While California public sector fleets are facing a deadline of 2024 to make half their fleet purchases zero emissions, all U.S. fleets will be facing the 3G sunset next year.  -  Image by  Gerd Altmann  from  Pixabay

While California public sector fleets are facing a deadline of 2024 to make half their fleet purchases zero emissions, all U.S. fleets will be facing the 3G sunset next year.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Welcome to the second FleetTakes blog post.

FleetTakes is exactly that — a take on what fleets need to know when it comes to the latest in automotive, transportation technologies, and creative solutions to improve fleet processes. I’ll point you to developing stories, the latest news, and what’s trending across Bobit’s fleet publications with quick insights and analyses from a fleet perspective.

Here goes.

Roadway Fatalities Continue Unacceptable Trend

First off, for those thinking that the alarming spike in roadway deaths in 2020 was another covid anomaly, think again: The 20,160 who lost their lives in motor vehicle crashes in the first half of 2021 was the largest number of projected fatalities in that time period since 2006.

The awful truth is that the primary causes are based on disregard for basic common sense: speeding, impaired driving, and lack of seat belt compliance, according to a NHTSA report. At the very least, these are three areas that fleet managers have considerable resources to attack the problem.

Are You Using Gamification Correctly?

In this article on ways to retain drivers, Mark Murrell of CarriersEdge said rewards programs based on gamification had gotten out of hand. They were being used in some instances in lieu of pay and that his inquiries returned that some drivers were getting insulted.

“We hear from drivers that they don't want to be treated like a child,” Murrell says. “We’ve found they’d rather be treated like professionals and to build around that assumption, rather than ‘Let's make it a game.’ This is a job, not Friday night with friends.”

His advice: Survey your drivers to see if your plan is still effective.

Can Hertz Really Fleet 100k Teslas?

Is that huge sucking sound the 100,000 Teslas that are being diverted from corporate fleets to Hertz for rental and Uber drivers?

Some corporate fleets with big Tesla orders are expressing angst. They shouldn’t worry too much. Hertz will realize that EV infrastructure is like a house remodel — way more expensive and twice the time to finish, particularly when dealing with airports to install DC fast chargers. Fleeting that many Teslas into rental will take a much longer runway than the end-of-2022 goal.

The Stealth Donlen and Wheels Merger

If the Hertz deal came out of nowhere, news of the Donlen and Wheels merger was an even bigger surprise.

“Who says you can’t keep a secret in this industry?” says Mike Antich in his weekly State of the Fleet Industry video blog. “That includes some high-level managers at Wheels and Donlen who only learned about the merger hours before the announcement.” Check out Mike’s video for further analysis.

Zero Emissions Deadline Looms in Cali

By 2024, 50% of the fleet purchased by government entities in California must be zero emissions. That’s quite a challenge, explains Kevin Myose, fleet manager for California’s San Joaquin County. Kevin’s fleet includes vehicles for law enforcement and human services divisions to public works, from ¾-ton pickups up to Class 8 tractors. Will there even be enough commercial EV model supply by then, not to mention the required infrastructure in place? 

Kevin will be explaining his plan to reach that goal in a seminar at the 2022 Fleet Forward Conference. Check out the agenda, which includes an opening keynote from Ford Pro’s Tim Baughman, a ride and drive and technology showcase, and a closing keynote from BrightDrop’s Steve Hornyak.

The conference is happening Nov. 10-12 in person in San Jose, with all seminars streamed virtually as well.

The 3G Holy Moly Moment is Coming

Speaking of deadlines:

By now, you’re aware of the 3G sunset. But have you had your Holy Moly moment yet? Though it’s a phased approach, managing the 3G sunset isn’t like complying with the ELD mandate. If your telematics devices are still running on 3G and those networks are switched off, those devices won’t work. All major carriers have dates lined up in 2022 to hit the kill switch.

Problem is that those devices need semiconductor chips and are being hit with the same supply chain issues as everyone else. When the procrastinating fleets all jump on the ordering bandwagon closer to these deadlines, the telematics service providers can’t just snap their fingers for more modems.

What to do about it? Michael Bloom of SmartWitness has some answers, as does Dain Giesie of Enterprise Fleet Management.

Fleet Vehicle of the Year Voting Is Live

Finally, one more deadline, thankfully, this one is easier.

Automotive Fleet is proud to present the 2021 edition of the Car, Truck, and SUV of the Year! This annual survey is your chance to weigh in on the best of the best for fleets.

Balloting is live but closes November 11, 2021, so get your vote in today

About the author
Chris Brown

Chris Brown

Associate Publisher

As associate publisher of Automotive Fleet, Auto Rental News, and Fleet Forward, Chris Brown covers all aspects of fleets, transportation, and mobility.

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