Essential Fleet Manager Issue 6 (2023)

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Special feature:

Fleet Decarbonisation In the Spotlight: Defra

with Dale Eynon, Director Defra Group Fleet Services

The Fleet Interview: Flagship Group

with Andy Fordham, Operations Manager – Payroll and Fleet

Industry Insight : Costain

with Jamie Colquhoun, Transport Energy Advisor

ISSUE 6 2023

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For Fleet professionals working within the Essential Fleet sector Local Authorities NHS Healthcare Providers Police Authorities

Fire Authorities Government Departments Government Agencies Housing Associations

Utilities Infrastructure Management Contractors Facilities Management #essentialfleets @FleetManager_UK

Essential Fleet Operator is published by Essential Fleet Group Ltd Registered Office: 128 City Road, London. EC1V 2NX. Company Registration Number: 12345195


Essential Fleet Manager - Issue 6 (2023) Welcome to Issue 6 2023 of Essential Fleet Manager Magazine, published for fleet professionals that operate the vehicle fleets that support the UK’s essential services. We’ve always been committed to providing the great advice and workable solutions that assist in meeting the ever greater demands on compliant, efficient and environmentally responsible operations and this issue is no exception. Essential Fleet Manager is available in a free to view digital edition or printed paid-for subscription. We have published a great number of Fleet Insight Interview features over the last few years and if you would like to be featured, to highlight your achievements and to share ideas with your industry colleagues, please get in touch. For more information please email Regards, Debbie Cheadle - Editor

In this issue 06 - 07

12 - 13

16 - 18

34 - 37

In the Spotlight I Defra Fleet Strategy Dale Eynon has been leading the fleet team at The Environment Agency since 2005 and with the added responsibility of all parts of DEFRA since 2017. Not surprisingly, the government department with overall responsibility for the environment is under significant scrutiny to ensure that its own operations are as sustainable as possible and Dale explained to Essential Fleet Manager how plans were originally set in place, how they were challenged by global issues and how the road ahead is being managed.

Industry Insight I Shell Essential Fleet Manager Magazine spoke with Thomas de Boer, Vice President, Commercial Road Transport (CRT) at Shell to explore the key challenges and the initiatives available to help address these challenges faced by operators.

Fleet in Focus I Flagship Group In common with commercial vehicle fleets, there are now plans and targets to decarbonise and bring the greatest efficiencies to the car fleet and Essential Fleet Manager Magazine spoke with Andy Fordham, Operations Manager – Payroll and Fleet at Flagship Group to see exactly how this is being achieved.

Industry Insight I Costain High on the list of any large industrial operator, is the impact of its transport, plant and employee mobility needs and Essential Fleet Manager sat down with Jamie Colquhoun, Costain’s Transport Energy Advisor who spoke about how not only how the civil engineering giant is working towards demanding targets in reducing emissions, but also how expertise and learnings are now being provided to other organisations to set out their road maps to decarbonisation.

Essential Fleet Manager Magazine is owned and published by: Essential Fleet Group Ltd I The Essential Fleet Group Ltd’s other title is: Essential Fleet Operator Find all the latest Sector and Industry news on: Follow Us: @FleetManager_UK MAILING LIST & CIRCULATION If you would like to join our digital mailing list please visit for further details. FEATURES & EDITORIAL To submit editorial or news for consideration to appear in Essential Fleet Manager, please send to: Debbie Cheadle I

ADVERTISING If you would like a copy of the media pack for any of our titles please contact: Mark Cheadle I The views expressed by contributors are not necessarily those of Essential Fleet Group Ltd. Every effort is made to ensure the content of Essential Fleet Manager Magazine is accurate. Information is published in good faith, but no responsibility can be accepted for loss or inconvenience arising from error or omission. Contributors must ensure that all material submitted is not in breach of copyright. While every care is taken with submitted material, no responsibility can be accepted for loss or damage.

Essential Fleet Group Ltd 128, City Road, London. EC1V 2NX Company Reg No: 12345195 All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any form without prior permission from the copyright owner.

© Essential Fleet Group Ltd 2023

Essential Fleet Manager p 03

Transport Law Updates I Ashtons Legal

By: Tim Ridyard, Partner Transport and Regulatory, Ashtons Legal.

What is the ULEZ? Since 8 April 2019, there has been a charge to drive within areas of central London known as the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ). Its purpose is to improve air quality. In order to help further improve the quality of the air in London, the ULEZ has expanded across all of the London boroughs as of 29 August 2023. Transport for London (TfL) contends that road traffic is the single biggest contributor of nitrogen dioxide. Most vehicles are exempt, but if a vehicle does not meet the ULEZ emission standard, there is a daily charge of £12.50 (most vehicles) or £100 (goods and other vehicles over 3.5 tonnes and buses or coaches over five tonnes) to enter the Zone. The ULEZ: • affects all vehicles • operates all day, every day of the year, except Christmas Day • does not replace the Low Emission Zone (LEZ) that covers most of Greater London and is operational 04 p Essential Fleet Manager

24 hours day, every day of the year •

is in addition to any £11.50 Congestion Charge (that operates 0700 to 1800 hours Monday to Friday)

imposes penalty charges of £160 for non-compliant cars/small vehicles and £1,000 for large vehicles (£80 and £500 if paid within 14 days).

Transport for London states: “Londoners are developing life-changing illnesses such as cancer, asthma and lung disease, and there is a higher risk of dementia in older people. Air pollution even contributes to the premature death of thousands of Londoners every year. It’s not just a central London problem. In fact, the greatest number of deaths related to air pollution occur in outer London areas. That’s why the ULEZ has expanded across all London boroughs.” Vehicle standards and ULEZ emissions standards The TfL state that currently, nine out of 10 cars already driving in outer London already meet the ULEZ emissions standards. •

Cars: the minimum emission standard is Euro 4 for petrol vehicles

(generally ones first registered with DVLA after 2005) and Euro 6 for diesel vehicles (generally ones first registered with DVLA after September 2015). So drivers of diesel cars will be particularly affected, unless they have a car of less than about four years old. •

Vans, minibuses etc: the same emission standards apply. All new diesel vans sold w.e.f. September 2016 should meet Euro 6 standard, and all petrol vans registered at DVLA w.e.f. January 2006 should meet Euro 4.

Larger vehicles (i.e. goods vehicles over 3.5 tonnes and buses/coaches with more than eight passenger seats over five tonnes gvw): Euro VI standard has to be met – these are normally ones registered at DVLA after 2014.

Motorcycles, mopeds etc: these must meet Euro 3 standards (normally registered after July 2007.

You can check if your vehicle meets the standards online at https://www.

Ashtons Legal I Transport Law Updates

Discounts and exemptions: Some drivers and vehicles qualify for at least a temporary 100% discount from the Ultra Low Emission Zone charge (ULEZ). Others are entirely exempt. More information can be found at There is also a scrappage scheme to assist those with vehicles that do not comply to dispose of their vehicle and, if they wish, use these funds to purchase a compliant vehicle. Specialist Vehicles/HGV’s In certain specialist business sectors there are modified and purposeadapted vehicles that do not have ULEZ-exempt engines, but can only be rebuilt/adapted on the bodies of ULEZ-exempt vehicles at huge cost. Modification costs may be unaffordable

such that these vehicles must bear constant daily charges. At the same time, there are exemptions to ULEZ charges that include showman’s vehicles which are something of an anachronism but are entirely exempt. In reality, the ULEZ system is geared up to straightforward cars, vans and lorries etc. – not high cost specialist vehicles. Personalised Number Plate Another area where difficulties have been encountered is sometimes in the recognition of vehicles being exempt, where they bear a personalised number plate. Goods operators often buy such plates for their fleet. However, it is vital that the plates and the vehicles align and that penalties are not raised in error. A vehicle that is ULEZ-exempt with personalised plates may trigger penalties that need to be contested and reversed.

Leased Vehicles It will often be the case that the vehicles that incur penalty charges are not being used by the lease company, but rather, the hirer. In order for the leasing/hire company to avoid charges, there must be a proper leasing agreement in place that covers a specific list of criteria (all of which must be fulfilled), for the hirer to be regarded as the user of the vehicle when the ULEZ charge becomes payable. Where vehicles are also lent or hired on a short term basis between any parties, this is an area that needs to be watched, if the vehicle is entering the ULEZ zone and is not for any reason exempt.●

Ashtons Legal advice and representation If you require any advice with regard to Goods and Passenger Operator Licencing, including advice concerning DVSA Investigations, correspondence with the Office of The Traffic Commissioner or Traffic Commissioner Preliminary Hearing/Public Inquiry work, then please get in touch.

Contact: Tim Ridyard, Partner Transport and Regulatory T: 01284 732111 E:

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In the spotlight I Defra Fleet Strategy

Defra Fleet Strategy - driving change with Dale Eynon - Director Defra Group Fleet Services Introduction To place the UK firmly on the road to decarbonisation, it has always been vital that large organisations, especially those within government, provide leadership. This is not only in the sense of setting an ethical example, but also a practical one as challenges are met and solutions delivered. Of course, a large organisation cannot successfully demonstrate that leadership without the skills, experience and commitment of dedicated individuals. Dale Eynon has been leading the fleet team at The Environment Agency since 2005 and with the added responsibility of all parts of DEFRA since 2017. Not surprisingly, the government department with overall responsibility for the environment is under significant scrutiny to ensure that its own operations are as sustainable as possible and Dale explained to Essential Fleet Manager how plans were originally set in place, how they were challenged by global issues and how the road ahead is being managed. Th e I n t e r v i e w Q: What were the original plans and targets for decarbonisation set out in 2020 and how were they affected and modified following the pandemic? The main changes were in relation to the speed at which we were decarbonising our fleet as the new Government requirement was for all vehicles under 3.5T to be zero emitting (at tailpipe) by 2027. This meant we need to change some of our targets to reflect this new and enhanced expectation. We also implemented our new Lease Car Policy which has in effect reduced the number of assets we operate as the Pandemic introduced new ways of working that further reduced our ongoing travel pattern. Q: How did you identify which fleets assets were suitable for electrification? All assets are theoretically suitable for electrification, but we have prioritised on the basis of what is available now and in the near future (cars and vans essentially) and what may come within the next 1-2 years (4x4s and HGVs). We are also looking at electrifying our plant and boat fleet, although this is lower down our list due to the complexity and potential cost of such transformations. Q: Once those assets had been identified, how did you manage the process that ensured that sufficient infrastructure was in place? We have been installing infrastructure for the past 7 years when there were very few pure EVs, but lots of Plug In Hybrid cars starting to appear in the market. As we electrify more of our fleet (currently have around 1000 electric assets on the fleet) we have continued to expand our charging network and are currently on phase 5 of this programme which will see a further 166 charge points installed over the next 18 months. Q: As well as the environmental benefits of zero tailpipe emissions, what are the financial benefits of EVs and over what period will they be realised? Although EVs have a higher purchase price, their running costs are much lower both in terms of service, maintenance and repair costs, but also for running costs depending on where you charge the vehicle (overnight, on site etc). The period of ROI will depend on the mileage you do but over a typical 5-6 cycle the xx 06 p p Essential Essential Fleet Fleet Manager Manager

total cost of operating should be lower for EVs. Q: It is now accepted that there are, at times, severe constraints within supply chains that negatively affect vehicle acquisitions. How are you meeting this challenge and integrating the transition to EVs into established annual replacement programmes? Build and delivery times for cars and commercials is now beginning to improve and as such many new assets can now be ordered and delivered within an annual replacement programme. Previously, we have had to bulk order vehicles some 12-18 months in advance and share the risk of this as best as we can with OEMs and Leasing companies. Q: How are the E-LCVs being funded and could you explain the benefits of capitalising leases? We have moved away from outright purchase of E-LCVs at the moment in favour of a contract purchase route with our Leasing partner (Novuna). This still allows us to use capital under IFRS16 accounting rules, but gives us a speedier route to market (beneficial when supply is limited) and the option to change assets more quickly, at a low cost, if technological advances have made dramatic steps forward in terms of E-LCVs. Q: Many vital services provided by The Environment Agency are supported by vehicles that do not currently have viable EV equivalents. Could you describe the operational demands of these services and why the vehicles in these environments must, for now, remain ICE powered? Our main challenge to decarbonise our vehicle fleet is the lack of viable fully electric 4x4 utility pick up vehicles. We require towing capabilities of up to 3-3.5t as our incident response may involve moving strategic equipment (pumps, generators etc) to remote off-road areas where 4x4 capability combined with high ground clearance is essential. We have trialled the Maxus 2 WD pick up variant, which is suitable for some of this work but does not have the full off-road capability or towing capacity at the moment. We also need to procure around 7-800 of these vehicles over the next 4 years so a good supply of fully compliant electric 4x4 vehicles remains a challenge. Q: When working towards strict targets, how important is regular engagement with vehicle OEMs and other suppliers so that not only current plans can be executed, but also so that modifications can be made for the future?

Defra Fleet Strategy I In the spotlight

We can only achieve our ambitious targets for a zero emitting vehicle fleet, by working in partnership with OEMs and other suppliers. By regularly engaging with the supply chain, we can both gain insight into what is being planned as well as influencing the operational design capabilities that will ultimately help us achieve our aims. We are not the only market for this product so working with other large fleets will enable OEMs to see the size of the prize and the likely forward demand that the UK has in this market. Q: Are you confident that zero emission technologies will be developed for all vehicle types in the near future and are there other alternatives that might provide medium term solutions? I’m confident that there will be credible zero carbon emitting vehicles in most fleet categories, barring the very niche applications, in the next few years as there are already such products available in other world markets already and these simply need scaling up and adapting to the UK market. We don’t see many alternative mid-term solutions are present, but this is a rapidly changing market and I’m always happy to be surprised. Keeping in touch with OEMs and the general marketplace should keep you up to date on new developments. Q: In addition to the challenges of acquiring EVs that are fit for purpose, what steps need to be taken to ensure that drivers are properly trained and therefore able to gain the greatest benefit from the technology? Drivers need to be shown how positively different an E-LCV is compared to an ICE equivalent. We do this in several ways. Firstly, we have a large volume of on-line materials (ranging from videos to information sheets etc.) available to drivers who are due an EV in the next 6 months. We combine this with tailored information and awareness sessions for drivers as well as the use of EV champions who are already using such vehicles. The overall message is that EVs are better and easier to drive, have sufficient range and infrastructure for them to undertake their duties and importantly make a huge contribution to combatting the climate emergency. Q: With a large, diverse fleet that now has a large and growing number of EV assets, how are you managing SMR requirements and avoiding unplanned Vehicle Off Road Time? Is there a shortage of skills that is impacting on large operators? The number of SMR providers that can support EVs (subject to the recent Rivus announcement) is generally growing, but needs to keep pace with the exponential growth of these assets on UK roads. The good news is that generally they need less SMR services and can often be fixed or upgraded via over the air software mechanisms. Q: In your leadership roles over the last few years, how important have you found effective, clear and honest communication to be in driving positive change? There is no such thing as too much communication as the big issue is changing the culture around the use of electric vehicles, and myth busting a whole range of issues that are often raised by new EV drivers. Once you’ve got a driver to try an EV, they are more often than not, hooked for life so communication on the benefits along with real world trials of this new(ish) technology is an absolute must. We have had to put more resource into this area of work but it is now paying back in a big way.●

100% Electric Welfare Van

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Incident Command Unit

100% Electric Tipper Essential Fleet Manager p xx 07

Sector News

Veolia implements first UK approved technician training scheme for electric vehicles By leading the way in training to support EV technology the scheme will address the shortage of qualified electric vehicle technicians to help the decarbonisation of vehicle fleets To address the anticipated shortfall of 16,000 EV trained vehicle technicians by 2032, Veolia, and training specialists, Autotech Training, have now implemented the first Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) approved qualifications for the company’s workshop teams. Recognised by the IMI, electric vehicle manufacturers Dennis Eagle, and the Health and Safety Executive, this new qualification will enable technicians to work safely on all aspects of high voltage systems associated with the latest EVs. Transitioning to new technologies and operating practices that cut CO2 and other emissions is a key part of decarbonisation of vehicle fleets, but the 08 p Essential Fleet Manager

growing shortage of qualified vehicle technicians able to work on the latest electric vehicles means training needs to be accelerated to meet operational needs. With vehicle maintenance essential to support Veolia’s existing operations that already use over 200 EV, completion of the training courses will provide upskilling of technicians and enable them to work safely on live high voltage vehicle electrical components. Working in partnership with Veolia, the full course has been tailored exclusively by Autotech Training, with Dennis Eagle, and incorporates three stages including IMI Levels 2 and 3 Heavy Vehicle Electric/ Hybrid training, and Dennis Eagle’s own eCollect training course. Technicians will

gain the knowledge and skills required to work on heavy electric and hybrid vehicles and will be fully qualified to carry out operational and repair activities including replacing parts. This can include vehicles that may have damage to their high energy systems, and ensures every technician is safeguarded against the dangers of working on, or around EVs. Commenting on this UK first , Gary ClarkVeolia Fleet Director UK&I said: “As we look to achieve a net zero fleet by 2040, we know that maintenance is vital, and to keep our electric vehicle fleet operational we need to have fully staffed workshops that can keep vehicles on the road to make full use of them.

“Keeping and expanding this skilled workforce, and offering varied career paths, has required a multi-faceted approach covering training and upskilling existing team members, and providing apprenticeships for the teams of the future. This first of its type training course will add to our ability to support a rapidly growing number of EV, enhance safety, and further the decarbonisation of our self- managed fleet. It is a great opportunity for our fleet technicians to learn new technology whilst already maintaining a variety of different vehicles, and by training 40 of our technicians we are ensuring we can deliver a zero carbon future fleet. “ Alistair McCrindle, Head of Operations for Autotech Training, added. “We are delighted to be working with Veolia and Dennis Eagle to upskill their network of vehicle technicians with electric/ hybrid training. Having the knowledge to service and repair vehicles with high voltage systems is vital, not only from a technical view but from a safety perspective and Veolia are putting the safety of their

Sector News

technicians first. ” The training will add to Veolia’s fleet decarbonisation which supports the company’s aim to become the benchmark for ecological transformation, by tackling climate change, resource depletion, biodiversity collapse, and

pollution. By expanding the use of existing and developing new solutions, the company is changing patterns of production and consumption and placing ecology at the heart of every process.● Visit

ELECTRIFYING YOUR FLEET? THE SAFETY OF YOUR STAFF SHOULD BE YOUR NUMBER ONE PRIORITY! We can provide Electric/Hybrid Vehicle Training (IMI Levels 1-4) at either your own workshop or at our bespoke training suite in Milton Keynes.

Tel: 01234 432981 Email: Web:

Advertorial Feature I Fleet electrification - Quartix

A fleet electrification journey How telematics and AI technology inform fleet procurement decisions at Bridgend County Borough Council Pictured: Denzil Calford, Fleet and Transport Manager As fleets across the UK are making the transition to electric vehicles (EVs), they face the challenge of determining how best to introduce this technology. For Denzil Calford, Fleet and Transport Manager at Bridgend County Borough Council, the answer came in the form of Quartix EVolve, an EV Fleet Management Tool designed to assess fleet utilisation and produce an EV recommendation tailored to your fleet. Quartix EVolve: an EV fleet planning tool Quartix EVolve is a sophisticated tool that combines telematics data and AI technology to create an EV transition plan uniquely suited to your fleet’s activity and needs. With comprehensive analysis and recommendations, EVolve enables fleet managers like Denzil to confidently make data-driven decisions around fleet procurement, electrification, and charging infrastructure. How does EVolve create a recommendation? EVolve takes a four-step approach to producing a tailored EV fleet transition plan. It does this by: 1.

Analysing your fleet telematics data: Quartix EVolve reviews your fleet’s existing usage patterns and mileage data, taking into account which vehicles are used at certain times of day, when and where the vehicles stop, and for how long.


Identifying vehicles to transition: The tool can pinpoint which vehicles are the most viable candidates for electrification based on their activity trends, fuel consumption, and other crucial factors.


Specifying charging requirements: EVolve assesses the charging needs

10 p Essential Fleet Manager

of your fleet based on its operations, locations, and logistics, and provides suggestions for the most suitable chargers at your premises or remote sites. 4.

Calculating the benefits: As part of the analysis, EVolve shows the Total cost of Ownership for the suggested EV fleet, and illustrates the potential cost savings. In addition to the financial benefits, EVolve presents the associated emission reductions, helping you build a strong business case for adopting EV technology.

Bridgend County Borough Council’s Approach

“Quartix EVolve has completely altered the view we have of our fleet and how we can transition to electric vehicles. We can see how our vehicles are utilised, when and where they are parked up, and what charging infrastructure we need at those locations.” Denzil Calford, Fleet and Transport Manager at Bridgend County Borough Council, shares how adopting Quartix EVolve, along with the Quartix vehicle tracking system, has revolutionised the council’s approach to vehicle utilisation, fuel efficiency and, importantly, fleet decarbonisation. Transitioning to an electric fleet Managing a fleet of vehicles for both Bridgend County Borough Council and South Wales Police requires careful planning and consideration, as Denzil explains, “The migration to electric vehicles involves a number of issues. We need to assess the infrastructure capacity within the Borough and evaluate the

vehicle technology.” To address these challenges, Bridgend County Borough Council turned to EVolve, Quartix’s powerful EV fleet management tool. “The EVolve data helped us generate our capital program for the next 7 years and align with the Welsh Assembly guidance on decarbonisation”, says Denzil. Gaining fleet insights EVolve’s ability to interpret fleet telematics data and supply a tailored transition plan has yielded several benefits for Bridgend CBC. By leveraging EVolve’s reports, the council gained valuable insights into its fleet operations and has been able to optimise fleet utilisation. Running the EVolve fleet analysis over a period without substantial holiday seasons gave Denzil a realistic representation of the Bridgend fleet activity. “We now understand how our vehicles are being used, where they are being used, and the exact infrastructure to deploy to support their activity”, says Denzil. Informed procurement decisions EVolve’s insights led Denzil to reconsider the battery technology and vehicle choices for the Bridgend CBC fleet. “Through looking at the EVolve reports, we realised that 50-kilowatt battery vehicles are actually sufficient for our fleet, which has created substantial cost savings”, says Denzil. “With the powerful insights provided by EVolve, we have been able to make informed decisions, optimise vehicle utilisation, reduce costs, and align our operations with our decarbonisation goals.”

Fleet electrification - Quartix I Advertorial Feature

Pictured: Evolve screens

Wider benefits of the telematics system The Quartix telematics system offers a range of advantages for Bridgend County Borough Council. Denzil uses the system’s reports to collaborate with other departments within the council, enabling them to optimise operations and meet demand more effectively.

“It’s a great platform - it allows me to look at the here and now. We can see which vehicles are in a particular location. We can help departments to utilise the fleet data and alter practices, so that the fleet is used in the most efficient way” The council has also achieved notable improvements in fleet performance through acting upon the insights from the Quartix reports, resulting in substantial cost savings. For example, lowering the speed limiters on the fleet vehicles has proven beneficial, considering that only a small portion of roads within the borough permits a speed limit of 70mph. “We’ve been able to capture fuel benefits and our insurance claims have gone down. It’s about the wider capabilities of the Quartix system and what it can do for your fleet”, says Denzil.

Navigating the road to zero As fleets look to reduce their carbon footprint and embrace sustainable alternatives, Quartix EVolve offers an innovative, data-driven solution to overcome the various challenges associated with transitioning to electric vehicles. With its intelligent recommendations and bespoke procurement planning, Quartix EVolve is the key to creating a sustainable fleet while lowering operational costs. Refresh your recommendation as often as you need to ensure it is derived from the latest information. Evolve scans newly available EV models, current public charging infrastructure, factors in the latest legislative changes including incentives, and much more. This data is regularly refreshed, meaning your recommendation is always up to date. Whether you want to understand more about your options, replace your entire fleet, or make gradual changes, EVolve lets you monitor the cost-effectiveness as well as technical feasibility of moving to EV alternatives, and does all the work of fetching and analysing data. ●

Get in touch with Russell Olive, Head of EV at Quartix, to learn more about EVolve - the ultimate EV Fleet Management Tool.


07436 233850

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Industry Insight I Journey to net zero - Shell

Industry Insight: Exploring the key challenges for the heavy-duty transport sector in its journey to net zero With Thomas de Boer, Vice President, Commercial Road Transport (CRT), Shell. Introduction Many heavy-duty vehicle fleet managers have been stuck in a holding pattern, wanting to stay ahead of the competition, but also not wanting to step forward without certainty. They’ve been held back by concerns around access to fastcharging, scalable technology and infrastructure across key transport and freight routes. Essential Fleet Manager Magazine spoke with Thomas de Boer, Vice President, Commercial Road Transport (CRT) at Shell to explore the key challenges and the initiatives available to help address these challenges faced by operators. Interview Q: With the UK government pledging to end the sale of new, non-zero emission heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs) weighing 26 tonnes and under by 2035 and plans for all new HDVs sold in the UK to be zero emission by 2040. Operators of HDVs within the UK are under pressure to decarbonise their fleets, at pace. What do you see are the key challenges for fleet managers to transition towards a net-zero fleet? Generally speaking, there are three key challenges for the heavy-duty transport sector in its journey to net zero: the size of the task; sector fragmentation; and the cost of the transition. 12 p Essential Fleet Manager

When it comes to the size of the sector, we’re talking about 1.65 billion tonnes of goods being moved across the UK each year. That adds up to roughly 153 million heavy-goods vehicle journeys.1 Therefore, finding a solution that can meet the high volume of energy required and available at the right location, at a competitive cost and sustainably generated, is a key challenge– especially if you assume that demand will continue to grow in the years ahead. This feeds into the second issue – fragmentation within the sector. The transport sector is an ecosystem of shippers, hauliers, and service providers characterised by a high degree of outsourcing and subcontracting of trucking capacity. To decarbonise heavy-duty transport, we need a mosaic of solutions to meet the demands of today and tomorrow – using various powertrain technologies, fuels and energy solutions and infrastructure across the country. For a company, such as logistics and shipping, how to decarbonise is a lot to think about, never mind the almost 60,000 road freight transport companies that make up the UK’s transport/freight industry. 2 These different low- and zero-emission options will be needed but are at different stages of commercial readiness within the UK, so decisions need to be made about which solution to progress with, and when. And, of course, these solutions come at

a cost. This can be difficult to navigate in a highly competitive sector – especially when there is often a race to the bottom when it comes to pricing. Also, when you factor in the average age of a UK truck – around 10 years – it becomes clearer that fleets need clarity around the solutions available before committing to these at the right time.3 Q: With advances in emerging technologies for the CRT sector, it can be somewhat confusing for operators to know which decarbonisation route is the right for their fleets. Do you think a more cohesive or managed approach is needed to help the UK’s heavy-duty transport sector transition to net-zero? Unfortunately, this is a situation that many markets find themselves in, not just the UK. But yes, a cohesive and well-managed approach will be vital to ensuring the entire sector can transition purposefully and competitively. At Shell, we believe that widescale collaboration and policy can do more than overcome these challenges – it can help turn them into opportunities. Collaboration, because it is becoming increasingly clear that no company can achieve decarbonisation alone. Therefore, we believe that if the world is to shift to a net-zero future, it is not just a question about supply, but it is equally vital to reform energy demand at the same time. If companies all move at different paces, and go in different

directions, then we simply won’t reach our destination on time. Policy plays a vital role too. Clear, long-term and supportive policies can make innovative, low-carbon transport solutions more economically viable, helping to increase the speed of the transition. That’s why we work with customers, transport companies, truck manufacturers, investors, and governments to identify profitable pathways that can address emission reduction in the road freight sector. Ultimately, these two factors must work in tandem to be effective. For instance, voluntary action and sector initiatives will drive innovation. In turn, this can support policy makers to encourage larger-scale adoption across the sectors. It’s vital that we keep collaborating across the ecosystem to accelerate progress. Q: How can Shell’s CRT business support fleet operators looking to transition their heavy-duty fleets towards net-zero, today? For the Shell CRT business, our actions in the heavy-duty transport space serve two key, interlinked decarbonisation needs – those of the industry, and those of our own. These allow us to work towards the energy transition, while contributing to our own target of becoming a net-zero-emission energy business by 2050. This means continuing to transform our business by working with others to address emission reduction in their businesses.

Journey to net zero - Shell I Industry Insight

That way, we can help transform the sector, market by market. So, what do these pathways look like? And how do they ladder up to CRT’s longer-term, overarching decarbonisation strategy? For one, they take the form of reducing emissions from our own operations, as well as from the fuels and other energy products that we sell to our customers. Finally, it requires altering our product portfolio over time to serve the evolving needs of our customers, and their businesses. For customers, there is a mosaic of solutions to choose from: • Biofuels – such as Shell Renewable Diesel or Shell BioLNG - helping customers lower emissions, without compromising on performance. Can be blended with traditional fuels or used as a drop-in fuel without the need for expensive vehicle modification or infrastructure investment. • Electrification – being well suited for vehicles covering around 250km a day, especially on fixed routes, battery technology already offers a competitive solution and will improve as technology, infrastructure and policy develops. • Hydrogen – while still in development, offers near-diesellevel range, power and refuelling speeds, making it particularly suitable for trucks that carry heavy goods over long distances.

Technologies and tools – including data-driven solutions like telematics to route optimisation capabilities, which allow customers to manage their fleet as efficiently and effectively as possible. Q: Can you briefly talk to us about some of Shell’s CRT UK-based electric vehicle (EV) initiatives? Yes, of course. There are two worth discussing. The first is at Felixstowe, Suffolk, where we have agreed to open our first heavy-goods EV site in Q1 of 2024, subject to landlord approvals and Distribution Network Operators (DNO) capabilities. The aim is for this site to have up to five 350kW charge points, which we will assess for upgrading to 1MW based on customer demand. The second is at Markam Moor, in Retford Nottinghamshire, where we are also assessing whether we can install 1MW charging equipment. The dates for this initiative are not yet confirmed, but we are hoping for completion in Q1 or Q2 of next year. Shell CRT is focusing on public charging and fast charging capabilities across key UK locations. More generally, at Shell we are aiming for 90% of all passenger car drivers in the UK to be within 10 minutes of a Shell public EV charge point by 2030, and globally, we expect the number of public charging points we have to increase from more than 40,000 today, to around 70,000 by 2025, and 200,000 by 2030.

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Essential Fleet Manager p 13

Supplier Insight I HGV Safety - Venson

Driving forward HGV safety As Transport for London tightens its HGV permit scheme Venson Automotive Solutions offers timely advice to commercial fleet operators nationwide to help reduce road risk As the transport sector prepares for Transport for London’s (TfL) new Direct Vision Standard (DVS) based HGV safety rules to come into force in October 2024, Venson Automotive Solutions is calling HGV fleet managers nationwide to review and update safety and compliance measures to reduce risks for all road users, not just those in Greater London. In a move to eradicate death and serious injury in the UK’s capital caused by HGVs over 12 tonnes, TfL is revising its permit scheme so that new vehicles must have a three-star DVS rating or be fitted with a range of safety systems. Comments Simon Staton, Client Management Director for Venson, “TfL’s new HGV permit scheme, which focuses on maximising how much the driver can see directly through the vehicle’s cab windows of the area around the vehicle where collisions are most likely to take place, will go some way in reducing avoidable collisions. “As HGVs have the highest rate of other road user fatalities per passenger mileii than any form of transport, operators of commercial fleets should always have an eye on all safety implications, with prevention being the best form of protection. Commercial fleet operators who communicate well with their drivers and implement daily checks to increase safety can go a long way to reducing their road risks.” The UK’s shortage of HGV drivers and knock-on pressure to deliver stock in the fastest possible time increases the burden on fleet operators and drivers themselves. Nevertheless, a driver is legally responsible for the vehicle they are driving on the road and should carry out a basic roadworthiness check each day, or at the start of a new shift. These include 14 p Essential Fleet Manager

checking lights, tyres, wheel fixings, bodywork, trailer coupling, load and other equipment, as suggested by government guidelines. Along with daily walkaround checks, HGVs are subject to annual MOT inspections with the first being due just 12 months after the vehicle was first registered. Trailers with an unladen weight exceeding 1,020kg and featuring their own powered braking systems must also pass an annual inspection each year, again from 12 months after original sale. Continues Simon Staton, “The economy is placing significant pressure on fleet operators and drivers, but safety cannot afford to slip through the net and every city in the UK needs to be safeguarded. In the event of an accident, a company must be able to prove that it has taken all necessary precautions to ensure that their vehicles remain in the safest possible condition. It’s also worth remembering that not only the police but the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) have the power to stop and inspect vehicles when they are on the road if they feel they may fall short against standards. Ultimately though, while commercial fleets are concerned about business continuity, these simple safety checks can do so much more than keep a company running, they play a vital role in keeping death and serious injury off the road network.” Six steps towards HGV safety and compliance 1. Drivers must carry out checks to lights, tyres, wheel fixings, bodywork, trailer coupling, load and other

equipment daily. 2.

All defects must be reported whether minor and easily rectifiable or major, rendering the vehicle off-road until repairs can be made.


All safety and roadworthiness inspections and maintenance records must be documented and kept by companies for a minimum of 15 months.


Drivers must also ensure that their Tachograph cards are downloaded each week with records kept by the company for two years.


Ancillary equipment such as mounted forklifts, tail-lifts, loading cranes and fridges will also have their own need for inspections and servicing to keep them in a safe and efficient working order.


Digital tachographs must be fully recalibrated after any changes to the vehicle registration number, after having any significant work carried out and/or every two years regardless.●

Venson Automotive Solutions white paper, Operating Commercial Vehicles Beyond 3.5t GVW covers all the major areas of registration and on-going maintenance that fleet and transport managers need to consider. Read it here: uploads/2021/02/OperatingVehiclesBeyond3.5t_Final-274-2020-0.pdf

Ringway Jacobs enhances driver welfare and protection with integrated videoenabled lone worker service Ringway Jacobs, a leading highway services provider, has improved levels of safety and fleet risk reduction, as well as increasing the support provided to its drivers, following the adoption of an industry-first, videoenabled lone worker protection service. Earlier this year, the company completed the roll-out of the integrated technology solution from Peoplesafe and SureCam, which is designed to safeguard its team of drivers and gain added peace of mind across the fleet operation.

Peoplesafe I Supplier News

Ringway Jacobs needed a personal safety solution for its highway inspection team – responsible for walked, visual inspections of footways and carriageways – that offered added protection above and beyond a traditional dashcam. All too often, these operatives are seen as the ‘face’ of the highway authority and in danger of violent and abusive behaviour from road users. Meanwhile, they are frequently working in remote locations, so face higher risk from slips, trips and falls, as well as traffic collisions both inside moving vehicles and at the roadside. The video-enabled lone worker service integrates the Peoplesafe Pro smartphone app with SureCam’s video telematics platform to provide drivers with a quick and easy way to request assistance. It supports the driver both in and outside the vehicle, something not possible with any standard in-cab SOS button function device. This means real-time data can be sent to a designated alarm receiving centre (ARC) to enable proactive management of emergency situations. Drivers simply scan a QR code using the Peoplesafe mobile app to register their unique user ID, which confirms who is driving the vehicle. This automatically enables controllers in the Peoplesafe ARC

to access audio communication along with supporting video footage captured from cameras fitted on 163 Ringway Jacobs vans and specialist vehicles, as well as incident data, when an alarm is raised. The added audio and visual insight also ensures that the most appropriate action is taken quickly, efficiently and safely, with immediate access to emergency services if required. David Bonehill, Head of Fleet at Ringway Jacobs commented: “Health, wellbeing, and safety are at the heart of everything we do, so our aim is to always provide a safe working environment for our employees. This latest initiative, developed with our valued partners at Peoplesafe and SureCam, has not only increased compliance of our lone worker processes, but also extended and enhanced the levels of protection we can provide our drivers.” Naz Dossa, CEO of Peoplesafe said: “We have taken our existing lone worker solution to the next level through this intelligent partnership with SureCam that places the end user first. The most significant impact we have seen is the peace of mind it provides to both employers and employees, making it an attractive proposition to those fleet operations, such as Ringway Jacobs, that prioritise people’s safety and welfare.”●

If you require further information, please visit:

Essential Fleet Manager p 15

The Fleet Interview I Flagship Group

The Fleet Interview: Flagship Group with Andy Fordham, Operations Manager – Payroll and Fleet Introduction With over 30,000 properties, Flagship Group is one of the largest social housing providers in the East of England. As well as a large maintenance fleet operated by Flagship Services supporting these homes, Flagship Group runs separately, a large fleet of passenger cars, mostly to provide essential mobility for key employees such as Housing Officers. In common with commercial vehicle fleets, there are now plans and targets to decarbonise and bring the greatest efficiencies to the car fleet and Essential Fleet Manager Magazine spoke with Andy Fordham, Operations Manager – Payroll and Fleet at Flagship Group to see exactly how this is being achieved.

Picture for illustration purposes only

The Interview Q: What is the current size of the car fleet and the breakdown of end-user categories? As a Group we currently run a fleet of 276 cars. The majority of our vehicles are sourced via contract hire on 48 month fully maintained leases, and we pay a monthly benchmark value towards sourcing each vehicle. There are four company car categories: 1. Essential business users where a vehicle is intrinsic to their role – 123 cars 2. Essential business users of Team Leader or equivalent status where a vehicle is intrinsic to their role – 105 cars 3. Senior Managers – 16 cars 4. Directors and Heads of Service – 32 cars We try and match the lease to the number of miles that the vehicle will complete over the 48 month period, so we source vehicles on 10,000, 15,000 and 20,000 a year contracts, with different benchmark levels for each mileage value. Could you also break this down into ICE only units, hybrids and full EVs. At the end of July the mix of our fleet was 50 EVs (18.12%), 113 PHEVs (40.94%), 53 Mild Hybrids (20.65%), 34 Diesels (12.32%) and 22 Petrols (7.97%). With the EVs and PHEVs split amongst these manufacturers: 16 p Essential Fleet Manager

















































Range Rover














We have a further 12 EVs and 61 PHEVs on order which will replace some of the ICE vehicles we have.

Q: With a zero-tailpipe emission target of 2027, what are the main challenges in meeting this and how are they being overcome? Winning the ‘hearts and minds’ argument has been one of the biggest challenges, a part from having to know the difference between petrol and diesel, owning and driving an ICE vehicle has been much the same for all of our drivers for the past 40 years. We are now asking them to do something different, and for some that is a genuine worry, that we need to be aware of, and need to do all we can to help them with that transition. Range anxiety has certainly been a concern, our business is spread across rural East Anglia and some of our drivers have to travel 100+ miles a day, and the public charging infrastructure is not as widespread as it is in other areas of the country. So offering drivers the option of a PHEV has been an important part of winning driver confidence, it allows them to get a feel of what it’s like to drive an EV, with the comfort of knowing that they are only ever 15 minutes away from fuel station. A part of our role is to help to demystify EVs, make them real, sell the positive benefits, both for the driver – low tax, remote access, low cost private mileage, the company – reduced Class 1A costs, reduced mileage costs, greener footprint, and the environment – taking 370 tonnes a year of CO2 out of the atmosphere. I’ve been driving an EV for a year now, and not only are they great fun to drive, I find that I am a much more relaxed driver than I used to be. Q: What are the plans surrounding charging infrastructures to ensure that the greatest possible reductions in emissions are achieved by both the EVs and PHEVs on fleet? To support our drivers, for those essential users who can have a home charger fitted, Flagship are committed to paying £850 towards the cost of the installation of a charger. We have partnered with Podpoint to provide the installation service at a discounted rate through a nomination portal. Those drivers who aren’t essential users can still benefit from the discounted Podpoint installation cost, and can choose to repay the cost over 12 months. Flagship Group have also partnered with Mer to install charging units at three of our offices in Norwich, Bury St Edmunds and Woodbridge that provide charging options for all staff at cost price. We are planning to engage with the different local authorities in our area to understand what their charging strategies are, and what their approach is to obtaining support and grants in initiatives such as the Local electric vehicle infrastructure (LEVI) and the On-street residential chargepoint scheme (ORCs).

Flagship Group I The Fleet Interview

And how those plans can have positive outcomes for our drivers; especially those who cannot charge at home. Our aim is to engage with likeminded organisations in our area to see if we can create a regional EV charging club, where each organisation has access to each other’s charging facilities. Q: How are you managing the costs of transitioning to a fully electrified fleet? When we first started to explore the possibility of running a carbon zero company car fleet, it became apparent that significant savings would be achieved from the reduction in Employers Class 1A NI with the dramatically lowered BIK values for EVs, and reduced mileage costs, savings that just weren’t available to commercial vehicles. We produced detailed costings based on the make-up and size of our fleet and increased our benchmarks to allow for the extra cost of EVs and PHEVs, and to fund £850 towards the cost of installing home charging units for all of our essential users, whilst still also delivering a small saving. Since we started our journey, Flagship Group, like everyone else in the fleet world trying to transition to an EV fleet has been hit by the ‘perfect storm’ of a global pandemic, Ukrainian war, energy price increases, semi-conductors shortages etc.; all having a significant impact on cost. We found that our original benchmark increases were not enough to allow drivers access to a choice of vehicles so we have had to increase all benchmarks by a further 10%, and we are still seeing costs rise. Our vehicles are mostly sourced via the Crown Commercial Services (CCS) portal or via The Procurement Partnership (TPPL) as they tend to offer the best manufacturers discounts, although those discounts, in the most part, are less than have been offered previously by manufacturers. At present we are talking to some manufactures who are looking to offer additional support on certain models above and beyond their framework terms, and have deals in place with Hyundai and Skoda. We traditionally lease our vehicles on fully maintained contracts including tyres, but with less moving parts to go wrong, and with less wear on tyres and brakes, through the use of regenerative braking; we are exploring the possibility of taking EVs on customer maintained contracts and not paying any leased maintenance costs in an attempt to reduce costs. Q: How do you plan to manage the costs of charging and how are business miles distinguished from private use? At the moment our model for paying for business mileage for the majority of our EV drivers is the same as ICE cars, the driver incurs the cost and then we reimburse the cost of any business mileage at the relevant HMRC advisory fuel rate (AFR) which from September I am very pleased to see will be increased to10p. It is the same process for PHEV drivers with business mileage costs being reimbursed at the applicable AFR petrol rate for the size of their car. In addition, HMRC do not distinguish between PHEVs and the equivalent ICE vehicle, so if drivers fully utilise their electric charge they can be reimbursed at rate greater than they paid to charge, especially if they have charged at home. Cont’d on page 18...

Essential Fleet Manager p 17

The Fleet Interview I Flagship Group ...cont’d from page 17

We do have some drivers with Fuel cards, both ICE and PHEV drivers. At the moment we don’t offer EV drivers EV charging cards as there are gaps in what charging points can be accessed with different card providers, but we exploring the possibility issuing company credit cards to EV drivers that can only be used at charging stations. We also have PHEV drivers who have normal petrol fuel cards , and the challenge for us is to persuade those drivers to return their fuel cards and claim mileage, because with a normal petrol card there is no incentive for them to utilise the electric engine and charge. But as with our non-fuel card PHEV drivers, because HMRC make no distinction between PHEVs and ICE petrol cars, by charging they can access 60+ electric miles each day and be reimbursed at the higher AFR petrol rate. There is therefore a need we feel, to explore the possibility of using the detailed charging reports produced by smart home charging units to detail the costs spent on home charging and reimbursing staff via these reports, with any private mileage, such as commuting to work etc. being repaid to the company via our self-service payroll portal at the requisite HMRC rate. Q: How do you consult with drivers prior to their choosing an EV to ensure that vehicles best meet the needs of the end user and the business? We have a most wonderful Fleet Team, of Cathy Wilson (manager), Kerri Larner and Rose Rayner who have a great knowledge of the advantages, and on occasions the disadvantages of both EVs and PHEVs. The team will engage with all new drivers or anyone whose lease is due for renewal. They will sit down with them, and will

The Fleet Team, (L to R) Kerri Larner Cathy Wilson (Manager), and Rose Rayner 18 p Essential Fleet Manager

discuss all things EV and PHEV including: what car to choose, what drivers looking to do with the car, how to charge, how many miles they will complete, fitting a home charger etc. They will also explain the leasing process and will manage the drivers expectations with regards to lead times. Q: Do you provide any formal training for drivers before they adopt an EV? At the moment we don’t offer any formal training, although the fleet team is available for any queries and on occasions sitting with our drivers as they drive their automatic EV or PHEV for the first time to help them adjust to driving style required. We are in the process of developing a Centre of Excellence on our company intranet where drivers will be able to access articles, guidance, support and reviews on all things EV and PHEV that will help our drivers get the very best from their cars, and also help new drivers make informed, educated decisions. Q: Does the Salary Sacrifice scheme currently offer a further solution to reducing emissions and risk in all driving activity for work purposes? We have a grey fleet of 94 drivers who we pay a car allowance to drive on company business, currently there is no restriction on the age or emissions of the vehicles they choose to drive. We review annually the cars used, confirming insurance, servicing, MOT etc, but of the 94 cars driven only two are EVs, and 25 are over ten years old. As a part of our commitment to have a zero carbon fleet by 2027 all cash allowance drivers will be required to convert to either an EV company car or select an EV via our salary sacrifice scheme. Not only providing a zero carbon fleet but also ensuring that all cars driven are newer, more efficient models, none older than four years old, are fully maintained, fully insured for business travel and fully serviced. Our salary sacrifice scheme is managed by Tuskers through the CPC Drive framework and is open to all staff, irrespective of whether they are eligible for a company car or cash allowance. Although staff’s private travel and commute to work are not Flagship’s responsibility, but by making EVs more affordable and available to all staff through salary sacrifice scheme, we can help to reduce carbon emissions and provide a real benefit to staff. Q: Once targets have been met in 2027, how do you see the future of employee mobility evolving? It has always been a part of our zero carbon goal to be at a place where anybody moving around at Flagship’s request does so in a carbon neutral way. Whether that is someone moving from one office to another for a meeting, or someone travelling to an external training course. I think we will see challenges around whether the provision of a company car, albeit an EV, is the most effective and efficient way of moving staff around on company business. Certainly in rural East Anglia there are challenges that don’t necessarily exist in other areas of the country with regards accessing other forms of transportation. Over the next two to three years we will be looking at different possibilities including: EV car clubs, EV pool cars, EV Temp hires, and exploring any other zero carbon options that would get us to zero carbon mobility by 2030.

Suuplier Insight I VMoto Soco

Supplier Insight: VMoto Soco with Clive Mann, CEO UK

Introduc tion As Fleet Managers work towards decarbonising operations, there are many challenges that must be met. These will include ensuring that there is sufficient charging infrastructure to support growing EV fleets, reviewing vehicle operations to guarantee that replacement EV assets are fit for purpose and managing complex procurement procedures to keep fleet electrification strategies on track. These challenges, and more, become even more daunting when fleets include larger, specialist assets, but at the other end of the scale, there are solutions that will make a significant difference to less demanding operations, simply, cost effectively, sustainably and with a minimum requirement to adapt. For some operators, there are services that can even be supported by vehicles with fewer than four wheels, in other words motorcycles and mopeds. When these motorcycles and mopeds do not even require refuelling and are powered by portable, easy to charge batteries, the benefit to operators is obvious. Market leading brand VMoto Soco is now setting out on a journey that will see its growing range of E-Mopeds and E-motorcycles make a great contribution to the electrification plans of many of the UK’s fleets, in a simple to apply and easy to manage package of products and services. UK CEO, Clive Mann spent time with Essential Fleet Manager Magazine, to tell us how the company has evolved and how it is developing to meet the needs of fleets in the UK. I nter view Q: Could you describe how VMoto Soco, as a company, has evolved worldwide and in the UK? Vmoto (ASX: VMT) is a world leading, fully integrated, new energy e-mobility solution provider, as a brand owner, designer, manufacturer and distributor of high quality electric two-wheel vehicles and related EV business solutions. It is globally headed up by ex-Honda Sundiro executive Charles Chen and has an extensive worldwide distribution and wholly owned network, which has grown rapidly especially in the last five years. Vmoto Soco UK (since March this year) has taken over operations from the previous UK distributor and is owned in its entirety by the Vmoto International group. The Vmoto brand incorporates 20 p Essential Fleet Manager

many different offerings for customers under its umbrella, from the Super Soco (now Vmoto Soco) B2C everyday focused vehicles, to the premium Vmoto B2C vehicles to the fully B2B fleet focused Vmoto Fleet offering. Q: What does VMoto Soco UK’s direct relationship with the manufacturer mean for fleet customers? As we are owned by the Vmoto group and manufacturer, it gives us exclusive direct access to most importantly better purchasing power and availability. Traditionally the market for electric two wheels, especially in the UK, is distributor led and therefore in simple terms we can cut out the middle and offer a better deal and support set for the end customer. Furthermore, we have faster and more detailed ability for problem solving, R&D and large fleet order financing. Our

stocking ability helps us also to quickly support large or small B2B/fleet offerings. Q: Can you give current examples of fleets that utilise VMoto Soco products and how they are being used? In such an emerging environment the great thing about our offering is the flexibility to adapt to the customer and requirement, we can offer small simple low load food deliveries to large fleet package delivery. In the UK, the delivery environment we have the entirety of the UK Getir (Tottenham Hotspurs shirt sponsor) fleet exclusively use our top selling CPX moped, large amounts of the Dominoes UK and Papa John’s franchises are also utilising the CPX. JUST EAT riders use our VS2 offering. Stuart riders also use our CPX model and we also have Eco delivery partners in HIVED

using our VS1 and CPX model for city package deliveries. The exciting and fast emerging ADMOTO brand exclusively use our CPX for their low-cost rental and marketing options in central London. We also diversify the offering, with many UK councils using our vehicles for both parking attendants, council general use and Wheels to work schemes. We supply through our fleet partners the VS1 model to the largest Parking group in the UK also. Q: Once a fleet has established the tasks that can be carried out by using E-Mopeds and E-Scooters, how simple is it to get the vehicles on board and operational? With our current UK set-up and stock holding it can be as quick as 10days! We can work internally with our customers to tailor the correct solution or alternatively link them in with a suitable partner of ours to support on repair and servicing. We work with market leading fleet support operators such as Graftons, Zoomo and Zenion that have fantastic track records in SLA delivery (something we monitor!). Q: From your current range, which are the products most suitable for fleet operators and what are the plans to extend this range? We have many different offerings to suit the individual customer requirement but currently the UK mainly utilises our 125cc equivalent Vmoto Soco CPX model for its easy to maintain, robust and proven track record. The same with our 125cc Vmoto VS1 model which provides capacity for higher payloads. For those that don’t require as much speed the Vmoto VS2 or F01 50cc equivalent is a great option for city centres. The great news now is that fleets are open to our increasing offerings of the new F01 Fleet model (125 and 50cc options). Not to mention the exciting three-wheel Vmoto VS3 option which has large storage increases for larger use or delivery. With the above models “made for fleet” they really are built for the long term and not the historic re-hash of a B2C model. The release of the Vmoto Fleet brand backs this up and continues our drive for improvement.

Q: What are the range of adaptations that can be applied to standard products, to help them need the specific needs of individual fleets? We have had so many options used and considered, but the tried and tested is of course the varying sizes of rear boxes available, we have front boxes/baskets, side Pannier options and multi diverse large box offering on the VS3. Also crash protection is available. Our Partner ADMOTO has even cleverly used the rear box to utilise screen rotating advertising space! Q: How simple is it to manage charging and what are the day-to-day range capabilities of your E-Mopeds and E-Motorcycles? Depending on fleet sizes and locations, due to the simplicity of the vehicles and removable batteries set-up is simple. Our Getir fleet of 1200 bikes uses a hub system where riders go out, on return to the hub for next pick-up they simply swap out batteries (20seconds!) and go out again. Others utilise the dual battery options and are out all day or all night! Riding sensibly in city on our CPX/ VS1 model for example on a dual battery model will manage around 100miles. Again depending on the customer requirement, we can provide options that suit the individual need and dynamic. Q: Although there are very low demands on maintenance, how would you advise a fleet operator to make sure that vehicles are fully operational for the maximum amount of time, including protecting them from unnecessary wear and tear? Like all their current fleets this is all in the service, storage, and rider impact. Us and our service providers are experienced in this and can advise on each customers requirement easily, but in general it’s a simplified version of what current fleets already manage with their larger vehicles or petrol equivalents, just a LOT LESS moving parts to manage! We can advise and train our customers on anything from which tyres are best to use to all important rider training to ensure they are looking after the vehicles in the best possible way day to day.

Q: Are there plans to offer funding options for larger fleet requirements? Absolutely, unlike our competition as we are part of a larger group, we have this availability and potential for options, from direct finance with us to third party funding options. We can offer and structure purchase and buy back/upgrade options as well as lease/rental agreements through our service partners. Q: How do your brand partnerships, in particular with Ducati, help promote the positive messages needed to grow the business of VMoto Soco UK? Our partnerships such as Ducati Corse, Moto-E, Pininfarina and many more not only give us the ability to develop and grow as a brand quicker through development, but to show the customer the quality and level on which we operate on. Unfortunately, as an emerging industry there can be a lot of poor quality in the market and perhaps short term buy-ins. We as a brand plan to be here for the long term and Vmoto’s partners know, understand and support this and our actions in purchasing distribution in markets like the UK, France, Italy and the Netherlands further back up our intent and re-assurance to the customer, something our competition and the industry is lacking. Q: Do you see the transport culture of the UK changing and leaning more towards low cost, sustainable, twowheel solutions? How do you see the future? We certainly hope so! We love two/ three-wheel transport and the UK in general does not utilise it as much as it should. It serves an easy, safe purpose if set-up and directed properly. The MCIA and industry is lobbying hard to make the transition to two wheels easier and we are at the forefront of this in utilising our standpoint in the market to make it progressive, reliable, and cost effective, whether it is thousand plus fleets or a 16year old new rider getting to college! The future is positive if the UK can understand the benefits, we are certainly here to try and make that a lot easier!●

For further information, please contact: Clive Mann I I Gareth Hughes I or visit:

Essential Fleet Manager p 21

Procurement News I Crown Commercial Service

New Lot for Conversion of Bespoke and Specialist Vehicles replaces Crown Commercial Service’s Vehicle Conversion Dynamic Purchasing System Agreement Crown Commercial Service’s (CCS) Purchase of Standard and Specialist Vehicles agreement (RM6244) allows the central government and wider public sector to buy standard, converted, and specialist vehicles of all sizes, specifications, and fuel types. The agreement provides access to a full range of motor vehicles, which includes vehicles that are both currently available and those that will be developed and brought to market during the term of this agreement. You can also access a wide range of specialist bespoke vehicles and conversion services, such as specification design, body build, testing, and associated maintenance. In addition, you can buy bespoke vehicles from a vehicle manufacturer or a converter, who can make changes to standard vehicles through direct award or

further competition. New lot for conversion of bespoke and specialist vehicles

Using Lot 10 of the agreement, Conversion of Bespoke and Specialist Vehicles, you can buy bespoke and specialist vehicles within the following types/categories:

Public sector fleet teams frequently need to convert their vehicles to be suitable for different operational purposes. While the vehicle manufacturer supports some level of vehicle modification, many vehicle changes require a specialist conversion.

M1 vehicles (Passenger cars)

N1 vehicles: (Light goods vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes),

N2 vehicles (used for the carriage of goods from 3.5 tonnes to 12 tonnes);

In August 2023, CCS’s Vehicle Conversion Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) (RM3814) expired. Lot 10 of CCS’s Purchase of Standard and Specialist Vehicles agreement (RM6244) replaces the expiring Vehicle Conversions DPS.

N3 vehicles (used for the carriage of goods 12 tonnes and above)

ambulances, including accident and emergency double crew and other stretcher-bearing vehicles

bluelight conversions

other services such as design, consultancy, livery, electrical, communications, welfare vehicles, heating, cooling, ventilation, utilities, and drainage●

To view visit: : https://www. RM6244

If you require further information, please contact CCS at or 0345 410 2222. 22 p Essential Fleet Manager

New AFP Project Aims to Create “Definitive Picture” of EV Versus ICE SMR Costs A new project from the Association of Fleet Professionals (AFP) is aiming to create the “definitive picture” when it comes to comparing electric vehicle (EV) service, maintenance and repair (SMR) costs to their internal combustion engine (ICE) equivalents. Paul Hollick chair at the AFP, said that much of the current data and information surrounding the subject was incomplete, inconsistent or contradictory – and that the objective was to cut through the noise to provide something as close as possible to a conclusive guide. “There’s been an assumption ever since EVs started appearing on fleets that their SMR

would be substantially cheaper than petrol and diesel cars and vans because there are fewer moving and wear parts. However, real world data has until recently been in short supply because comparatively few fleets have been operating EVs for any length of time. “Various sources have been issuing what you might call work-in-progress SMR data over the last year or more, providing a snapshot picture of their experiences with EVs but it has been difficult to build a consistent picture. Some are reporting that SMR profiles are cheaper than ICE vehicles, as expected, but others have seen a more complex picture across different models and types of vehicle, especially when it comes to the wear and prices of EV tyres. “This is problematic for fleets because it means that they don’t really have access to information that can show whether what they are spending on EV SMR is broadly consistent with what is being seen across the rest of the fleet sector. They have no way of knowing whether their managerial performance is good, bad or indifferent, and therefore no credible route to benchmarking or developing best practice. “Many businesses are keen to tackle

Industry News

these issues in order to decide whether to bring their EV SMR in-house, something that many of our members appear to be currently considering.” Paul said that now also seemed a good time to look at this situation because a comparatively large amount of SMR EV data was starting to become available. “There are now quite a lot of fleets that now have two, three and even four-yearold electric cars, so we are close to having complete life cycles on which to base our research, showing how EVs stand up to wear and tear over a period of time, and how this impacts on the amount of SMR they need. “We’re not really in that situation with electric vans yet – even the most experienced fleets don’t tend to have many that are much more than a year old – but we’re going to aim to provide as much information as we can in that area. “We’ve appointed an independent consultant to lead the research as soon as possible and produce initial results by the end of September. This is a fleet subject where it seems to us that some kind of definitive picture is very much needed, and the AFP is well positioned to meet that requirement.”●

Essential Fleet Manager p 23

Sector News

Dacia Duster – perfect vehicle for volunteerrun Community First Responder (CFR) operation The Dacia Duster is fast becoming the vehicle of choice for Community First Responders (CFR) following South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) adding six of the robust, dependable, SUVs to its fleet. After its fundraising arm, the South Western Ambulance Charity, successfully secured a £128,000 grant from NHS Charities Together for new CFR vehicles, the Trust opted for the Dacia Duster after being influenced by the positive experiences of South Central Ambulance Charity, which in 2020 bought 40 for use by its Community First Responders. Together with its proven capability and dependability as a CFR vehicle, the value and space of the Dacia Duster were key drivers in the Trust’s purchasing decision. All of its Dusters were specified in Essential trim with the petrol TCe 90 4×2 drivetrain. The Trust’s volunteers will use the Dusters to attend medical emergencies within their local communities, often arriving ahead of an emergency vehicle to 24 p Essential Fleet Manager

administer care and potentially life-saving treatment. Covering the entire South West region, individual Dusters are based in Dorset, Devon, Gloucestershire, Cornwall, Somerset and Wiltshire. Together with full Community First Responder kit, which includes a defibrillator and observation equipment, each Duster also includes a Raizer lifting chair to assist patients who

have had a fall. The Dusters will be operating on the road constantly. In the last 12 months, the Trust’s Community First Responders were mobilised approximately 24,000 times, attending medical emergencies such as: cardiac arrests, chest pains, breathing difficulties and patients who had fallen.

Sector News

In the last 12 months, the Trust’s Community First Responders were mobilised approximately 24,000 times, attending medical emergencies such as: cardiac arrests, chest pains, breathing difficulties and patients who had fallen.

In addition to serving as responder vehicles and attending callouts that can require everything from the provision of life-saving care to simply reassuring a patient, the Dusters will help the Trust in several other ways. These include being a Welfare Support Car, which can be deployed at short notice during periods of extreme pressure to support the welfare of clinical crews, and an Incident Support Car, which sees the Duster used to support Operational staff at major incidents by means of welfare support to clinical crews. Importantly, they will support the training of new volunteers through observer shifts, having the space to allow two Community First Responders to attend an incident together. With their eye-catching and official South Western Ambulance NHS Foundation Trust livery, the Dusters will also serve as Public Engagement Cars. By attending and being recognised at public events,

they will raise awareness of the Trust and the important role that volunteer Community First Responders play. David Sale, the Community Responder Officer for the Dorset region, said: “When the project team evaluated which vehicles would be suitable, the Duster met our requirements and needs. Its competitive cost allowed us to make the grant go as far as possible, while also providing our CFR volunteers with a safe, comfortable and spacious car in which to carry out their role. Having seen how the Duster has performed for South Central Ambulance Service CFRs, we could trust it to be both durable and suitable for the role. A great deal of the area we cover is rural but the 4×2 version is perfectly capable for our requirements and while we have only had the Dusters for a short time, we are already keen to try and add more to our CFR vehicle fleet.” Will Warrender, Chief Executive of SWASFT, added: “The funding received by the South

Western Ambulance Charity is enabling us to better support our volunteer heroes, who, in turn provide incredible support to the communities they serve. The six cars that are being provided through the charity will enable Community First Responders to respond to emergencies across a wider geographic area and support the training of new volunteers through observer shifts.” Luke Broad, Dacia Brand Director for the UK, commented: “The Duster is well-known for its robustness, value and versatility, and it’s great to see that, as well as appealing to thousands of retail customers every year, it’s now fast carving a niche for itself as the perfect and proven Community First Responder Vehicle. It’s clear that the Duster works in every sense for a growing number of Trusts, and we’re exceptionally pleased to see that it’s helping them to optimise their operating costs while enhancing the care that they can provide in their communities.”● Essential Fleet Manager p 25

Sector News Supplier Insight I Venson

Tackling the EV Fleet procurement roadblocks

Fleet vehicle replacement programmes continue to face a multitude of challenges, stalling plans to switch to zero or low emissions alternatives. Simon Staton, Client Management Director at Venson Automotive Solutions (Pictured above), discusses ways in which businesses can access the environmental and financial benefits of electric and hybrid vehicles more quickly, easily and at lower cost. Businesses are under pressure to switch to more environmentally friendly mobility solutions to help them meet emissions targets. For most businesses, vehicle replacement cycles are still typically three to four years, yet the availability and upfront cost of electric vehicles (EVs) can mean transitioning to an electric fleet takes longer. Unfortunately, fleet managers currently find themselves in an environment that requires more agility and responsiveness in managing their fleet, so delays in procurement can have a serious impact. While challenges due to parts shortages and freight challenges did seem to be easing, the issue reared its head again earlier this year with Volkswagen being the latest manufacturer to announce it has been forced to reduce new car production due to supply chain issues. This is another blow for the forwardthinking EV-focused fleet manager. So, what should fleet managers do if they can’t secure the vehicles their business needs, and can they accelerate the process of obtaining equivalents to ICE assets? Ageing fleets One option is to opt for longer leases to delay the inevitable switch. However, this option brings with it the cost and downtime connected with additional MOTs, servicing and tyres, as well as increased wear and tear. Some judicious 26 p Essential Fleet Manager

fleet management can help to keep those overheads to a minimum, making this a viable option in many cases, especially with processes in place to ensure those vehicles with extended leases are fit for purpose and costs are managed effectively. Simple steps like encouraging drivers to carry out weekly checks will help identify minor issues before they become major problems that will take the vehicle off the road for many days or weeks. Some simple examples are chipped or cracked windscreens and worn or damaged tyres. Reported early, issues can be repaired and best pricing secured, avoiding an urgent replacement at any cost. Ultimately though, it is a balance between overall fleet requirements, operational and financial objectives, minimising downtime and satisfying driver need. It is a tricky tightrope to walk, but one that today’s fleet manager is fully equipped to handle. On the road to procuring EVs Although EV lead times are expected to reach around 4 months in the near future, fleet managers looking to add EVs to their vehicle replacement cycles need to start the process at least 12 months in advance, ideally longer, to ensure they have time to produce a replacement schedule and procurement timeline that takes into account key tasks such as the need to agree the correct vehicle specification, the conversion fit

out for vans, managing the charging infrastructure for the fleet, how to handle drivers’ expectations, the operational and financial requirements for the business. Cost is often cited as a reason to delay electrification of fleets. It is true that EVs can have a higher upfront cost, however these can be offset by the long-term financial benefit of lower operating costs, like reduced fuel and maintenance costs as well as avoiding clean air zone and low emission zone charges and the London congestion charge. As well as the various grants and loans available from the Government, EVs can attract preferential Benefit-in-Kind rates which need to be calculated in to the whole-life cost of the vehicle. For the company car driver the current benefitin-kind (BIK) tax regime, which currently imposes tax rates of 1% and 2% from April 2022 for electric cars and is currently fixed until April 2025, can make the change to EV more palatable. The road ahead The next few years will be critical for fleet managers in managing their vehicle replacement programmes as they transition to electric fleets. Whilst some of the barriers that have appeared in the last few years could not have been predicted, fleet managers and decision makers can still be prepared and ensure correct processes are in place when it comes to the procurement and roll-out of a fleet fit for the future.●

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Essential Fleet Manager p 33

Operator Advice I Mitigating Fleet Operational Road Risk

Mitigating Fleet Operational Road Risk Keep your fleet moving this winter with our top tips As we move into winter, fleet and transport managers within the ‘Essential Services’ sector face increasing pressure. Not only to ensure the safety of their drivers but that of their vehicle fleet. Operating in adverse weather conditions brings its own unique challenges, including an increased risk of collisions due to snow and ice and vehicles being stranded having to be recovered. In addition, operatives who take vehicles home may need to deal with un-gritted or blocked roads where they live, and so may be unable to meet the operational demands of your organisation. It is essential therefore, that your fleet and drivers are sufficiently prepared to take on the challenge of the winter months ahead and that your operational capability isn’t going to be limited by adverse weather conditions. 1..Keep it clean Advanced Safety Systems (ADAS) capabilities, such as automatic emergency braking, lane and highway assistance, and driver monitoring, help make our roads safer and save lives, but these systems rely on cameras and sensors which must be kept clean. As the temperature drops and roads are gritted, vehicles will pick up a residue of snow, ice and salt that can block the sensors which could cause them to fail. 28 p Essential Fleet Manager

It is there advisable encourage drivers to keep their vehicles clean at all times. Keeping a vehicle clean can also form part of your preventive maintenance routine and with so many other benefits it shouldn’t be confined to the winter months. If your vehicles are regular cleaned it will also help you to identify any bodywork issues arising from low impact damage and other wear and tear issues. A clean vehicle will also help to maintain a professional corporate image. Location, Location, Location If you have a telematics system installed within your fleet you can access the data mostly in real-time and this will ensure you are keeping track of the location of your vehicles. When a break-down happens this accurate data can also be used to send your own road-side assistance, or that of a provider, to an exact location, saving time and money and ensuring drivers are not left out in the cold for long. 2..Get historical with data If you review historical data or records from your fleet management software for the same period but in the previous year, you can summarise any issues and implement changes for this coming year. For example was there an increased demand for vehicle maintenance, was there a greater spend on fuel? Knowledge is power and being able to anticipate problems and prepare for them will make for a more efficient fleet operation. 3..Collisions, Collisions, Collisions During winter months obviously the amount of collisions increase, not only due to adverse weather but to darker evenings and longer commute times. As a fleet or transport manager you can’t control the weather, or the traffic your vehicles encounter, but you can implement driver safety training, monitor

driver behaviour and ensure that your drivers are sent out on the road prepared and therefore, meeting or exceeding your duty of care requirements. 4..To fit them or fit them not winter tyres Winter tyres are used by many fleet operators, but more especially those operating in colder or more remote areas of the UK. Some fleet and transport managers may not know exactly when to use them and if they are really necessary. The truth is, winter tyres are not only designed for snow and ice, they offer more grip than summer tyres in all weather conditions - even in the dry - but only when the ambient temperature is lower than 7°C , The big consideration is obviously cost, how often adverse weather affects your operational area and your storage capacity. One set of tyres obviously has to be stored whilst the other is in use and with a large fleet, that is a lot of tyres! If you are concerned about the upfront cost of winter tyres a genuine alternative to winter tyres for use in snow are snow socks which are easily fitted over the existing tyre and can be stored away within any vehicle when not in use. Snow socks are not a direct substitute for winter tyres but they may offer peace of mind for your drivers to have as a precautionary winter accessory. Forewarned is forearmed Having prior knowledge of possible dangers or problems out on the roads is vital for drivers heading out. It is important to find a way to communicate to your drivers as a whole if you are made aware of a potential hazardous roads in your operational area, this could be via shared messaging Apps. Encourage drivers to check the weather as the day progresses and to keep an eye out for a severve weather warnings issued. ●

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Sector Insights I Rossendale Borough Council

Meeting the challenges of winter conditions

Pictured: James Gunning, Workshop & Transport Services Manager at Rossendale Borough Council All Fleet and Transport professionals must predict and prepare for the challenges that are presented by the winter months. When vehicles are often operating in remote and difficult to access areas along with the need to routinely negotiate steep inclines, there are many extra steps that need to be taken to ensure the safest possible operations, whilst also ensuring the delivery of vital public services. Rising either side of a seven-mile stretch of the River Irwell in Lancashire is the area served by Rossendale Borough Council. Its population of around 65,000 is distributed amongst various towns, villages and settlements, located at the lowest points at the riverside and rising to elevations of over 160M. Consequently, the demands of operating the vehicle fleet that delivers waste and recycling services in these environments are many, particularly during winter. A few months on from our full interview with James Gunning, Workshop & Transport Services Manager at Rossendale Borough Council, Essential Fleet Manager was delighted to catch up with James once again, this time to talk about the procedures and operational best practice utilised to ensure delivery of services throughout the rugged terrain of Rossendale, often in the most challenging conditions. We began by asking James about the various operational challenges presented by Rossendale: “Rossendale is a mixture of uneven, hilly, and remote terrain and with the towns and villages built into this environment, wherever you are there are many steep inclines. There are difficulties associated with this at all times of year, and in winter these can become significant without the correct preparation and awareness. I’d summarise by mentioning steep inclines, where even heavy rain can cause vehicles to slip and the basic fact that snow and ice are more prevalent in highland environments. Along with this, there are a great many difficult to access areas. In particular, Winter conditions can cut off access to the many farms in the borough, which all need servicing.” Continuing, we asked how the waste and recycling fleet is set 30 p Essential Fleet Manager

up to deal with difficult winter conditions: “Winter tyres on all vehicles seems like an obvious step. The issue many fleet professionals will have is that these are a major investment with significant storage demands, but it is more straight forward to make the case for these in Rossendale. This is exactly what I did when I started in 2018 and so far, these have been taken out of storage and fitted to the fleet as early as September and not removed until March. Rossendale is a borough where weather conditions can vary greatly, even on the same day and, we’ve all seen winter end in February, but restart with a vengeance in March. This is why they will be on the vehicles for what seems like a long period, largely to save us trying to predict the unpredictable! We also have a number of farm tracks that can become totally inaccessible to our RCVs. In these situations, we can either deploy cage body 4x4s (Mitsubishi L200s), to pick up bagged refuse or, Transit based vehicles with bin lifts.” Snow, ice, grit on roads and many other things associated with winter, can have a negative, even damaging, effect on vehicle wear & tear and of course, safety. We asked what steps were taken to ensure that these impacts were addressed and where possible, minimised: “In this, we’re extremely rigorous. The dirt and soiling that a vehicle can experience during winter can be huge. From a safety point of view, wipers and screen wash are regularly checked and replaced. It sounds fundamental, but when you bear in mind the extra demands placed on these during winter, it may surprise some how often that need will arise. For acute situations when operating, vehicles are equipped with brushes that attach to the water supply. We’re quite lucky in this that Rossendale still has a good number of public toilets that give us this, quite valuable, option. Huge attention is paid to checking tyres and at the end of a round, vehicles will be steam cleaned at the depot. This protects valuable assets from embedded dirt and of course, road grit.” We finished by asking James what steps the fleet and transport team takes to manage the risk associated with winter operations: “The first action of the day is for Supervisors to go out and assess the conditions. They will then report back and if a certain round is significantly affected, the vehicle will not go out until it is safe to do so. Communication is key, so if conditions change during the day, we use our WhatsApp group to create awareness. Of course this is not only used to report sudden changes in weather conditions, but also and other incident that can affect operations. Drivers are also given advice sheets on winter driving. It’s all about teamwork, sticking rigorously to processes and communication.”●

Pictures illustrating the conditions faced in Rossendale

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Supplier Insight I Vehicle cleanliness - Wilcomatic

The importance of maintaining vehicle cleanliness with David Nuth, Commercial Director, Wilcomatic Introduc tion For more than half a century, Wilcomatic has been providing the very best in vehicle wash systems and now operates across Europe, Asia, the Americas and Australasia. Growth in the UK alone has led to a point where convenient and efficient vehicle washing is available at over 550 supermarket locations and as well as being utilised by private motorists, vehicle fleets are now taking advantage of this huge network. This is not simply to ensure that vehicles are cosmetically clean. Paying close attention to vehicle cleanliness should now be a routine part of a Fleet Manager’s day-to-day role, contributing to a fleet’s safe, compliant, efficient and cost-effective operation. Essential Fleet Manager spoke with David Nuth, Commercial Director at Wilcomatic, who, as well as highlighting the importance of maintaining vehicle cleanliness also explains how the Clean Car Club App has been developed to give fleets simple, manageable access to Wilcomatic’s network of locations. Interview Q: Over the years, your services have been utilised by hundreds of thousands of motorists. However despite this there is a lack of awareness that it is Wilcomatic systems providing those services. Could you tell us about Wilcomatic as a company as a brand and the innovations that have led to its current market leading position? Wilcomatic is a services company with national contracts with the main household-name supermarkets, our expertise is car wash technology, the supermarkets specialise in providing retail spaces in convenient locations for grocery shopping. We are well known in the industry but maybe not so well-known to fleet managers. This is where the Clean Car Club comes into play. With our unique footprint of sites in the UK, we have undertaken a comprehensive technological upgrade to our car washes enabling fleet drivers to activate the car wash using an app with centralised B2B invoicing and attractive trade commercial terms. Q: For fleets, what are the negative effects on brand image and messaging that result from neglecting cleanliness? Whether you are a national broadband provider or a smaller local business, the first impression given to your end customers plays a significant role in your ongoing customer retention and hence your future revenues. Neglecting cleanliness indicates your company does not consider attention to detail important – people buy from brands that are proud of their brand identity. Q: How does regular and thorough vehicle cleaning help fleets, particularly in Winter, contribute to risk reduction and safer vehicle operations? Apart from the obvious implications of headlights and taillights not being effective and number plates being covered in grime and therefore illegal, if a vehicle can be seen, particularly at night, it is less likely to be involved in an accident. For police forces and any highway response vehicles it is mandatory that their high-visibility decals are washed correctly and maintained. Regular washing also allows for the early identification of vehicle degradation, such as rust. This enables you to fix small issues with the vehicles, before they can potentially become larger safety concerns. On top of these points, over-zealous use of a jet wash can get underneath decals causing an expensive repair or replacement. Our automatic car wash solution provides a consistent wash at each site, we can even customise a wash programme for emergency services/Blue Light fleets! Q: Increasingly, fleets now require all drivers to carry out preuse checks on vehicles and then submit proof, often via an App, 32 p Essential Fleet Manager

that these have been carried out. It is vital that any damage is identified during these checks and therefore, do you feel there should be an equivalent, formal requirement to regularly clean their vehicles and consequently ensure that damage or unusual wear and tear is not obscured? Absolutely. Our industry-first fleet proposal provides fleet managers with a monthly report to check all their drivers comply with their fleet wash policy. Every time a driver activates a car wash to wash their van or car, the time, date, location, driver’s registration number and driver’s details are collected by the app, allowing us to generate a monthly report. A fleet manager can use this invaluable data to set and enforce a fleet wash and maintenance policy. Q: Do you think that fleets are sufficiently aware of the potential risks of end of lease penalties that can result from neglecting vehicle cleanliness? Some of the more progressive leasing companies and fleet management companies provide driver tips and recommendations to fleet managers, however generally it is difficult to get the word out to the vast majority of fleets. A brand-new vehicle is treated with greater respect than a dirty old vehicle on the fleet. If all vehicles were kept clean more regularly there would be fewer bumps, dints and scratches and therefore the fleet manager could limit financial penalties to the fleet. In this age of departmental accountability, fleet managers are responsible for reducing fleet costs and keeping within predefined annual budgets. Clean Car Club offers significant cost savings to fleet managers not only on wash pricing but also by reducing end of lease penalties. Fleet managers can plan their fleet wash budget a year in advance. Keeping a fleet clean seems a simple thing to do, but so few do it. Q: Could you provide an overview of how the Clean Car Club App works and how it gives fleets access to your wash locations? Fleets sign up to a fleet wash agreement with Clean Car Club/ Wilcomatic. They are provided with a fleet access code for the Clean Car Club app, this access code can predetermine how many washes each driver can activate per month, the types of wash programme (we offer four main programmes from an Express wash to the top Ultimate Plus wash) etc. The fleet manager sends user instructions to drivers, the fleet access code, as well as links to download the app from the App store/Google Play. Once the app is downloaded and they have registered, the drivers can consult the map and find a wash location near their current location. On arrival at the supermarket forecourt, they simply scan a QR code on the car wash control panel, select the wash programme on their phone and then drive into the car wash when instructed by the app. Its that simple! The fleet manager then receives a fleet wash report to check at the

end of the month and then invoicing follows. Q: It is a challenge for fleets with diverse assets and often roof mounted equipment, to utilise automated wash locations and be confident that there is no potential for damage. How does the flexibility of both Wilcomatic systems and the Clean Car Club App, solve this issue? Wilcomatic is a services provider and Clean Car Club is customisable for every wash need. For instance, we added Clean Car Club functionality to two jet wash sites in SW London. The fleet using the service there needed to wash high-sided long-wheel base Sprinter vans as well as wash their regular fleet of Ford Transit vans. For a police force we created a bespoke “soft-roof” brushed wash programme allowing them to wash their rapid response vehicles and therefore protect their blue light bars and their antennas. Q: Fleets are also often very widely dispersed. How does the Clean Car Club App work with your extensive network to provide access for drivers, whatever their location? When users sign up to Clean Car Club, they agree wash frequency and wash programmes with Wilcomatic. There is no restriction on where in the UK they can wash. Therefore Veezu, the biggest PHO in the UK, who have a branch in Norfolk from where airport bookings / journeys to London are completed, allow their Driver Partners to wash their vehicles in Clean Car Club sites near Heathrow, through the app. Q: Environmental responsibility that must include minimising and mitigating operational impacts, is high on the agenda of fleets in the public sector and essential services. How does a fleet benefit in this respect, from off-site cleaning at a Wilcomatic

Vehicle cleanliness - Wilcomatic I Supplier Insight

location? How also does your widespread network of locations contribute further? Compared to unregulated hand car wash sites and onsite jet washing, supermarket automatic car washes offer a significantly safer and more responsible environment to clean fleet vehicles. First of all your company doesn’t have to worry about the ever increasing cost of utilities and chemicals with jet wash cleaning on site, but also all the supermarket sites trap service water and reuse up to 90% of the water during the wash programme. The machines remove effluent and filter the service water in gravel filters on site ensuring there is no run-off into surface water ensuring our rivers, lakes and oceans are not polluted. Some fleet drivers find themselves having to travel across country to other company sites to use company jet wash facilities, causing a greater fuel spend and higher emissions. With our solution, fleet drivers can always find a supermarket location local to them, up and down the country, causing less fuel burn, reducing emissions, and saving company time. One fleet manager suggested to me that he would be mentioning his use of Clean Car Club in his company’s ESG report. Q: Overall, how does the Clean Car Club App help fleets and drivers establish vehicle cleanliness as an important part of industry best practice? Our fleet wash solution provides the infrastructure for fleet managers to introduce a fleet wash policy in line with industry best practice. Wilcomatic is an accredited member of the Responsible Car Wash Scheme and is a partner-of-choice for vehicle valeting for small, medium and large fleets.●

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Essential Fleet Manager p 33

Industry Insight I Costain

Sharing expertise in the decarbonisation journey With Jamie Colquhoun, Transport Energy Advisor, Costain Introduction With a history that dates back to the 1860s, Costain has been the driving force behind many of the most iconic infrastructure projects in both the UK and further afield. It was Costain, for example, that not only built the Channel Tunnel, but also expanded London St Pancras to accommodate Eurostar. Around ten years prior to the opening of the Channel Tunnel, the whole of London became protected by another Costain mega project: The Thames Barrier and with a long list of other major achievements, few Civil Engineering giants have the breadth of experience and expertise that has developed at Costain. At the same time, developing large infrastructure projects means a great deal of responsibility in managing environmental impacts and mitigating any negative effects. As far back as the 1930s, Costain was channelling waste heat from Battersea Power Station to its innovative, centralised heating system, serving hundreds of apartments at Dolphin Square, Pimlico. This approach was undoubtedly ahead of its time and so perhaps not surprisingly, Costain is now at the forefront of striking the essential balance of developing vital infrastructure to improve the lives of the current and future generations, and at the same time recognising and acting upon the demands of sustainability. High on the list of any large industrial operator, is the impact of its transport, plant and employee mobility needs and Essential Fleet Manager sat down with Jamie Colquhoun, Costain’s Transport Energy Advisor who spoke about how not only how the civil engineering giant is working towards demanding targets in reducing emissions, but also how expertise and learnings are now being provided to other organisations to set out their road maps to decarbonisation. Inter view Q: It is important for all organisations to work towards the decarbonisation of transport operations, but do you think it is particularly important that an infrastructure provider, such as Costain, sets an example to industry? Not only is it important that all organisations are working towards decarbonising their operations, but it’s also crucial that there is cross-industry 34 p Essential Fleet Manager

collaboration to innovate the necessary solutions and technologies to reach net zero. Across our supply chains we work with over 3,000 small, medium enterprises (SMEs) and so we also see ourselves playing an important role in helping with their emissions too, collaborating with them and sharing our own learnings to decarbonise the transport and infrastructure sectors. Costain’s whole systems approach means

that we consider challenges, such as fleet decarbonisation, from all angles to develop the best solutions. Costain is in a particularly strong position to help lead the way in decarbonising transport infrastructure, as not only is it important for us as a business, but also for our customers who increasingly value our approach to achieving clean mobility and the knowledge and capabilities we provide.

The projects we work on also span a range of sectors, sizes and locations across the UK and that experience helps us when considering the decarbonisation blueprint for our customers and allows us to take a number of those lessons into our own operations. Q: Although Costain has a relatively large company car fleet of around 2000 vehicles, is this relatively simple to transition to EVs and achieve the zero emission by 2030 target? We introduced a car fleet transition timeline that works towards our commitment for all our operations, including our supply chain, being net zero carbon by 2035. We are doing particularly well with decarbonising corporate fleets and as of last year, 99% of the cars delivered to Costain staff were ultra-low or low emissions vehicles (ULEVs and LEVs). However, the challenge for us remains around the net zero alternatives for remote sites with limited charging infrastructure, and for heavier vehicles where the technology is still in infancy. To mitigate our impact in these circumstances, we work closely with fleet suppliers to understand the options available, which we consider on a projectby-project basis. An example of one of the ways we are committed to decarbonising transport operations in particular is our membership in the climate group EV100 – a global initiative to switch all owned and contracted fleet vehicles and installing infrastructure for employees

by 2030. Q: Costain operates large numbers of commercial vehicles, specialist vehicles and plant provided on a project specific basis by contract hire companies. Are you able to work with those providers and benefit from new, low emission technologies? We work closely with all our suppliers so that we stay on the front-foot of changes in the market and are able to partner with them on our operations to test new, low emissions technologies. We see the relationship we have with contract hire companies as collaborative – for example we recently undertook a pilot project with Enterprise Flex E-Rent to test the use of electric vans on major project sites. The programme tested the effectiveness of electric vehicles used in construction, with EV vans trialled across a range of different teams and workplace scenarios including at project sites for the Preston Western Distributor Road scheme in Lancashire, the A30 Chiverton to Carland Cross project near Truro in Cornwall, and the A12 widening scheme near Chelmsford in Essex. The pilot demonstrated how EV vans can be an effective option for many journeys required on major infrastructure projects and by adopting a more flexible approach, we can meet tight budgetary requirements while supporting decarbonisation. Q: How would you advise a fleet operator with demanding operational needs in remote and difficult to access

Costain I Industry Insight

sites and with a lack of low emission vehicles that meet those needs, to approach the requirement to reduce emissions? The first consideration we always bear in mind is to approach these challenges as part of the client’s wider operations – not just the fleet but also their site requirements, current infrastructure and energy inputs. When advising clients with heavy operational needs and potentially difficult access to sites – there are a number of tech solutions available to help. For example, mobile battery technology has been incredibly effective in helping to power remote sites where current battery electric vehicle technology could be a viable option. The key is approaching the challenge from all angles, at Costain we bring together a range of experts when thinking of a solution, from fleet experts to energy specialists. Interim solutions can also be an effective alternative if clients are unable to access final technologies straight away. Using our work with Swindon Borough Council as an example, one of the options we proposed was to consider procuring a secure supply of Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (HVO) to power their current fleet of refuse vehicles as an interim option before fully committing to battery technologies – giving them more time for the technology to develop and become more economically viable before fully transitioning by the end of 2030. ...Cont’d on page 36

Essential Fleet Manager p 35

Industry Insight I Costain

...Cont’d from page 35

Q: Could you summarise how Costain is now engaging with other organisations to develop their road maps to decarbonisation? Using a whole-systems approach, we help clients establish a clear roadmap defining transitional milestones and the economic pathway to deliver zero emission fleets. Our programme for achieving this is typically built into four distinct stages: At the outset it is important to have a thorough understanding of a client’s operational utilisation, maintenance and procurement lifecycles. We aim to spend several days at a client’s site or depot to fully understand the current fleet, its supporting infrastructure and how this could be built upon for the future. Quantitative and qualitative data collection is also gathered from key stakeholders to clearly understand the needs of the council’s fleet operators, maintainers and end users. Using this, we will then define the Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) technology options that best match the operational requirements, Based on findings from stage one, we then undertake detailed analysis of the client’s site to understand the potential of the current infrastructure and what upgrades are needed to support future fleets. Doing this allows us to identify the best and most cost-effective charging/ fuelling options to match the council’s operational needs. Further factors include considering the requirement for energy monitoring and charging management software and if these could be integrated within the existing fleet software. Using our total cost of ownership modelling tool, we then evaluate the economic viability of the identified transition options across the timeframe. This often also includes a qualitative discussion of potential financial and business models within the automotive and related infrastructure sectors – examples include Mobility and Charging As A Service. We also review potential funding sources available through UK, national and regional bodies, as well as any innovation funding to support trials of new technology. At this stage a strategy has been produced and supported by a clear roadmap taking all insights from stages 1, 2 and 3. This will enable organisations to transition safely and economically to a zero emissions fleet within the prescribed 36 p Essential Fleet Manager

timeframe. Our recommendations also cover growth/reduction scenarios for vehicles and infrastructure, financial considerations, roll-out programmes, milestones and procurement strategies. Q: Using Swindon Borough Council as an example, how do you advise operators of diverse fleets on vehicle alternatives and charging infrastructure and what are the other key first steps? The two key questions we ask clients at the start of any decarbonisation project are: how has the fleet operated to date – which takes into account whether there is a centralised depot, are all vehicles returned to a central location at night and what are the current health and safety provisions? And secondly, what do they hope it looks like in the future? Combined, the feedback from these questions gives us a good indication of the current challenges and opportunities, as well as what the roadmap to decarbonisation needs to consider. For example, during our work with Swindon Borough Council, understanding the current infrastructure compared to its net zero ambitions meant we were able to establish a clear roadmap with available power provision for the central depot sitting at the heart of the plan. This defined transitional milestones across the timeframe, as well as phased infrastructure development and the economic pathway to deliver a zero emissions fleet. With that in mind, we can then help the client to define the Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) technology options that best matched the council’s operational requirements. Battery and hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle technology were considered, as well as interim technologies such as retrofitting vehicles and biofuels. Understanding their future ambitions mean that we are able to advise on technologies already available, alongside any expected to emerge within the transitional timeframe. Q: During those primary planning stages, how do you manage the complex task of engaging with all stake holder departments to establish a workable strategy that will meet their various needs? Because we are approaching any project from a range of angles, we are looking at not only the right low carbon alternative for fleet operations but also the current infrastructure, whether there is enough energy powering the site and also the

health and safety matters – particularly with the large-scale volumes of lithium batteries. Therefore, when developing a strategy and a solution for our clients, we see it as crucial to bring together all relevant stakeholders from the outset and understand the work as part of a shared vision. Using our work with Swindon Borough Council as an example, we were liaising with 12 different stakeholders across the organisation, from fleet managers, finance and procurement and health and safety teams. Decarbonising fleets impacts a number of business units and often to support electric vehicles, it fundamentally changes the whole way a depot operates. For example, it is important to engage safety teams and potentially the local fire service to consider the mitigants required to manage the risk of thermal runaways and so access to sufficient water becomes necessary at a depot location. Q: How should operators best manage and plan for the typically long lead times associated with acquiring EVs? Planning truly is key and although 2030 still seems a way off, with the current supply issues surrounding many electric vehicles, fleet managers should be considering their transition plans now. As part of the blueprints we develop for clients, we advise on a number of steps managers can take to help ease procurement issues. These include considering whether there are other partners to collaborate with to increase their procurement power and potentially driving costs down. In the case of local councils, we often help start a dialogue with other local authorities on their plans to see if there is a way of coming together and improve the economies of scale. We also encourage clients to work closely with their suppliers and regularly check in on their timelines and ensure that the technology they purchase now isn’t outdated by the time the ordered vehicles reach them. Q: On the road to 2030, how do you see EV and other technology developing to help decarbonising all fleet operations? We are always advising clients on the technology already available to them, alongside any expected to emerge within their transitional timeline – this makes it incredibly important that we are in a constant dialogue with the producers of these technologies to understand what it is coming down the track. However,

it also means that we are always testing new developments ourselves as a business to try and stay at the forefront of bringing these technologies to the mainstream. For example, last year we were part of a consortium alongside Siemens Mobility and the Centre for Sustainable Road Freight to demonstrate that a nationwide Electric Road System (ERS) will likely be the fastest and most efficient way to decarbonise the UK’s freight sector. In terms of developments, we hope for in the near future, we need to see

improvements for larger/ heavier vehicles, and in our charging infrastructure. Decarbonising large municipal vehicles is very much in its infancy and so whether it’s battery electric, hydrogen fuel cells or a mix of both – we will need to see developments in those technologies in order to help fleet operations fully decarbonise. Smarter charging facilities will also be critical infrastructure for the future, which will need to be enabled by more sophisticated energy systems. It is the hope that these systems will help flex charging around any potential grid

Costain I Industry Insight

capacity constraints, particularly at peak times, whilst still leaving us with the required power for our vehicles when we need it. It is not just technological developments however, that are impacting the pace of change. Cost is also a major barrier to many public sector organisations and so as more technologies come to market, it is the hope that the cost for zero emissions vehicles and related infrastructure requirements as well as related delivery timeframes will reduce.●

Essential Fleet Manager p 37

Supplier News

Applied Driving to launch intelligent dashboard to support fleet risk reduction and driver safety Applied Driving, the global provider of driver safety and performance management solutions, has enhanced its web-based portal, Riskmapp, with the launch of a new intelligent dashboard. As a result, the company’s customers will now be able to better understand driver risk and compliance, as well as receive actionable insights from their fleet and video telematics data. The intelligent dashboard brings together critical summary data across all driver risk assessments, licence checking and training requirements, which is fully customisable to meet precise fleet needs. The simple and easy-to-use tool provides

Webfleet supports Kilnbridge Construction’s route to carbon neutrality Kilnbridge Construction Services is leveraging the power of Webfleet, Bridgestone’s trusted fleet management solution, to cut fuel usage and CO2 emissions as part of its drive to achieve carbon neutrality. The specialist structures, construction and engineering operator is introducing 38 p Essential Fleet Manager

an executive overview for complete management clarity, underpinned by a drill down analytics capability that allows users to quickly access the data they need. It also possesses an export function to download or share insights from a comprehensive reporting suite. Applied Driving has designed the dashboard to display driver performance data captured from both its Companion+ Mobile Safety application and a growing number of fleet and video telematics integrations. This means fleet customers can identify at-risk behaviours, event trends and Triggered Training per driver, supported by footage where available that can be viewed directly through the the fullyintegrated Webfleet Video solution across its fleet of 140 HGVs and vans. Mick Kemp, Fleet Manager at Kilnbridge Construction Services explained: “As partners of the Supply Chain Sustainability School, we are committed to minimising environmental damage – so our focus on reducing fuel usage is sharper than ever. “With Webfleet’s automated CO2 reporting, we can now analyse all vehicle trips to find out how environmentally friendly they were. By feeding accurate fuel and CO2 data for our whole fleet, and individual vehicles, into our sustainability reviews, we are able to measure progress towards carbon neutrality and help maintain our FORS Gold operator accreditation.” Kilnbridge is also using Webfleet Video to capture road and driver-facing events.

software solution. Andy Phillips, Global Managing Partner at Applied Driving commented: “Our fleet customers will now be able to gain a bigger picture view of road safety by accessing added operational insight and business intelligence through the dashboard. We have created an online tool which allows them to monitor driver performance and evaluate fleet risk, so they can target continuous improvement and positive change. As a business we are committed to constantly innovating, so this is part of a programme of developments planned over the coming months.”● “The in-cab AI cameras highlight unsafe driving behaviour, such as not wearing a seatbelt or mobile phone use,” said Mick, “to both protect engineers and keep us compliant by delivering on our duty of care.” Furthermore, indisputable video evidence is helping Kilnbridge to counter false claims and keep a lid on insurance costs. ”A rear end collision claim which would have cost us £48,000 was neatly debunked using high quality video which captured all the accident details and proved third party liability,” said Mick. The company is currently trialling the Webfleet Vehicle Check mobile app to digitise day-to-day vehicle inspections. The app minimises paperwork and streamlines the compliance process, allowing Kilnbridge to act quickly to resolve vehicle defects for safer operating conditions. “Having the driver app, cameras and telematics all integrated on the same platform makes life so much easier for us,” Mick added.●

Supplier News

Forestry and Land Scotland picks Civica to transform transport compliance and safety New software will manage 700+ vehicles and 3,000+ pieces of equipment Forestry and Land Scotland is set to transform management of its fleet and equipment by implementing a new cloud software platform from global GovTech leader Civica. The Scottish Government (SG) agency is responsible for managing Scotland’s national forests and land. Its work on national forests and land contributes £1 million to the Scottish economy each day and supports 11,000 jobs. Via a new multi-year partnership, the organisation will implement Civica’s TranSend fleet management cloud software to ensure compliance, availability and safety for 700+ vehicles, large machinery and 3,000+ pieces of equipment. The new platform will ensure that all

items are legally compliant and wellmaintained to minimise unnecessary fleet downtime, reduce the number of breakdowns, and meet Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency health and safety standards. TranSend Fleet Management’s real-time dashboards will give all employees the data needed to keep fleet optimised and improve decision making. It will be configured to ensure all staff can access the right information at the right time, including vehicle statuses, maintenance schedules and whole life vehicle costs. Tommy Groat, Head of Mechanical Engineering at Forestry Land Scotland said: With an extensive fleet of vehicles, machines and equipment operating across the whole of Scotland, it is

imperative that we manage these assets optimally in order to deliver the best value for the public purse and to ensure that we meet all of our obligations as an SG agency. “With TranSend we expect to achieve that and greatly improve and streamline our processes.” Keith Hawker, Divisional Managing Director, Transport at Civica added: “We are highly experienced at meeting the diverse transport needs of public sector organisations. By significantly automating processes, our new partnership with Forestry and Land Scotland will save administration time, manage fleet compliance with ease and increase driver and workshop productivity.”● Essential Fleet Manager p 39

Supplier News I Inseego

PN. Daly expands fleet telematics solution with AI Dashcams to prevent collisions and improve road safety P.N. Daly Ltd, the leakage detection, water efficiency and new utilities network specialist, has enhanced its fleet telematics solution from Inseego, with the adoption of an advanced AI dashcam. The company will roll-out the forward-and driver-facing device across 250 vans to support its road safety and risk reduction strategy. “We are evolving our existing fleet tracking and driver engagement solution to keep us at the forefront of road safety and target continuous improvement in our fleet and driver performance,” explains Nik Darby, Contract Manager at P.N.Daly Ltd. “We selected the AI dashcams to help prevent collisions by alerting the driver in real-time to high-risk or dangerous driving. When an incident does occur, we will still be able to use video to identify the root cause and gain added context, but our primary aim is to stop them happening in the first place.” The AI dashcams use machine vision and artificial intelligence (MV and AI) to detect and help drivers self-correct dangerous or distracted behaviour. The forward-facing camera captures high quality footage of

the road ahead, while the driver-facing lens provides a greater understanding of risk and distraction within the vehicle such as using a mobile device, eating and drinking, and eyes off the road. P.N. Daly’s drivers will be alerted to any high-risk actions when behind the wheel, while head office and local managers will have access to footage and data of collisions, near misses and other driving events. As a result, the AI dashcams will work alongside the company’s fleet telematics solution to support multiple road safety initiatives including third-party driver training, internal health and safety coaching, and regular driver debriefs. “The AI dashcams will have a big role to play in encouraging responsible driving, addressing recurring issues, and enabling effective incident investigation. There was some initial scepticism amongst our drivers, but the feedback since then has been positive and there is now a general understanding that the cameras will help protect them, other road users and ultimately reduce the risk of collisions,” adds Darby.●

“Our AI dashcams help prevent collisions before they occur, so we are seeing strong demand from companies already using our fleet telematics. The two technologies are hugely complementary and provide an effective way of achieving road safety, duty of care, brand protection and insurance cost improvements.” Steve Thomas, Managing Director of Inseego UK Ltd

If you require further information, please visit: 40 p Essential Fleet Manager

Sector News

Councils trial plant-powered bin lorries in latest step towards decarbonisation A trial to power eight of South Cambridgeshire and Cambridge City’s bin lorries using biofuels has taken place – cutting their net carbon emissions by 90%. Recently, Greater Cambridge Shared Waste, a partnership between South Cambridgeshire District and Cambridge City Councils, ran eight vehicles on hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) instead of diesel. The Councils are transitioning their fleet of around 50 bin lorries to electric and alternative fuel vehicles to reduce net carbon emissions. Currently, a significant proportion of the waste service’s, and therefore the councils’, carbon emissions originate from diesel bin lorries. Two fully electric bin lorries are already being used in the city of Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire and a solar farm is planned at the service depot to be able to charge more of them in future. Depending on the analysis and results of the HVO trial, and once a sustainable fuel source is secured, the Councils could purchase further vehicles which could be powered by HVO. This would be an interim solution ahead of more electric or hydrogen trucks joining the fleet as and when they become available from manufacturers, and in-line with the depot charging facilities becoming operational. Using HVO results in a 90% reduction in net CO2 emissions when compared to running the same vehicles on normal diesel. HVO is an enhanced form of pure biodiesel, refined from more than 90% waste and residue oils, and the net CO2 emissions from HVO are rated near zero or “carbon neutral” by the Government, to account for the CO2 absorbed by the source of the HVO which is largely plant matter, before it is made into HVO. Each delivery is accompanied by a certified statement of bio sustainability in accordance with the UK’s Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation rules and EU RED II directive. No modifications are required to use HVO in the bin lorries; they can simply be filled with HVO rather than diesel The use of HVO provides Greater Cambridge Shared Waste and the two councils with a practical interim solution, which reduces net carbon emissions, as further electric bin lorries, or hydrogen vehicles, are purchased for the fleet. The plan is to transition some of the Greater Cambridge Shared Waste diesel bin lorries to using HVO, subject to costs and availability of a sustainable supply chain, until they are replaced with electric or hydrogen versions. The trial comes just after the service’s second fully electric bin lorry entered service. The Faun Zoeller E-Rotopress, which has a revolving body to help compact waste, has been collecting

waste from streets across the city and district since June 2022. It joined a Dennis Eagle eCollect, which was Cambridgeshire’s first 100% electric bin lorry and has been collecting recycling from Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire residents since November 2020. A third electric bin lorry is on order. There are already solar panels installed on top of the Greater Cambridge Shared Waste Service’s Depot at Waterbeach, which are used to charge fully electric vans used by members of the team. However, there is not enough capacity in the local electrical grid to charge any more than three electric bin lorries. That is why, back in January 2022, proposals for a solar farm to power electric bin lorries were included in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority’s budget plans. Both councils will also contribute financially to the solar farm scheme. Plans for the solar farm continue to progress. South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Lead Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Brian Milnes, said: “Our Shared Waste Service continues to lead the way when it comes to transitioning waste collections to becoming cleaner and greener. Having had the first electric bin lorry in Cambridgeshire enter service in 2020, this was followed up by our second electric truck starting to collect waste recently. Hot on the heels of that is this trial of biofuel. This type of fuel achieves an impressive 90% reduction in net carbon emissions when compared to diesel. We will now be analysing the results of the trial, and continuing to look at all the options as we work towards cleaner waste and recycling collections. Using this type of fuel could be a useful practical interim solution as we transition the fleet towards electric or hydrogen vehicles as the long-term aim.” Cllr Rosy Moore, Executive Councillor for Environment, Climate Change, and Biodiversity for Cambridge City Council said: “It’s clear just how much importance our waste service and the councils place on investing in new technologies and solutions to reduce our carbon emissions. We are not prepared to simply continue running diesel trucks well into the future until the entire fleet is electric, and this trial of vegetable oil-based fuel provides a useful interim solution. We really are leading the way both locally and nationally as a waste collection service in doing everything we can to work towards our net zero carbon targets.” Greater Cambridge Shared Waste collects recycling and rubbish from around 127,000 households.●

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Essential Fleet Manager p 41

Passenger Vehicle Options I Peugeot

Peugeot: New Hybrid Powertrain for 3008 and 5008 models Peugeot has launched its new selfcharging hybrid powertrain, which will make its debut in the 3008 and 5008 models before being rolled out across other models in the Peugeot range. The Hybrid136 e-DSC6 powertrain utilises 48V technology combined with an updated version of the 1.2-litre PureTech petrol engine, as well as a new six-speed electrified dual-clutch transmission, and an 898Wh battery. It benefits from a 15% improvement in WLTP fuel economy, as well as reduced output of CO2. The Hybrid powertrain features a new compact electric dual-clutch transmission with six forward gears, incorporating the electric motor which offers 16kW at peak power and 51Nm of torque. During deceleration, the engine acts as a

Peugeot: New 508 and 508 SW The New 508, 508 SW and 508 Peugeot Sport Engineered models, feature updated exterior and interior designs, new technologies and a simplified trim line-up. Available in Allure, GT and Peugeot Sport Engineered variants. Allure Premium has been replaced by Allure, and GT Premium by GT. Allure and GT variants feature a new front face with an extended front grille alongside body-coloured accents, Peugeot Sport Engineered models get a specific black front grille for a more aggressive look. All new 508 variants also have updated front and rear lighting. Allure models can now be had with 17inch ‘MERION’ wheels with a new finish, while GT models come with 18-inch ‘EPHERRA’ wheels. For GT models, 19-inch 42 p Essential Fleet Manager

generator to recharge the hybrid system’s 48V battery and provides the main start for the combustion engine with the assistance of the belt-starter. With a gross capacity of 898Wh and an available capacity of 432Wh, the 48V battery utilises lithium-ion technology and liquid cooling to offer maximum efficiency due to minimal heat loss and is cunningly located under the front left seat so that cabin space and luggage capacity are retained. Peugeot vehicles featuring the Hybrid136 ‘AUGUSTA’ wheels are also available as an option. A choice of three new metallic paint colours are also available: Eclipse Blue, Titane Grey and Okenite White. Selenium Grey, previously exclusive to the Peugeot Sport Engineered versions, is now also available across the entire range. As with the exterior, the interiors have also been updated. Allure models now feature a new half-leather effect trim with ‘Falgo’ cloth and ‘Quartz’ stitch detail. GT models come with a new half-leather effect trim with Alcantara® and ‘Aikinite’ stitching. ‘Mistral Black Nappa Leather’ remains available as an option but now features an additional touch – the front seat headrests are now embossed with the new Peugeot shield. The ‘Mistral Black Nappa Leather’ seats are optional on Allure and GT variants. The steering wheel onboard all new 508 variants now also feature the new Peugeot shield, while the front door sills on GT variants now come with Peugeot lettering for added styling. Every variant comes with with the Peugeot i-Connect® Advanced infotainment and 3D Connected Navigation as standard. The 10-inch HD touchscreen features ‘Over-The-Air’

e-DSC6 will also be equipped with an updated digital instrument panel that displays colour-changing accents to indicate when the vehicle is running in all-electric mode, the battery charge level and the flow of energy in the system. Both feature the award-winning Peugeot i-Cockpit®, which provides the latest connectivity and safety technologies, including the option of Night Vision, Autonomous Emergency Braking and Blind Spot Detection (standard from Allure Premium+ trim level upwards).● updates and can be fully customised like a tablet device with eight individual driver and passenger profiles – allowing for different interior ambience settings and preferences. The ’Ok Peugeot’ natural language voice recognition command further improves safety and convenience onboard. The driver instrument cluster features a new design that’s been inspired by the new 308 and 408 range, while a new e-Toggle replaces the previous ‘Cobra’ style gear selector on all variants – with Plug-in Hybrid variants featuring an additional control allowing drivers to also adjust the level of regenerative braking. New HD reversing cameras are standard across Allure models, with the camera technology upgraded to 360-degree on GT and Peugeot Sport Engineered models. Flank guard protection is now standard on all variants in conjunction with front and rear parking sensors, further helping with manoeuvres. Smartphone connectivity is further enhanced via Wireless MirrorScreen for Apple Carplay™ and Android Auto, while Wireless Smartphone Charging is standard on Peugeot Sport Engineered variants and an optional extra on Allure and GT models. Two USB-C ports can now be found inside the centre console storage for front passengers and two USB-A ports for rear passengers.●

FIAT I Passenger Vehicle Options

New FIAT 600e: FIAT’s electric comeback to the B-segment The New FIAT 600e, also referred to as the 500e’s bigger sister, comes with increased space and increased range. Following the success of its predecessor and best-seller, the FIAT 600 from the ‘50s, it places itself at the heart of the fastgrowing B segment. The car is ideally suited for both city lovers, outdoor enthusiasts and it has a generous length of 4.17 metres with comfortable roominess for five people. It boasts an electric range of more than 250 miles (WLTP combined cycle) and more than 372 miles in the city (WLTP urban cycle). Available as a five-door with two different full-electric versions, the New FIAT 600e La Prima and New FIAT 600e (RED).

customers the choice: each customer can drive their own way, thanks to the inclusion of three driving modes: eco, normal, sport - which can be selected to match their driving style. Compared to the 500e, it features a sharper look and a 600-chrome refreshed signature both on the front and on the sides, and a renewed LED lighting identity. The elegant yet dynamic exterior look is enhanced by the bigger wheels (up to 18” and a diameter of 690mm), matte black skirts and wheel arches, while the typical Italian style is also to be seen in the Italian flag in the rear bumper. Several charming features highlight its exterior lines, such as the glossy black details, chrome accents and shining cues on the rear lights.

The model also comes with an 11kW onboard charger and a Mode 3 cable for charging at home or in public, which ensures a full charge in less than 6 hours.

Inside, the New FIAT 600e the driver’s seat is equipped with power seat adjustment and a back massage function to relax after a long trip or a busy day at work. The New FIAT 600e also offers Ivory synthetic leather seats with FIAT monogram, turquoise accents and three-stage heating for maximum comfort. Velour floor mats, 40/60 rear seats, USB type A & type C + type C on second row, a wireless charger for smartphones and keyless entry with proximity sensor, complete the equipment.

The engine has an output of 115 kW, providing acceleration from 0-62 mph in 9.0 seconds. The New FIAT 600e gives

The New FIAT 600e is also packed with state-of-the-art safety and assistance features, offering level 2 assisted driving,

The New FIAT 600e offers impressive cabin space with its five seats and 15 litres of interior storage. The boot boasts a generous 360 litres of load capacity. To optimise charging time, the New 600e is equipped with a 100-kW fast charger system. For example, it takes less than half an hour to charge the battery to 80%.

bringing all the associated benefits to your journey. The Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) system brakes or accelerates in response to any car; the Intelligent Speed Assist reads the speed limits and recommends applying them, while the Blind Spot Detection uses ultrasonic sensors to monitor the blind spots and warn of any obstacles with warning lights on the wing mirror. State-of-the-art technology also includes Stop & Go functionality, Electric Parking Brake, Autonomous Emergency Braking for recognising cyclists and pedestrians, and drowsy driver detection to monitor driver concentration levels. Finally, the 360° sensors and the rear-view camera 180° view with dynamic gridlines help to avoid any obstacles when parking or performing complex manoeuvres. A six-speaker sound system, 10.25” fully customisable radio with Navi, CarPlay and Android Auto wireless, a 7” digital cluster and connected services, complete the offering. And with the FIAT application, enjoying more comfort has never been so easy, in fact, many features can be operated remotely such as use of lights, horn, central opening/closing of doors, heating or air conditioning (subscription fees may apply). Ordering in the UK will open from the Autumn with the first customer deliveries expected later in the Winter. ● Essential Fleet Manager p 43

Commercial Vehicle Options I Mercedes-Benz Vans

Mercedes-Benz Vans specification for the new eCitan Production and delivery of the L1 panel van variant of the MercedesBenz eCitan are anticipated to take place in the early Autumn with orders for L2 versions following later this year and crew van models early next year. Designed with two trim levels, PROGRESSIVE and PREMIUM, the eCitan is equipped to offer businesses greater efficiency, safety and the best possible real-world range. The PROGRESSIVE key features include: • • • • • • •

Active Brake Assist with pedestrian and cyclist recognition Reversing camera Rear parking sensors Anti-theft alarm with deadlocking Emergency Call System MBUX navigation with extended services for electric vehicles High-gloss black dashboard trim with chrome elements.

The PREMIUM enhances the exterior and interior styling with: • • • • •

16-inch light-alloy wheels Colour-coded bumpers LED High Performance headlamps LED fog lights Metallic paint.

The eCitan’s electric motor has a maximum output of 90 kW (122 hp) and a maximum torque of 245 Nm. A watercooled 45 kWh battery ensures efficient operation on hot days and is safely housed beneath the floor, so does not impinge on the available space. All variants feature two driving modes: 44 p Essential Fleet Manager

Comfort and ECO, as well as three recuperation levels (D- / D / D+). ‘D-’ ‘closely resembles one pedal driving’ and allows maximum energy to be recaptured by the vehicle’s synchronous motor. Mode ‘D’ offers similar recuperation to a traditional engine, and ‘D+’ allows sailing for maximum coasting.

battery capacity cover for eight years or 100,000 miles. Award-winning MobiloVan support with free, round-the-clock emergency roadside assistance, including out-of-charge cover, as well as four complimentary services: two A (minor) and two B (major), add further peace of mind for customers.

Equipment and technology designed to help drivers optimise the real-world range of the vehicle include a heat pump, heated windscreen and heated seats. The pre-conditioning function available via the three-year complimentary subscription to the Mercedes me app, allows customers to cool or heat their van while it is charging. This conserves battery life and maximises range, while ensuring the cab temperature is comfortable from the ‘off’.

The small van is also equipped with 22 kW AC charging as standard. This will allow businesses to benefit from faster AC charging times, particularly as they continue to roll out their own higher capacity AC charging, where DC charging solutions may not be practical. The lithium-ion battery can be recharged (1080%) in just 38 minutes with the installed 75 kW DC charger2. To further help businesses transition to electric vehicles, Retail and SME customers will receive £1,000 towards charging installation at their home or place of work.3

A variety of other Mercedes me connectivity features can assist drivers when charging or driving, thanks to the inclusion of a Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) digital display screen. With in-built navigation, it can help plan the optimum route for an electric vehicle. If the battery needs to be topped up enroute, MBUX will suggest the ideal charging station depending on the vehicle’s state-of-charge and distance to destination. It can also surface all available charging opportunities in the vicinity, including charger speed and whether it is currently in use.4 Like all electric vans from MercedesBenz, the eCitan comes with a threeyear, unlimited mileage warranty and

The eCitan is equipped with many safety and driving assistance systems as standard: Six airbags, Active Brake Assist, Hill Start Assist, Crosswind Assist together with Attention Assist which detects when drivers become increasingly inattentive and drowsy, with an audible and visual prompt to take a break. In combination with the optional tow bar, which has up to 1,450kg braked capacity, the eCitan also features Trailer Stabilisation Assist. If the vehicle combination begins to sway, the system uses braking interventions to stabilise it.●

Renault I Commercial Vehicle Options

All-new Trafic Van E-Tech electric completes Renault’s all-electric light commercial vehicle line-up Up to 750 kg of towing capacity and 1.1 tonnes of payload capacity This version is like all other electric LCVs from Renault: it cuts no corners on its ICE counterparts’ strengths, providing high level of performance along with ample choice and customisation possibilities. Renault Trafic Van E-Tech electric has inherited all the upsides that made this model so successful over the past 40-plus years, turned it into an icon in its segment and ranked it as the third most sold LCV in Europe. Trafic Van E-Tech electric still offers the best choice of lengths, versatility and storage space customisation possibilities in the vans: • Two lengths (5.08 metres and 5.48 metres) and two heights (1.967 metres and 2.498 metres) • Load space (in van mode) ranging from 5.8 cu. metres to 8.9 cu. metres • Up to 4.15 metres of load length (in the L2 extended version with the trap door in the partition) • Up to 750 kg of towing capacity and 1.1 tonnes of payload capacity • Available in a floor cab version • Extreme modularity and almost limitless customisation options from our network of over 359 approved body makers. The storage space in the cab adds up to

88 litres (19.7 litres in the console, 14.6 litres in the doors, 54 litres in the bench). In some trims, the glove compartment is actually an Easylife drawer with a clever opening system that makes it extra handy for the driver and holds a full 6.6 litres. Trafic Van was the first LCV to come with a “mobile office”. When you fold down the seat in the middle, the back becomes a desk (including a notepad storage slot) or a table for meals. Thanks to Renault Trafic Van, this smart piece of equipment has become a must-have for tradespeople. With its lithium-ion battery of 52 kWh capacity, All-new Trafic Van E-Tech electric can drive up to 297 km between charges (WLTP). This is usually plenty for a full day – at the best cost of ownership and use. The batteries have an 8-year or 160,000 km warranty. While they are covered, they are replaced free of charge if their state of health drops below 70% of its nominal level. All-new Trafic Van E-Tech electric is powered by a 90 kW (122 hp) motor providing 245 Nm of instantly available torque, so it is smooth and relaxing to drive in all circumstances. An Eco mode limiting the vehicle’s power ensures optimum range, and there is also a ‘long range’ version limited to 90 km/h, giving a range of 322 km.

The conventional hydraulic braking system now includes an ARBS (Adaptative Regenerative Brake System), which maximises energy recovery. All-new Trafic Van E-Tech electric has a choice of three types of chargers: •

A single-phase 7 kW AC charger that works with all types of home outlets

A 22 kW AC fast charger for public stations, providing a 50 km range top-up (WLTP) in less than 25 minutes

A 50 kW DC fast charger will be available next year

Lastly, via the MyRenault smartphone app or Renault Easy Link multimedia system (which comes as standard with all trims), All-new Trafic Van E-Tech electric provides several specific services including: •

Scheduled battery charging and remote battery status monitoring

Scheduled cab pre-heating

Charging points on your route

A list of destinations you can reach with the battery’s remaining range

The order book for the L2 (H1 and H2 Van, FloorCab and CrewCab) will open this October with deliveries starting in November. Ordering for the L1 (H1 Van and CrewCab) will begin in November with deliveries starting in December.● Essential Fleet Manager p 45

Industry News

Start of electric vehicle (EV) production at Ellesmere Port - the UK’s first EV-only manufacturing plant Stellantis has marked the start of electric vehicle production at its Ellesmere Port manufacturing facility, as the first all-electric vans roll off the production line. Ellesmere Port is the UK’s first EV-only manufacturing plant and the first Stellantis plant globally dedicated to electric vehicles, following a £100 million investment to transform the plant for EV production. The Ellesmere Port plant will produce the Vauxhall Combo Electric, Opel Combo Electric, Peugeot e-Partner, Citroën ë-Berlingo and, being announced today, due to increased demand for electric vehicles across Europe, the Fiat E-Doblò, compact vans. From 2024, Ellesmere Port will also produce a range of electric passenger vehicles across the Stellantis brands, including the Vauxhall Combo Life Electric, Peugeot e-Rifter and Citroën ë-Berlingo MPVs. Kemi Badenoch, Secretary of State for Business and Trade, said: “Today’s announcement in which Ellesmere Port becomes the UK’s first electric vehicle-only manufacturing plant and the first Stellantis plant globally dedicated to electric vehicles, is a very visible demonstration that this Government has got the right plan for the UK’s automotive sector. Alongside recent investments from other major vehicle manufacturers, we are ensuring the UK remains at the forefront of automotive innovation as well as securing jobs in this critical industry and its wider supply chain.” 46 p Essential Fleet Manager

Diane Miller, Plant Director, Ellesmere Port, said: “The start of electric vehicle production at Ellesmere Port signals a bright future for the plant, ensuring it will continue to manufacture vehicles for many years to come. With Vauxhall’s long history of UK manufacturing, it’s especially fitting that the first electric model to roll off Ellesmere Port’s production line is a Combo Electric. Whilst the welcome addition of the Fiat E-Doblò to the plant is a positive reflection of increasing electric vehicle demand.

2038. Sustainability improvements include the introduction of a new, more energy efficient ‘4-wet’ paint application process, while a localised CHP (combined heat and power) plant is also being installed to generate electricity on-site, bringing a further reduction in emissions.

Stellantis is committed to working with the Government to ensure the UK automotive industry remains competitive for producing electric vehicles for the long-term.”

Ellesmere Port was built in 1962 and produced its first car, the Vauxhall Viva, in 1964. Since then, it has produced iconic models from the Vauxhall range including the Chevette and successive generations of the Vauxhall and Opel Astra. Since 1985, more than 4.1 million units have rolled off the production lines at Ellesmere Port.

As part of its transformation for EV production, the Ellesmere Port plant has undergone several key changes, including the addition of a battery assembly shop, upgraded General Assembly and relocation of the bodyshop. This has contributed to a 60% reduction of the total site area for improved energy efficiency and productivity. At 118,000m2, the entire plant is now a similar size to the previous bodyshop. A new test track has also been built and a new parts distribution warehouse is in its final stages of construction, ahead of becoming fully operational in early 2024. The plant upgrade also forms a part of Stellantis’ Dare Forward 2030 commitment to halve its carbon footprint by 2030 (based on 2021 data) and to become carbon net zero, globally, from

As part of its ambition to become carbon neutral before the end of the decade, the plant is working towards running on solar and wind power as well as connecting to the HyNet North West Hydrogen Pipeline.

Among the first electric vehicles to be produced at Ellesmere Port, the Vauxhall Combo Electric, is powered by a 50kWh lithium-ion battery paired with a 100kW (136PS) electric motor. It is capable of up to 175 miles of range (WLTP), while a 0-80% charge can be completed in just 30 mins from a 100kW rapid charger. Vauxhall, Peugeot, Citroën and Fiat are currently the only mainstream automotive brands to produce vans in Britain. Alongside the Ellesmere Port plant, they all continue to make vans at the Stellantis factory in Luton, which has been operating since 1905.●

SMMT I Commercial Vehicle News

UK van market continues growth in August

The UK new light commercial vehicle (LCV) market grew for the eighth consecutive month in August, rising 5.0% to 16,303 units, according to the latest figures published today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), during what is traditionally a smaller volume month ahead of the September plate change. The market for medium-sized vans, those weighing greater than 2.0 to 2.5 tonnes, drove growth in the month, surging 72.1% to 2,718 units with 4x4s and pickups also proving popular, demand rising 163.9% and 22.3% respectively to a combined 1,693 units.

Registrations of the largest LCVs, those weighing greater than 2.5 to 3.5 tonnes, meanwhile, decreased, falling -5.1% to 11,549 units, although they still represented the majority (70.8%) of all new van deliveries. Registrations of vans weighing up to and including 2.0 tonnes also fell, down -30.4% to 343 units. Battery electric van registrations grew 18.9% to 1,122 units to take a 6.9% market share in August. 11,414 zero emission electric vans have been registered so far this year, up 16.4% on the same period in 2022 as more businesses switch on to the benefits they offer in terms of competitive running costs and zero emissions at the tailpipe.●

“Another month of growth for new van sales is good news and a sign that the market is well on the way to recovery. That more operators are choosing electric models is also positive, given the massive investments made by van makers into these vehicles, including at plants in the UK. Diesel models, however, still make up more than nine in ten registrations, proof of how far the market must move if it is to decarbonise. With an end of sale dates and a ZEV mandate looming, we must pull every lever to deliver the transition.” Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive

Essential Fleet Manager p 47


Next issue out: 31st October 2023

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