Cusp of an EV Evolution
I appreciate all your hard work in the fleet industry. This year I have started spending a lot of time on the emerging electric truck market. We are on the cusp of an EV evolution and I am excited about it. I have worked with fleet vehicles all my life and here to assist as much as I can with transition from ICE (internal combustion engines) vehicles to EVs.
I look forward to seeing Automotive Fleet magazine highlighting the emerging electric truck options (i.e., Endurance from Lordstown Motors) for fleet in the future.
Rick Sauter, VP - Operations for Allstate Leasing in Towson, Md.
Managing New Tech
Many fleets both private and public are needing to devise plans for the adaptation of EVs and charging stations, Carshare programs and/or telematics. Each has its own challenges; however, this falls back on the fleet manager to becoming educated and knowledgeable about each of these emerging technologies. Layer on top of that which markets to target first, installation in the case for telematics, where incentive are actively available and what it takes to apply for and secure EV credits or charging infrastructure incentives, etc.
Not only do they need to understand in great detail the updates these new technologies bring, but they also need to account for all the changes it will bring to all aspects of their organization. The fleet manager must become salespeople with the ability to advocate and sell to management these investments. Additionally, how these investments will lower cost, improve efficiencies, provide an ROI. Once these hurdles are made, they have to backstop the sell by providing confidence in the implementation of these upgrades. After which a fleet managers needs the ability to manage staff on the ongoing logistics and driver education required to complete the benefits these technologies are intended to improve.
Michael Stafford, Sales Director, Western Region for Lordstown Motors in Lordstown, Ohio
Informative and Concise
The weekly video updates on the state of the commercial fleet industry by Mike Antich are informative and concise. An easy way to stay current in this ever-changing environment.
Jeff Barron, Managing Director for Head of Leasing National Sales for The Bancorp in Crofton, Md.
Fixed vs. Floating Rates
As discussed in the State of the Fleet Industry video report on emerging upward pressures on fleet costs, the commodity prices are going up, which will also trigger inflation. In order to stop the inflation, the federal government will increase interest rates which are now almost zero .
This might control the inflation rate but fleets will pay more in financing their fleet purchases. This might be a good time to start and think of converting floating rates into fixed rates . This is just one more item in the cost basket that fleet managers will have to pay attention to.
Phil Schreiber, Fleet Consultant for Simsbury, Conn.
Baby Needs New Shoes
I read the news item that says Nokian believes that smart tires will become common in five years. Smart tires do not sound like they would be a viable investment, especially since I do not want my car being me when it wants “new shoes.” I do not need to be told about services three months out, and do not want my ‘hoopty’ making appointments for me.
Author wished to be Anonymous
(Automotive Fleet reply) --“Hoopty’ is a slang term for a decrepit car is one that is often old and damaged and is in a barely functional state.-- Editor
Utility Fleets Think Different
I read the Market Trends blog “Everything in Fleet Depreciates Except Fleet Manager Expertise” and I have much more to say on this subject. I started at a utility fleet as a car washer/janitor 37 years ago. Worked my up through all phases from floor to road mechanic.
I moved inside to a dispatcher/title clerk. In that capacity I had a thirst for fleet accounting. Utility fleet accounting is different than most fleet accounting practices. Utility fleet uses a mass depreciation system. Therefore, fleet vehicles do not have a specific time frame of depreciation. The asset could be 20 years old and still be on the depreciation schedule.
I finally worked through floor supervisor up to the interim manager. Our shop was a complete in-house operation contracting out less than 1% of repairs (window glass, some upfitting ) We even removed beds, booms, etc. rebuilt them and installed onto new chassis as well as total new installations. I had 37 years of hands-on fleet management. Unfortunately, utility fleets consider that a liability instead of an asset. Utility fleets have become organizations that the fleet manager position is just a placeholder for the accountants. Finance departments are the ones making the decisions. Most utility fleets have gotten away from “lifecycle compliance” and acceptable “preventative maintenance practices.” As a retired fleet professional (very happy I might add) I just wanted to let you know that your article does portray some large fleet's thinking, but not the utility fleets.
Lots of Great Information
I want to let you know that I watch your State of the Fleet Industry video series heavily nowadays.
There is lots of great information in there!
Josh Chamuler, Director for Pivet Innovation Hub in Phoenix, Ariz.
Blog Creates More Questions
I wanted to comment to say you wrote a nice blog on the “Impact of Fleet Operations of the Work-from-Home Business Model.” After reading the blog, I have a lot more questions than answers.
Although it may seem counterintuitive at this point, the shedding of real estate and potentially reduction of traditional travel may afford a savings that a potential expanse of fleet may prove useful as possibly more intra-country activity becomes a focus. If such an evolution occurs in time it may paint a different picture where now there seems to be potential for some fleet to disappear.
As always, thank for always keeping hot topics on the forefront and providing great perspectives and observations.
Author Wish to be Anonymous
(Automotive Fleet reply) The pandemic has opened Pandora’s box on working from home – both good and bad. While it has yet to be determined whether this is long-term or short-term trend, it will impact fleets. -- Editor