News

Jun 7, 2016

GFC 2016 Advisory Board: Focus on Electric cars, Mobility and Telematics


This year’s 4th Edition of the Global Fleet Conference (GFC) had the privilege to receive feedback on all the most crucial fleet topics from international fleet managers and discuss how the car industry’s latest innovations can impact fleet management globally.

The 18 fleet managers attendees – which manage half a million cars all together – of this Advisory Board talked about the evolution of fleet management on the international and the regional level. Hybrids and EVs, the mobility challenge, telematics and diesel fleets were the top subjects which today matter the most to international fleet managers.

Topic 1: Electric Cars

The Netherlands is one of the EU countries offering EVs very often as company car. But, the infrastructure remains one of the most essential elements to be solved in order to be able to propose more EVs to their employees. The TCO of EVs remains higher than conventional petrol or diesel cars. Develop or not an EV fleet depends on countries (their charging infrastructure, tax schemes and CO2 rules). Green EV fleets remain a minority among global car fleets, like 5 cars out of a 25.000 car fleet. The path to EV fleets is not yet here according to some fleet managers, because of the charging infrastructure and the cost like for installing EV charging stations at employees’ home if they move away after a while or if they live in apartments which is often the case in EU and U.S. Fleet managers don’t want to “use EVs just for using EVs”, perhaps Tesla consume electricity instead of gasoline, but electricity has also a cost. Also, a hybrid fleet without the right TCO can bring cost-disadvantages.

Topic 2: Mobility

How you manage the mobility of 50 employees and not 1 employee with a company car is a challenge for fleet managers worldwide. It requires a different approach to manage fleets than the “classic” one. More and more employees ask for mobility budgets, instead of a company car. In this case, being a fleet, mobility and travel manager makes quite some sense. Mobility budget and multi-modality are the 2 main elements increasingly considered as tomorrow’s efficient mobility solution, as this stands out among fleet attendees and among the results of the Global Fleet Survey 2016.

Topic 3: Dieselgate side-effects

How the VW emissions scandal will impact the international car fleets’ policies, like is it time to change all cars to gasoline from diesel? This is one among the essential questions many fleet managers would like to see answered. As the CO2 rules are changing in the EU especially towards less diesel fueled cars. This might spread to other continents too, even if some fleet managers’ estimate no one can assume today how new car fleet policies would evolve after this Dieselgate regarding diesel cars’ percentage among global fleets. Petrol becomes a more viable option that diesel not only for fleets, but for car makers too. Indeed, in the future car manufacturers will make mostly diesel cars for specific segments like SUVs.

Topic 4: Telematics

In the U.S. rules are very restrictive to use telematics to gather information on company cars. In Europe “who owns the data” is what matters. Among the 18 attendees, only 2 have implemented telematics into their fleets, and 6 plan to do so in the next years.

Photo: 2016 GFC Advisory Board

Antigoni Vokou