municipal, Veolia UK said: “We’re delighted to launch our first fully HVO powered fleet in Broadland. HVO significantly reduces CO2 emissions so this is a hugely positive step in our shared commitment to net zero. Importantly, whilst the availability of HVO is still limited in the UK, Veolia has secured a guaranteed supply for the entire contract term.”

The new contract also offers residents an enhanced service with the introduction of weekly kerbside collections of small electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) and textile collections.

The Council will continue to roll out food waste collections and will now be able to achieve its goal of food waste collections to all Broadland residents in 2023.

Green fleet tech provider Lightfoot to attend CV Show 2022 

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Lightfoot, the innovative British green-tech company and provider of the UK’s leading in-cab driver coaching and rewards platform, will be exhibiting at this year’s Commercial Vehicle Show at the NEC Birmingham. 

Taking place from 24th-26th May, the CV Show will address the key topics and latest developments affecting the fleet industry, with live theatre discussions, a series of expert panels, and over 200 exhibitors. 

You’ll find the Lightfoot team on Stand 5F101, ready and waiting to answer your questions on everything from fleet decarbonisation to fuel savings and road safety, and to demonstrate Lightfoot’s cutting-edge fleet management technology.  

Get in touch with the Lightfoot team to book your slot now.

UK told to brace for Easter bank holiday traffic hotspots

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The RAC says drivers are collectively planning an estimated 21.46m leisure journeys by car this coming weekend, the highest number for an Easter bank holiday since the the organisation first started tracking motorists’ plans in 2014.

Good Friday – the first bank holiday since the start of the year – looks set to be the single busiest day of the long weekend with drivers planning in the region of 4.62m separate leisure trips, followed by bank holiday Monday (3.96m) with Saturday and Sunday each seeing around 3.63m journeys by car. An additional estimated 5.6m trips will be taken by drivers at some point between Friday and Monday.

The RAC together with transport analytics specialists INRIX are predicting some extremely busy roads, with the Easter getaway likely to be made worse by the impact of closures to some parts of the railway network. Major engineering work between London and Birmingham is likely to push more people onto the roads, including those making their way from Manchester and Liverpool to Wembley to watch the semi-final of the FA Cup on Saturday. Expected rail strikes in Scotland and the north of England could also make matters worse.

INRIX data suggests that the M6 north between Liverpool and the Lake District, south towards Stoke-on-Trent, the M25 between Surrey and the M40 exit, and the A303 near Stonehenge could see some of the worst congestion, with drivers urged to set off as early as they can or to delay their trips until the end of the day to stand a better chance of a smoother journey. Inevitable breakdowns also risk causing additional long queues, so the RAC is strongly urging drivers to check their vehicles are ‘road-ready’ before setting out.

In addition to the expected traffic jams, drivers also face the costliest Easter on record when it comes to petrol and diesel prices with 6% of drivers saying they’re not planning a car trip at all over the weekend for this very reason. Separate research by the RAC also suggests that the high pump prices might affect people’s trips in other ways – one-in-five drivers (20%) said they plan on driving a shorter distance this Easter than in previous years, with the same proportion saying they’ll be cutting back on other Easter expenditure because of high petrol and diesel prices. More than a quarter (28%) said they’re planning on using their cars less, while a third (33%) will be deliberately driving more economically to try to keep their Easter fuel spending down.

The research also found that only a fifth of drivers (19%) say they always check their cars are ‘road-ready’ before making an Easter trip, increasing the potential for breakdowns to ruin the start of many people’s breaks. Half of drivers (51%) said they sometimes checked their cars over before setting out but an alarming 30% said they never do. The RAC is therefore reminding people that spending just a little time checking their vehicles’ oil, coolant and tyres can prevent a very inconvenient breakdown.

Bob Pishue, INRIX Transportation Analyst, said: “Even with a significant increase in petrol prices, we expect a large jump in holiday driving compared to the last few years. Drivers should expect congestion on major roadways around urban areas and popular destinations. Knowing when and where congestion will build can help drivers avoid the stress of sitting in traffic.”

National Highways customer services director Melanie Clarke added: “This is the first bank holiday of the year, so we expect the roads to be busy with people looking to make the most of a long weekend. To help keep disruption to a minimum, we’re lifting more than a thousand of miles of roadworks.

“The last thing anybody wants on the way to their destination is to have a vehicle breakdown. That’s why it’s really important people spend a few minutes checking the condition of their tyres before setting off.”

Paul Hollick, Chairman of The Association of Fleet Professionals, joins Lightfoot as new MD

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British green-tech company Lightfoot, the leading provider of in-cab fleet coaching technology and a one-of-a-kind driver rewards app, has appointed Paul Hollick (pictured) as Managing Director.

Paul Hollick is Chairman of the AFP and was formerly MD of Miles Consultancy Limited. He joins the fleet management solution company at an exciting time following the investment of Volpi Capital in Lightfoot last year. This has allowed for ambitious growth plans, including the development of a new suite of products for both ICE and EV fleets, as well as international expansion into the EMEA markets and further afield.

Hear what Paul Hollick has to say about joining the team at Lightfoot

Protecting the planet – How Lucion Services are cutting carbon with Lightfoot

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As a holistic environmental services supplier specialising in hazardous materials testing, inspection, and environmental management solutions, Lucion Services are committed to making the world a safer place.

This commitment extends through all areas of their business, which is why they chose to partner with Lightfoot to make their fleet of 172 vans more environmentally friendly and safer on the roads.

The unique green technology offered by innovative British company Lightfoot – which improves fleet performance by providing real-time, in-cab feedback for safer, more efficient driving – has already made a huge difference to Lucion.

Over 80% of their drivers are now achieving Lightfoot’s Elite Driver optimal driving style, which has significantly lowered their risk on the road and reduced their environmental impact.

Over the last year, Lucion Services have prevented an extra 31.5 tonnes of CO2 from entering the Earth’s atmosphere – that’s equivalent to the energy required to make 4,665,000 cups of tea!

Discover what else Lucion have achieved with Lightfoot