Automotive Fleet seeks to facilitate the exchange of different industry voices to discuss today’s challenges. This regular column is designed to provide a platform for fleet professionals to let their voices be heard to their peers and other industry professionals.
Here’s what’s been top of mind for fleet professionals lately:
Alternative to Factory Orders
Great insight Mike Antich with your State of the Fleet Industry video report entitled “Fleet Allocation to Carry Over to MY-2024 Fleet Ordering for Most OEMs.” This means that the best alternative to factory orders for fleets will remain enhanced preventive maintenance for existing vehicles until supply and demand are equalized. Fleets may find that use of telematics will help to reduce wear and decrease idling based on its impact not only to fuel economy, but engine durability. I would be curious what enhanced preventative maintenance practices others have already (or will be) implementing based on the current production dynamics?
Jason Kraus, Director, OEM and Product Management, Mike Albert Fleet Solutions, Cincinnati
Demand to Outpace Supply
Knowing that demand will outpace supply indicates that the supply chain issues will continue for another year or two. There is a lot that goes into managing a fleet and the more you can plan ahead and factory order, the better. Listen to the State of the Industry video report entitled “Fleet Demand Expected to Exceed Vehicle Availability in CY-2023” to hear what Mike Antich has to say about the subject.
Lars Nielsen, Regional VP of Fleet Sales, Mike Albert Fleet Solutions, Jacksonville, Fla.
I read your article about “The 10 Rules to a Successful Upfit” in the December 2022 issue of Automotive Fleet, was great. Upfitting will get more complicated with EV vans and trucks.
Edward Burke, Director, Commercial Sales, Bollinger Motors, Oak Park, Mich.
EV Limitations in Car Rental
The use of EVs in car rental poses a particular issue in that rental companies need to turn around an incoming unit very quickly. Charging a depleted EV doesn’t allow for that. And the needed infrastructure at the rental site is light years behind the retail market.
Paul Kasbar, Commercial Fleet Account Manager, Volvo Car USA, San Rafael, Calif.
EVs Need Infrastructure
EVs are great. But they are of no benefit until we have an infrastructure to support them. Just look at California. We constantly have rolling brownouts. Until we resolve these issues EVs are not the answer. I bought my first EV in 1990 and we needed an infrastructure strategy then and we need one now more than ever. Vehicles are nothing more than a tool to complete a job. Like cordless tools, EVs are useless without access to power to charge them.
Much of the existing EV infrastructure has been used sporadically due to the vacillating EV market. Many EV charging stations have not been maintained sufficiently. And again there is not a unified infrastructure strategy to ensure the existing and new infrastructure is in operating condition.
We need leaders in D.C. that know what they’re doing to get out front of this technology and just stop talking about it.
President Biden says high fuel prices are the transition to EVs. Tell that to the single moms who can’t afford an EV or have recently spent their savings for an EV on high gas prices. Every manager knows you can’t make a radical and complex change without a clear and detailed strategy.
Sorry. But I have opinions. Tired of talk. It’s time for real leadership on this issue. I would prefer government not be responsible for the infrastructure strategy. I would prefer to see the free market economy with entrepreneurs be responsible to drive this initiative. Obviously like many other projects government has shown they’re incapable to get this moving forward. If and when EVs capture the hearts and minds of the consumers, they will become ubiquitous like iPhones and androids. But consumers need the why. And government can’t force the why. Not everyone trusts the government.
Colonel Steven W. Saltzgiver BSBM, MAOM, CAFS, VMRS, RTA: The Fleet Success Co., Salt Lake City
Catalytic Converter Thefts
The only way to stop catalytic converter theft will be to disallow any legal transaction between the sellers who most likely stole it, and any parts selling outfit. The only reason it happens is the thieves get money (albeit peanuts), and the parts dealer either accumulate the exotic metals or resell it for thousands. Once VIN numbers are etched on the catalytic converters the law should be such that no one can get paid for defaced catalytic converter.
Phil Schreiber, Fleet Consultant, Bloomfield, Conn.