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FLEETManager E S S E N T I A L

For Fleet Professionals Operating Essential Fleets with the UK

MAGAZINE

ISSUE 4 2021

The Fleet Interview:

Nottingham City Council PUBLIC SECTOR • HOUSING • UTILITIES • INFRASTRUCTURE MANAGEMENT


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Contents

Highlights in this issue Essential Fleet Manager - Issue 4 (2021) 04

Consultation opens on ambitious plan that sets target of near-zero surface transportcarbon by 2045.

08

Employee mental health should be a primary concern for fleet managers - Venson backs report from IAM RoadSmart which calls for greater importance to be placed on driver well-being.

10

12 - 14

The Fleet Interview with Matt Ralfe, Innovation & Change Manager at Nottingham City Council Nottingham City Council has become a leading light in not only electrifying the fleet operations of the city, but also in developing a range of services that assist local businesses, the general public and the wider public sector nationwide, to work towards the same goals.

20

Vauxhall supplies Mitie with fleet of 655 New all-electric Vivaro-e vans

16

‘Flexible Rental’ solutions David Brennan, CEO of Nexus Vehicle Rental, discusses the benefits of flexible rental in adapting to uncertainty and change.

18

Keeping essential services running smoothly Throughout the current pandemic Specialist Fleet Services Ltd (SFS) has provided uninterrupted fleet management and vehicle replacement services to local authorities across the UK, enabling them to continue delivering essential collection services within their communities.

20 - 21

Hydrogen for transport ticks the zero-emission boxes – but where to start? By: BOC Clean Fuels Team.

26 - 27

30 - 31

Procurement ‘in the Spotlight’ with Ian Reed, Category Manager - Fleet , YPO.

34 - 35

Crown Commercial Service is helping the public sector ease the impact of COVID-19 with vehicle hire.

40 - 57

Sector News - Essential Fleet Sector latest news.

58 - 61

LCV News - Latest vehicle launches.

61 - 74

Passenger Car Options - Low-emission vehicle options.

36 - 37

BigChange Drives Efficiency with Paperless Working at Fleet Dynamic.

Essential Fleet Manager Magazine is owned and published by: Essential Fleet Group Ltd www.essentialfleetgroup.co.uk The Essential Fleet Group Ltd’s other titles include: • Essential Fleet Operator www.myessentialfleet.co.uk Follow Us: @FleetManager_UK Find all the latest Sector and Industry news on: www.myessentialfleet.co.uk MAILING LIST & CIRCULATION If you would like to join our digital mailing list please visit www.myessentialfleet.co.uk/fleet-manager-magazine/ for further details. FEATURES & EDITORIAL To submit editorial or news for consideration to appear in Fleet Manager, please send to e: debbie@essentialfleetgroup.co.uk

‘Hassel free’ vehicle key replacement - The Car Key People helping Siemens’ drivers access their vehicles.

ADVERTISING If you would like a copy of the media pack for any of our titles please contact: Mark Cheadle e: mark@essentialfleetgroup.co.uk 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 2021 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.

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Essential Fleet Manager n 03


Industry News

Consultation opens on ambitious plan that sets target of near-zero surface transport carbon by 2045 A Decarbonisation Strategy for the North of England - setting out the ambitious target of near-zero carbon emissions from surface transport by 2045 - went out to public consultation on Monday 7 June 2021. People and businesses from across the North are urged to have their say on the plan, with consultation open until 31 August 2021. It is the first time a regional strategy of this type has been produced, bringing together the region’s leaders to speak out with one voice on the climate emergency. The strategy, developed by Transport for the North (TfN), sets out why a regional near-zero carbon surface transport network must be achieved to help address climate change. It highlights the ambitions of the North of England in tackling carbon emissions, with the region aiming to go beyond national policy and meet targets much sooner. It also demonstrates the importance of maximising clean growth opportunities; the need to ensure decarbonisation is at the heart of transport-related policy and investment decisions; and why coordination at a regional level will provide the best outcomes. Among the potential actions and areas of focus the strategy considers are: • Zero emission vehicles, including cars, HGVs and buses, with a comprehensive network of charging facilities to support their wider use •

The decarbonisation of the rail network through electrification

The use of hydrogen and alternative fuel vehicles

Encouraging modal shift towards more sustainable ways of travelling, such as public transport and active travel

Opportunities for decarbonisation in the freight industry

Birmingham launches its Clean Air Zone Vehicles are not banned in the Birmingham CAZ, but older and more polluting ones (pre-Euro 6 (VI) diesel and pre-Euro 4 petrol) will need to pay a daily charge to enter. Studies have suggested that around 60% of the 200,000 vehicles that enter the city centre each day could be affected. Birmingham is the second CAZ to be launched this year, following Bath, but zones are also imminent in Bristol, Bradford, Portsmouth, Greater Manchester, Newcastle, Gateshead and North Tyneside. London operates a more stringent Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) and this will be extended to an area 18-times larger than the original Low Emission Zone by 25 October 2021. The BVRLA, the trade body for the vehicle rental and leasing

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Carbon reduction when projects are built, as well as carbon capture

How Transport for the North’s four Future Travel Scenarios could present challenges and opportunities for decarbonising transport

The final Decarbonisation Strategy will be adopted by the TfN Board this autumn and submitted to the Government as statutory advice on behalf of the region. It will form the blueprint for green transport investment in the North for the coming decades. Tim Wood, Interim Chief Executive at Transport for the North, said: “Reducing carbon across our region’s transport network is an essential part of tackling the climate emergency - one of the greatest challenges of our time. We’re thrilled to be consulting a strategy for the whole region that outlines how rapid progress can be made and how the North can lead the UK in slashing carbon emissions. “Surface transport is the largest contributing sector to greenhouse gas emissions in the UK, accounting for 22% of all emissions in 2019. The majority of this is from road transport, so there is a clear and urgent need to decarbonise our vehicles and roads over the coming years. But we must also take action on our rail network, with a rolling programme of electrification, and encourage a shift to more sustainable forms of transport and construction practices too. “Our Decarbonisation Strategy is a vital piece of work in moving the North of England towards the ambitious goal of near-zero carbon emissions from surface transport by 2045. Using data and insights, alongside predictions and modelling analysis, the strategy sets out the challenges and opportunities ahead, providing a clear trajectory that will not only lower emissions, but also enhance connectivity for our region’s people and businesses. “We urge everyone to get involved in this vital work and provide their views to the consultation, helping to shape future transport networks that are not only efficient and reliable, but are sustainable too.” To find out more and respond to the consultation visit: To find out more and respond to the consultation visit: www.transportforthenorth.com/decarbonisation

industry, has launched a new web guide at www.cleanairzones. co.uk. It provides useful information for fleets and individuals, outlining where the CAZs are coming, how they work, what administrative support is available for business fleets and what options are available if people need to upgrade their car, van or truck. BVRLA Chief Executive Gerry Keaney said; “Our rental and leasing members are a good option for someone who regularly travels through a Clean Air Zone. They have a huge variety of CAZ-compliant vehicles that are available on a flexible and fixed-cost basis. “They are already helping tens of thousands of businesses and individuals make the leap to fully zero-emission motoring and can provide electric vehicles and charging solutions to meet every need.”

www.myessentialfleet.co.uk


Industry News

Europe’s most powerful electric vehicle charging hub is heading to Oxford UK-based Pivot Power, part of EDF Renewables, and Oxford City Council, have joined up with Fastned, the European electric vehicle (EV) fast charging company, Tesla Superchargers and Wenea, one of the largest EV charging services providers in Europe, to deliver Europe’s most powerful EV charging Superhub in Oxford. The hub, initially featuring 38 fast and ultra-rapid chargers in a single site, is the most powerful in Europe – with up to 10MW of power on site – and will scale up to help meet the need for EV charging in the area for the next 30 years. It is the first of up to 40 similar sites planned across the UK to help deliver charging infrastructure needed for the estimated 36 million EVs by 2040. Unlike any other UK charging hub, the site, at Redbridge Park & Ride, is directly connected to the high voltage national electricity grid, to provide the power needed to charge hundreds of EVs at the same time quickly, without putting strain on the local electricity network or requiring costly upgrades. This innovative network, developed by Pivot Power, has capacity to expand to key locations throughout Oxford to meet mass EV charging needs, from buses and taxis to commercial fleets. Fastned will initially install ten chargers at the Superhub with 300kW of power, capable of adding 300 miles of range in just 20 minutes for up to hundreds of EVs per day. The station will be powered by 100% renewable energy, partly generated by the company’s trademark solar roof, and all makes and models of EVs will be able to charge at the highest rates possible simultaneously. The announcement is a key milestone in the completion of Energy Superhub Oxford (ESO), due to open in Q4 this year, and comes as Oxford is set to launch the UK’s first Zero Emission Zone this August, where vehicles are charged based on their emissions, with EVs able to use the zone for free. The £41m world-first project, led by Pivot Power, integrates EV charging, battery storage, low carbon heating and smart energy management technologies to support Oxford to be zero carbon by 2040 or earlier. ESO will save 10,000 tonnes of CO2 every year once opened later in 2021, equivalent to taking over 2,000 cars off the road, increasing to 25,000 tonnes by 2032. It provides a model for cities around the UK and the world to cut carbon and improve air quality. Matt Allen, CEO at Pivot Power, said: “Our goal is to help the UK accelerate net zero by delivering power where it is needed to support the EV and renewable energy revolution. Oxford is one of 40 sites we are developing across the UK, combining up to 2GW of battery storage with high volume power connections for mass EV charging. Energy Superhub Oxford supports EDF’s plan to become Europe’s

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leading e-mobility energy company by 2023, and is a blueprint we want to replicate right across the country, working hand in hand with local communities to create cleaner, more sustainable cities where people want to live and work.” Councillor Tom Hayes, Cabinet Member for Green Transport and Zero Carbon Oxford at Oxford City Council, added: “For Oxford to go zero carbon by 2040, we need to electrify a lot more of our transportation. As an innovative city embracing technologies and change, Oxford is the natural home for the UK’s largest public EV charging hub. We are excited to be taking a major step forward in the completion of Energy Superhub Oxford, working closely and superbly with our private sector partners. As an ambitious city, we are excited about the prospect of further innovation and investments, building upon our record of transformational public and private sector delivery.” Government plans to cut carbon emissions and improve air quality will see millions of EVs in use by 2030, and the project will show how this can be achieved while maintaining a stable and cost-effective electricity network. To accelerate the delivery of ESO, the Government has contributed £10 million to the project via UKRI’s Prospering from the Energy Revolution programme. Rob Saunders, Challenge Director, Prospering from the Energy Revolution, UKRI said: “Forward-thinking innovation in the energy space is key not only to change current energy use, but to plan for societies and industries that prosper in the future. The combination of benefits this project delivers – from storage and AI-powered flexibility services, to greener heating and vehicle charging – are exactly the kind of multipurpose solution that will help drive the UK forward as a leading net zero innovator. The Energy Superhub is also a great demonstration of what can be achieved with a commitment to collaboration, and bringing together different areas of expertise to tackle key issues for our energy future.” Oxford– A blueprint for net-zero cities Three quarters of local councils in the UK have now declared climate emergencies. However, very few have set out clear plans for how they will rapidly cut carbon emissions. ESO is a model of how public-private sector collaboration can deliver worldleading urban decarbonisation projects. With Oxford set to introduce the UK’s first Zero Emission Zone in August 2021, ESO will support the city’s aims to reduce toxic air pollution levels, tackle the climate emergency, and improve the health of residents, workers and visitors in Oxford and beyond. The project will also support Oxford City Council’s ambition to achieve zero carbon emissions across its estate and operations by 2030 or earlier, and become a zero-carbon city by 2040 or earlier, ten years ahead of the Government’s 2050 deadline. www.myessentialfleet.co.uk


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Operational Advice I Venson

Top tips to avoid stress when driving:

Employee mental health should be a primary concern for fleet managers Venson backs report from IAM RoadSmart which calls for greater importance to be placed on driver well-being VENSON Automotive Solutions is urging businesses to back the charity IAM RoadSmart as it calls for urgent changes to be made to support working drivers in its new report ‘Driving for Work’. Now more than ever, solutions such as driver training, policies, advice and procedures should be implemented as increasing numbers of occupational drivers return to the UK’s roads. Poor mental health can affect concentration levels as well as reduce reaction times, and disturbed sleep, due to anxiety and depression, can lead to driving while tired – both of which are major contributors to road accidents. With a third of road deaths and a fifth of serious injuries sustained in accidents involving a working driver or rider, and with 39% of pedestrians killed after being hit by someone who was driving as part of their job[ii], the importance of driver well-being plays a crucial part in road safety. And according to the ‘Driving for Work’ report, it is not just fatigue and mental health that suffer but also the physical well-being of drivers too. Stress can have physical side-effects and with some drivers working longer and demanding hours it is important the businesses communicate effectively with employees to ensure the signs of

poor physical health are not missed. Simon Staton, Client Management Director at Venson Automotive Solutions commented; “As lone and remote workers, drivers can often be ‘out of sight, out of mind’. It is important therefore that businesses have processes in place to ensure that driver wellbeing is at the top of their health and safety agenda.” With IAM RoadSmart calling for further changes to happen through increased prosecution of liable companies, Venson believes businesses need to take action now. This includes reviewing the resources available to drivers, such as motorway services and roadside facilities, as many drivers are deterred from stopping for essential rest due to prices. Continues Simon Staton: “With the stress and uncertainty of the last year, many more employees are feeling the strain and businesses need to ensure that employees are supported. Driver well-being, or the lack of it, has a direct impact on how well a business performs and as we take on a world that will be forever changed due to the pandemic, fleets can play a huge part in the ongoing success of their organisation and ensuring a supported and productive workforce.”

Venson’s free whitepaper ‘It is good to talk: Caring about Mental Health’ guides businesses and fleet managers on how to promote good mental health at work practices and offers practical help and advice. It can be downloaded at https://www.venson.com/Media/ViewWhitePaper/32

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Before commencing a journey ensure mindset is right and fitness to drive.

Make sure the vehicle is fit for a journey: check fuel, oil level, coolant, tyres, lights, a clean windscreen, washers and wipers.

Allow plenty of time for a journey and know route to destination.

Check traffic conditions before setting off.

Avoid driving at peak times and in congested areas if possible as that can cause the most stress.

Ensure the driver’s seat, head restraint and steering column are correctly adjusted: aches and pains due to poor posture will not improve mood.

Control a situation by setting an example and giving way at busy junctions or allowing traffic to merge into lane when necessary.

Anticipate other people’s actions and mistakes on the road by looking further ahead.

Give drivers space on the road to resolve an error – courtesy costs nothing.

Keep away from aggressive drivers – don’t react by accelerating, braking or swerving suddenly, as that will reduce vehicle control.

Driving aggressively, speeding and overtaking are unlikely to hasten journey time by much, but could increase tenseness.

Switch off the phone while driving – check for messages and emails or make calls when taking a break.

For every two hours of driving take a 15-minute break – it can reduce tension and aids alertness.

Consider an overnight stop on long journeys.

Calm, controlled breathing helps to release muscular tension and relieve stress.

Is driving necessary or is there an alternative?

www.myessentialfleet.co.uk


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Sector News

Vauxhall supplies Mitie with fleet of 655 New all-electric Vivaro-e vans

Vauxhall is to supply Mitie, one of the UK’s leading facilities management and professional services companies, with 655 New all-electric Vivaro-e vans. The first Vivaro-e has already been delivered and takes Mitie to the landmark of 1,000 electric vehicles on its fleet. The van will be used by a Mitie frontline engineer and has been specially fitted-out to ensure it can carry all the equipment needed while minimising weight, to help maximise the battery’s range. While Mitie began its electric vehicle transition in mid-2019, this was with a focus on cars and small vans, as there was no viable alternative for its large diesel vans with an adequate range to manage the heavy load often carried by mobile engineering teams. Mitie ordered the 75kWh battery vans with a split of standard L1 and long L2 wheelbase versions. Capable of up to 205 miles from a single charge, these Vivaro-e vans support up to 100kW rapid charging with an 80 per cent charge taking just 45 minutes. Payload is best-in-class, up to 1226kg, and, uniquely in the market for all-electric LCVs, Vivaro-e is capable of towing up to one tonne. The vans are also exempt from current congestion and ultra-low emissions charges, and also benefit-in-kind taxation at 60 per cent of the standard van rate. Simon King, Director of Sustainability and Social Value, Mitie,

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said: “When we began our EV journey 18 months ago we thought switching our big vans would be one of our biggest challenges. However, with Vauxhall helping us overcome this hurdle, we’re very pleased to be marking our milestone 1,000th zero emission vehicle with the delivery of this Vivaro-e. With over 600 more set to join our fleet this year, we’re making great progress towards our target of 2,021 EVs in 2021 and helping even more Mitie fleet drivers switch to electric.” Paul Willcox, Managing Director, Vauxhall, commented: “Congratulations to Mitie on passing one thousand electric vehicles on its fleet and for being at the forefront of driving Britain to a more sustainable future. At Vauxhall we are proud that they have chosen our award-winning, all-electric Vivaro-e van, and joined a growing number of pioneering firms in Britain who want to have no compromise in the capability of their vehicle fleet but also want to improve their environmental impact and lower their running costs.” The Vauxhall Vivaro-e was named 2021 International Van of the Year – taking home one of the most coveted awards in the light commercial vehicle sector. This is the first time a fully electric mid-size van has won the overall title. Judges praised its extensive zero emissions range, excellent load capacity and high levels of technology. The International Van of the Year title is the latest in a long list of awards for the Vivaro-e this year.

www.myessentialfleet.co.uk


New all-electric Vivaro-e Life

and on charge Up to 9-seats | Congestion Charge Exempt | Zero Emissions

Call 0330 587 8221 to pre-book a free 3 day test drive†, or search Vauxhall Fleet Range.

Fuel economy and CO2 results for the Vivaro-e Life range 100kW (136PS). Mpg (l/100km): N/A. CO2 emissions: 0g/km. Electric range up to 143 miles (WLTP). The range and electric consumption figures mentioned comply with the WLTP test procedure, on the basis of which new vehicles are type approved from 1 September 2018. EV range assumes that the vehicle has been preconditioned prior to journey. They may vary depending on actual conditions of use and on different factors such as: vehicle load, accessories fitted (post registration), speed, thermal comfort on board the vehicle, driving style and outside temperature. †3 Day Test Drive terms and conditions apply and vehicles are subject to availability. Please contact your Vauxhall Retailer for further information. All figures quoted correct at time of going to press (May 2021).


The Fleet Interview I Nottingham City Council

The Fleet Interview - Nottingham City Council

Matt Ralfe, Innovation & Change Manager at Nottingham City Council Since the acquisition of their first EVs in 2010, Nottingham City Council has become a leading light in not only electrifying the fleet operations of the city, but also in developing a range of services that assist local businesses, the general public and the wider public sector nationwide, to work towards the same goals. Matt Ralfe, Nottingham City Council’s Innovation & Change Manager, tells Essential Fleet Manager how Nottingham has achieved this and how the launch of Nottingham Electric Vehicle Services has led to sharing expertise and helping others towards a low emission future.

Q

: How far had the electrification of Nottingham City Council’s fleet progressed at the time that you decided to develop the strategy to offer services and expertise to outside organisations? Nottingham City Council (NCC) is a forward thinking local authority with a track record of transformation and innovation, particularly within transport. We purchased our first two electric vehicles (EVs) in 2010 - two Mitsubishi i-Mievs. They only had a 60 mile range, but we still have them now and they are fantastic as real world examples of lifespan and battery degradation, which has not been as severe as expected. Following these initial purchases, there was a long period where no further Ultra-Low Emission Vehicles (ULEVs) were purchased until, in January 2016, the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) announced that Nottingham was one of four successful cities in securing funding for the Go Ultra Low City national programme. As a result of this, £6.12m of funding was made available for a package of measures across the Nottingham and Derby areas to support the uptake of ULEVs. In June 2016, we purchased ten Nissan e-NV200s and two Nissan Leafs, with the OZEV grant making up the difference in purchase price between diesel and EV, reducing the risk to the council from purchasing new technology. The success of these EVs in terms of reducing costs and emissions, alongside the benefits to staff, was evident early on. At this point, it became clear that the drive towards electrification of the council’s fleet needed to become a priority.

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We have since treated fleet electrification as a project rather than “business as usual” for Fleet Services, which was essential for the step change required. Rather than just focusing on getting as many EVs as quickly as possible, we looked to electrify a wide range of vehicles so that we can assess how EVs fit in to our different service areas and where they can have the biggest impact. Our fleet of EVs includes electric compact sweepers, cage tippers, minibuses and original equipment manufacturer refuse collection vehicles. Our ambition for early adoption is highlighted by the fact that each of these EVs were the first of their kind in the UK and their success also proves the range of scenarios where EVs can be effective. Leading by example on electrifying our fleet allowed us to experience what it is like to be EV owners and ensured that we can identify and tackle the barriers that those wanting to make the switch face; this puts us in a position where we can pass on our experiences and solutions to others and speed the transition to zero emission transport in Nottingham and beyond. We now have 196 ULEVs and the efficiencies speak for themselves - around £400,000 in fuel, maintenance and tax savings every year and an annual reduction of 402 tonnes of carbon dioxide. Over the lifetime of our vehicles, we expect to see a reduction of 3,102 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. The success we have had in electrifying our fleet has made us advocates for EVs and we have recently turned our attentions to encourage others to go electric, examples include creating a public vehicle workshop which is specifically for ULEVs, undertaking fleet reviews and running a trial scheme for electric vans. www.myessentialfleet.co.uk


Nottingham City Council I The Fleet Interview

: Moving on a few months, how were plans and progress disrupted by the pandemic?

Fleet Services had to find ways to adapt and ensure that they could continue to provide an essential service to the citizens of Nottingham by keeping vehicles on the road. From a frontline perspective, there was additional pressure on our fleet due to social distancing requirements. With only 1 (then later 2) operatives allowed in a cab as opposed to 3, this meant that diesel vehicles had to be reintroduced to shifts on a short-term basis to cope with demand. The construction of Nottingham Electric Vehicle Services (NEVS), was just approaching completion in March 2020. To support and protect the health and wellbeing of our staff during the initial COVID-19 lockdown period, we had to limit and prioritise the vehicles coming through our doors; unfortunately meaning that a full opening to the public was postponed. With site visits off the agenda, we were unable to provide vehicle demonstrations to sit alongside the rollout of our new ULEV procurement framework, which launched in November 2020. We really see the value of this “hands on” experience of an EV; there is only so much insight that a vehicle specification on paper can provide. We experienced issues with availability of vehicle stock and then extended delivery times for new vehicles, meaning that project start dates and running cost reductions were delayed.

Q

: How did you mitigate those challenges?

As soon as any new government and industry specific guidance was issued, Fleet Services ensured that mechanisms were in place for teams to remain compliant and safe, for example through the changing of rotas, workshop processes and enhanced cleaning regimes. Site bubbles were established to ensure as far as possible that essential services could be maintained in the event of any required isolation. Happily, circumstances have now meant that the diesel vehicles used to increase capacity could be sold, and we are now continuing our fleet electrification.

NEVS opened its doors to the public in late 2020. We used the time of this delayed opening period to put our technicians’ knowledge and the new facility into practice and provide MOTs, servicing and repairs for our internal EV fleet. Virtual engagement with other organisations is now “business as usual” and actually allows us to be even further reaching, through shared webinar sessions and increased availability free from the distractions of day-to-day life in the office! The pandemic stimulated discussion around the climate crisis, with people soon establishing a link between the two. During lockdown periods, people really began to understand how important our landscape is to them. Increased discussion led to more interest in the initiatives we offer and opportunities for engagement and collaboration.

Q

: What are the key achievements of the last year?

The opening of Nottingham Electric Vehicle Services (NEVS) to the public in late 2020 is a pivotal achievement for NCC. NCC are the UK’s first local authority to run a service centre exclusively for ULEVs and NEVS enables us to service, MOT and repair our own growing fleet of EVs and to offer these services to other local authorities, businesses and the general public – creating a hub for EV maintenance and knowledge sharing in the East Midlands. The facility provides specialist technicians, plant and equipment and utilises the latest ULEV technology; catering for electric cars, vans and taxis as well as specialist fleet such as minibuses and cage tippers. The goal of NEVS is to encourage the uptake of EVs across Nottingham and its surrounding area, providing an affordable and informative service with a highly-trained team of mechanics and front office team who are on hand to answer questions and offer tips on getting the most from your EV. Alongside EVs, both eBikes and eCargo bikes are also maintained at NEVS – making it an all-round e-mobility maintenance centre and knowledge sharing hub.

Cont’d on page 14....

www.myessentialfleet.co.uk

Essential Fleet Manager n 13

The Fleet Interview

Q


The Fleet Interview I Nottingham City Council

...Cont’d from page 13

The Electric Van Experience (EVE) Project launched in November 2020 and funded by a £2.69m grant from Highways England, this project offers trials of new electric vans to businesses across Nottingham and Derby. 50 vans have been purchased for companies to take on a try-before-you-buy arrangement until March 2022 and the vehicles will be incorporated into the council’s municipal fleet after the initial loan period ends. In addition to the vehicles, the grant also allows NCC to install charge points at the business’ premises free of charge. The EVE Project gives business owners who are interested in making the switch from diesel and petrol vehicles the ability to do that without the initial, up-front costs of buying an electric van. It also allows them access to our fleet electrification experience, with available advice ranging from procurement routes, operation and maintenance through to tips on charge point infrastructure. Created to facilitate the wider uptake of ULEVs by public sector organisations across the UK, our ULEV procurement framework also launched in November 2020. The framework covers the purchase of fleet ULEV and fully-EV cars, vans, sweepers, minibuses and Hackney Carriage taxis. The framework gives organisations access to an OJEU compliant process, through which purchasing authorities can be linked to suppliers who have been quality assessed by NCC’s industry-leading ULEV experts and evaluated for value for money. All of the specifications on the framework have been created by our ULEV experts and the vehicles have been proven to work in a local authority setting, offering security to purchasers that the vehicles can operate effectively in a tough, real-world environment. Collective purchase through this framework has also resulted in lower prices and lead times.

Q

: Having taken the expertise of Nottingham City Council, combined with experiences gained, how is this shared with outside organisations through Nottingham Electric Vehicle Services? Our vision for NEVS is that it will become a hub for EV maintenance and knowledge sharing in the East Midlands and beyond. NEVS acts as a central engagement point for organisations to access the wide range of EV services that we offer. Organisations can visit NEVS for that hands-on experience of vehicle demonstrations and can talk to the technicians and our other EV experts while on site. With the NEVS offer extended past EVs to other sustainable mobility modes, such as eScooters, eBikes and eCargo bikes, it really is a one-stop shop to speak with those in the know!

Q

: Through engagement with those organisations, what have you found to be the main difficulties that organisations face when looking to electrify fleets and lower emissions? Along with engaging with other organisations, our own fleet electrification journey has allowed NCC to truly experience what it is like to be an EV owner and has ensured that we can identify and tackle the difficulties that organisations face. We find that the main challenges are: • Driver “buy-in” – drivers can initially have concerns over the range and performance of EVs, this is definitely something we experienced, particularly with new vehicle types such as

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sweepers and refuse collection vehicles. We have addressed this through a comprehensive vehicle trial and driver training programme, initially introducing small numbers of EVs to allow acceptance first and then continuing with expansion when the benefits are seen. We have also used EV Champions who have really “bought in” to electrification Maintenance – EV maintenance opportunities are still limited at present and fleet operators do not have the operational capacity to wait for maintenance work to be completed offsite. By investing in NEVS and the training of our existing technicians, we are addressing this lack of availability for both ourselves and other organisations Availability of technology – when we started this process it was deemed unfeasible to create EVs of some types. However, by concentrating on those vehicles which were viable and available, we have given technology time to catch up so that now there is an EV alternative for all of our vehicles. As well as waiting for technology, we also sought out suppliers from other parts of the world and found that, though technology was not available in the UK, it was sometimes being used elsewhere successfully and could be brought to this country – our Boschung sweepers are a great example of this Funding – the higher purchase price of EVs is often put forward as an instant barrier to adoption but we have applied our real-world experience of total cost of ownership and ring-fenced the ongoing revenue savings to meet the increased capital spend Infrastructure – we have trained our own in-house team to install EV charge points and we now have experience of installing 200 charge points with a range of vehicle and load management options, allowing us to manage vehicle charging effectively

Q

: Complex fleets within the public sector face even more of a challenge when seeking to electrify. How does the ULEV procurement framework address those challenges? Our ULEV procurement framework was created to make it easier for public sector organisations in the UK to electrify their fleets. The framework covers the purchase of fleet ULEV and fully-EV cars, vans, sweepers, minibuses and Hackney Carriage taxis. The framework gives organisations access to an OJEU compliant process, through which purchasing authorities can be linked to suppliers who have been quality assessed by NCC’s industry-leading ULEV experts and evaluated for value for money. All of the specifications on the framework have been created by our ULEV experts and the vehicles have been proven to work in a local authority setting, offering security to purchasers that the vehicles can operate effectively in a tough, real-world environment. Collective purchase through this framework has also resulted in lower prices and lead times.

Q

: What are the medium and long-term goals for Nottingham City Council and Nottingham Electric Vehicle Services in the journey to low emission mobility and transport? We are definitely not applying the brakes on our fleet electrification journey. An ambitious target has been set for Nottingham to become the first carbon neutral city in the UK by 2028 and we are confident that we can play our part in this. In the short term, we are looking at expanding our eRCV fleet so www.myessentialfleet.co.uk


Nottingham City Council I The Fleet Interview

For further details visit: www.nottinghamevservices.co.uk we can assess feasibility at scale and we are also finalising the purchase of a number of other electric HGVs. We expect that 50% of our fleet will be zero emission by the end of 2022. Our approach of adopting different types of EVs has meant that we have proven the viability of the technology across a range of vehicle types and uses and it is now “business as usual” to purchase electric. Our ULEV procurement framework ensures lead time and cost is minimised on future purchases and the clear pricing structure allows us to effectively plan our finances to ensure EV adoption is as swift as possible.

shelters for eBikes, eCargo bikes and eScooters, substantially improving shower and changing room facilities and offering a demonstration, repair and maintenance service through NEVS.

The electrification of handheld plant has been a real success and we are looking to accelerate this rollout. Alongside investing in this for our own operation, in the longer term we will be creating a procurement framework for this to further help other public sector organisations going forward. Establishing a framework for electric HGVs is also on the agenda.

We will also be installing a network of charge points across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire which are shared by public sector organisations in the area; reducing capital costs and allowing several organisations to share charging hubs in locations where they may not own any land, particularly useful with employees who start from home.

We know that it is not sustainable for all drivers to simply switch from ICE to EVs. We encourage the use of other eMobility modes of transport to get people out of their cars and we are making sure that we have the best facilities in place to accommodate for this – including installing new storage

Our Energy Services team are leading on significant changes at our main operational depot which will bring the electrical infrastructure up to date, resolving issues we currently face when installing photovoltaic solar panels and having the capacity for significant numbers of EVs. We are using this as an opportunity to increase the load capacity on site and install battery storage and vehicle to grid technology.

The eMobility sector has grown exponentially and this is only expected to accelerate. With this in mind, we are conscious of putting too much detail into longer term goals. We pride ourselves on innovation here at NCC and we are always on the lookout for emerging technology and new opportunities, so we need to leave ourselves with the capacity to embrace this.

We want to continue to help others on their fleet electrification journeys and we are always keen to talk to anyone involved in EVs or eMobility, particularly other local authorities. Contact can be made via email to NEVS@nottinghamcity.gov.uk

www.myessentialfleet.co.uk

Essential Fleet Manager n 15


www.nexusrental.co.uk

Helping Corporates Deliver With Flexible Vehicle Rental David Brennan, CEO of Nexus Vehicle Rental, discusses the benefits of flexible vehicle rental to keep your business moving and ensure you can adapt to uncertainty or challenges in the market. Over the past year, businesses across the UK have faced continued economic uncertainty which presented unique challenges for communities up and down the country. Key workers across a myriad of industries urgently required access to flexible mobility supply networks to serve distributed communities across the country. The UK’s vehicle hire industry has always been a vital part of the supply chain for businesses, and recent challenges have highlighted rental as an ideal solution for those that have needed to flex their fleets up or down whilst mitigating costs. While dealing with broader challenges surrounding Covid-19, the mobility sector is now under pressure from the semi-conductor crisis, which is an issue that started in consumer electronics and is now having a serious effect on the automotive industry.

Understanding the impact of the semi-conductor shortage For the semi-conductor industry, the pandemic was two-pronged. On the one hand, demand for electronic goods spiked because more people needed to work and play from home, and the launch of two new game consoles – the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X – only increased this demand further. At the same time, production was slowed due to partial lockdowns of factories, and a fire at one of the largest manufacturers of semi-conductors for the industry. This delay is having a huge impact on the wider automotive industry with lengthened delays expected for new car and van deliveries. Many car firms have since issued statements, with Volkswagen specifically saying that it is in ‘crisis mode’, and Ford admitting that it will produce a million fewer vehicles this year than it had expected.

UK’s largest rental supply chain

Always meet the demands of the job, with access to the right vehicles at the touch of a button.


Full visibility of every aspect of your rental fleet

Flexible rental

No long-term contracts and never pay more than originally quoted

Flexible, on-demand support

A solution to the problem

Vehicle rental has become an integral part of a businesses’ mobility plan across a wide variety of industries. As uncertain economic conditions continue and are expected to for some time, businesses are less inclined to invest in depreciating assets, instead, diversifying their fleets through rental and reducing fixed costs.

Nexus understands the difficulties that businesses face and supports some of the UK’s largest fleets.

Nexus provides on-demand access to the UK’s largest rental supply chain through its pioneering online rental management platform, IRIS. IRIS connects businesses to more than 550,000 vehicles across 2,000 locations across all vehicle groups. Bookings can be made in just 30 seconds and full visibility of the whole rental management process can be achieved. This all-encompassing mobility solution means that customers can always meet the demands of the job, with access to the right vehicles at the touch of a button, or tap of a smartphone.

Flexible rental gives businesses the freedom to adapt their fleet size ensuring they remain agile, without the need for new and expensive, purchased vehicles. Nexus customers benefit from not being tied into long - term contracts and, thanks to fixed rates, never pay more than they are originally quoted, even if supplier costs fluctuate substantially. There is also the freedom to off hire, without penalty when the vehicle is no longer required. Since launching more than 20 years ago, Nexus’ proposition has enabled more than two million rental bookings.

Learn more about how Nexus can support your business with flexible rental nexusrental.co.uk


Supplier News I Specialist Fleet Services Ltd.

Keeping essential services running smoothly Throughout the current pandemic Specialist Fleet Services Ltd (SFS) has provided uninterrupted fleet management and vehicle replacement services to local authorities across the UK, enabling them to continue delivering essential collection services within their communities. Bob Sweetland, Managing Director, SFS: “I’m proud to say that we haven’t lost a single day’s service since the beginning of lockdown in March 2020. Reliability of service and dependability are crucial to our customers and one of the reasons we have built such longstanding relationships. We are very grateful to our exceptional team for enabling us to continue supporting our customers and also to vehicle manufacturers and equipment suppliers for their commitment to keeping vehicle deliveries on schedule. It was a team effort.” In the past 6 months alone (in spite of Brexit and the second lockdown) SFS managed to open two new depots, employ 14 new members of staff and win multiple major new contracts. On top of that the company has stayed on track with the necessary regulatory and safety tests at its sites, including vehicle LOLER testing and vehicle maintenance schedules.

Experts in greener fleets The team at SFS are experts in the provision of electric and alternative fuel vehicles, so much so the company even hosted its own socially distanced Low Carbon Emissions Vehicles event in 2020. Bob Sweetland, Managing Director, SFS said: “There is increasing interest in low carbon emissions vehicles from our customers and we are working with them to help create cleaner, greener fleets. We arranged the event to give our customers, and neighbouring authorities, the opportunity to see for themselves the latest technology available in the marketplace, all in one place.” This year SFS supplied Hambleton District Council with a new refuse and recycling fleet featuring electric triple bin lifts, which use less diesel than hydraulic lifts and are also quieter thus reducing noise pollution.

Pictured: Hambleton District Council’s part electric RCVs

Pictured: Robert Mitcham, Fleet & Vehicle Maintenance Manager, Caerphilly County Borough Council

300+ vehicles delivered to Caerphilly SFS has delivered over 310 vehicles to Caerphilly County Borough Council (CCBC) since being awarded the 7-year fleet replacement contract in 2017. In February this year a fleet of 11 brand new 26t Refuse Collection Vehicles (RCVs) fitted with the latest 360° camera recording systems arrived at the council depot, followed by 8 new electric vans to facilitate the provision of services such as Meals on Wheels and building cleaning, which will help to reduce the council’s carbon emissions. Robert Mitcham, Fleet & Vehicle Maintenance Manager at CCBC said:” The team at SFS are great to work with, both as a supplier and a customer with regards to the maintenance of the vehicles. They continue to assist us with improvements in our maintenance systems, and health and safety standards. They also ensure that the replacement vehicles are the right specification and fit for purpose in terms of operation, interior design and safety.”

Sue Seddon, Technical Support Manager, Hambleton District Council said: “Our relationship with SFS is excellent. They are approachable at every level and understood our organisation very quickly. Nothing is ever a problem. Because they do their job so well it means we can concentrate on the job in hand and collect waste and recycling without having to worry about our Operators licence, or when vehicles need servicing, repairs and MOTs. They help us maximise the efficiency of our fleet and workshop operations, so vehicle downtime is minimised; and assist us in future proofing our fleet by incorporating low emissions technologies to meet carbon reduction targets.”

Recognised public sector vehicle partners Local authority vehicle partners SFS has been awarded a place on numerous specialist vehicles procurement frameworks, which exist to assist public bodies in managing their fleet requirements. Most recently SFS has been ranked #1 on the Halton Housing Framework for the hire of specialist and commercial vehicles over 5000 kg GVW. Bob Sweetland, SFS: “Our aims are very much in line with the objectives of these frameworks, and that is to improve the efficiency of our customers’ fleet operations, adding value wherever possible, to enhance front-line services.”

For more information about Specialist Fleet Services tel: 01604 234601; email info@sfs.co.uk; visit www.sfs.co.uk 18 n Essential Fleet Manager

www.myessentialfleet.co.uk


Event News

The British Motorshow More action, more content – and even more cars! With the UK government reconfirming ‘Freedom Day’ as July 19th, the British Motor Show – sponsored by Cinch - is all systems go to become the first major motor show of 2021 to go ahead with no Covid-19 restrictions. And that’s just another reason why the action-packed return of a British Motor Show on the international stage is major news for the automotive industry, as well as promising an fun-filled day out at a truly affordable price for the British public, who are desperate to enjoy summer holiday fun. The UK’s most hotly anticipated automotive event will be a not-to-be-missed extravaganza for car fans and families looking for a great value summer event. It’ll be packed with interactive car-themed experiences, from the latest electric models to some tantalising classics, with a level of live, interactive experiences never before seen at a previous British Motor Show. More than 20 of the top car brands on sale in the UK will be represented at the show, among them the latest EVs and hybrids. But it’s not only new cars that will be a feature, with over 50 supercars there on each day and a classic car area featuring over 25 owners clubs. “With Britain fired up for a return to normality, families, petrolheads and business leaders can’t wait for the opportunity to go out and enjoy themselves,” said British Motor Show CEO Andy Entwistle. “People have been desperate for a great day out for over a year and we’re absolutely committed to giving them one, with a motor show that reinvents the car show concept and will also give automotive companies an unmissable chance to reengage with the public after the toughest of times. “The message from us is clear and simple – the show will go on, and it will be the best and most fun-packed car show of the year, offering a great value day out for car fans of all ages.” Set to take place at Farnborough International from August 19-22, no other Motor Show has ever delivered such a variety of content, celebrity guests and live action, nor has it had such a focus on supporting our incredible automotive industry, which contributes £18.6 billion to the British economy at a time when it needs it most. “Even through these toughest of times, we’ve really got behind and supported our exhibitors,” said Andy Entwistle. “Rather than sit it out and wait, we’ve invented the Pop-Up Motor Show concept, which has seen thousands of advanced ticket sales for the main event and has given our existing exhibitors and partners exposure when other exhibition companies had given up.” The Show has also announced a major partnership with cinch, The UK’s fastest-growing online used car marketplace, which will run for the next five years As well as a tantalising display of new cars, when the show opens its doors in August it will feature the Select Electric Motor

Show, an action packed Live Arena, a Live Stage, motoring celebrities, a robot making competition, Retro-Electric Live, a Supercar Paddock, classic cars, the IMI Technology Theatre, test drives, a kidz zone and a dedicated marketplace area full of petrolhead gift ideas. On Thursday 19th August, it will also play host to the National Automotive Industry Day, which is tailored towards industry leaders getting to grips with a post-Covid future and helping develop careers in one of the UK’s most dynamic and valuable business sectors. Three Exciting driving experiences have been confirmed, including The Caterham Experience, The Paul Swift Stunt Driving Experience and Under 17 Driving Lessons The Caterham Experience, sponsored by Avon Tyres will offer consumers the chance to take a passenger ride in a Caterham, the Drift Taxi Experience will offer visitors the chance to experience the awesome handling and power of the latest Caterhams while being driven around a slalom course in one of our 3 out door arenas. Caterham will also be bringing along driving simulators, creating a showroom and offering test drives in their latest cars The Paul Swift Stunt Driving Experience will let visitors experience all the tricks seen in the movies as an actual passenger. This adrenaline filled experience is from the team that will be delivering our amazing stunt shows in the Cazoo Live Arena. Paul and his team of professional stunt drivers will strap visitors in for passenger rides that they will never forget, while they perform stunts such as parallel parking, J turns and drifting, including an unforgettable lap of the slalom course. There are only a limited number of experiences available and are sure to sell out quickly. The third driving experience to be announced, in partnership with The Big Learner Relay, are our Under 17 Driving lessons. Visitors will be able to get their youngsters behind the wheel for a 20 minute driving experiences in a manual car fitted with dual controls and with a fully qualified driving instructor. Children will practice steering, reversing parking and even a bit of slalom. The Show will also feature the Automotive Careers Expo, which will run throughout the event and support the automotive sector and its employees as the Covid-19 Pandemic comes to an end. Andy Entwistle added: “With thousands of tickets sold already and the amazing support we’ve seen from the car industry, our exhibitors, the public, the venue and our partners, we are committed to making the British Motor Show 2021 the best automotive event of the year not just in 2021, but in many years to come.” To find out more about the show, book tickets or keep up with the latest news, visit www.thebritishmotorshow.live

www.myessentialfleet.co.uk

Essential Fleet Manager n 19


Supplier insight I BOC Decarbonisation

Hydrogen for transport ticks the zero-emission boxes – but where to start? By: BOC Clean Fuels Team In its recent publication ‘Bus Back Better: National Bus Strategy for England’, the government made clear that it expects: “all LTAs to work with bus operators and energy providers to decarbonise the local bus fleet in their Bus Service Improvement Plans.” It is also providing funding through the £120 million Zero Emission Buses Regional Area (ZEBRA) scheme. What zeroemissions strategy LTAs choose to adopt, however, is open to individual authorities to decide. According to the Bus Back Better announcement: “Zero-emission buses can run on electric batteries or hydrogen fuel-cells… we will consider all technologies fairly.” While both technologies have their strengths, hydrogen fuel cells do have advantages over batteries for larger electric vehicles, especially those that need to cover large distances. But hydrogen technology – and its infrastructure requirements – may suffer from being less-well understood. Forward-thinking councils are already converting fleets to hydrogen, but if you’re not sure where to start, here’s a quick guide to on how to kick-start hydrogen infrastructure to support the drive to decarbonise transport. What vehicle types are available? The range of vehicle types fuelled by hydrogen is expanding and now includes buses, cars, refuse trucks, road sweepers, gritters, vans and even forklift trucks. Hydrogen is especially suited to large and heavy electric vehicles, as it avoids the need for large 20 n Essential Fleet Manager

batteries, offers a similar range to diesel and has a fast and familiar refuelling process. How big a project will it be – and how can I fund it? You can start the journey to zero emission fleets with a single hydrogen refuelling station large enough for about 10 buses and a small fleet of vehicles. Or you can join forces with other organisations to build a shared refuelling facility with a larger vehicle usage which can dramatically bring down the price of hydrogen. If you want to start small and build as demand increases, that’s no problem either. You can take a modular approach to the design and build of your refuelling station. If you commit to a high-volume refuelling hub, a hydrogen fuel specialist like BOC, may even finance it for you. You may also be able to take advantage of the Government’s Zero Emission Buses Regional Area (ZEBRA) scheme, which has already committed to making £120 million available to councils for the purchase of zero emissions buses and the reduction of carbon emissions from local public transport. Where can I put a hydrogen storage and re-fuelling facility? As well as the dispensing pumps, a refuelling station will need space to store the hydrogen and an electrolyser to produce it. However, the space needed is typically no bigger than a traditional petrol forecourt. Layouts can be designed to fit almost any space and sites can be safely located within a residential area if required. www.myessentialfleet.co.uk


Industry News

How can I source renewable energy for green hydrogen production? To produce green hydrogen, you need renewable energy. We work with customers to source this directly from local wind or solar farms or buy from a supplier. Under the latest government proposals, an electrolyser would no longer need a direct connection to a renewable generator for its hydrogen to count as green. How safe is hydrogen? Hydrogen refuelling stations are safe. You must of course ensure appropriate safety distances from nearby assets, but this can be calculated and built into the engineering design. Hydrogen storage vessels are purpose built and designed to maintain pressures at optimal, safe levels and pumps are designed to ensure a safe connection between the dispenser and vehicle – with effective system safety checks every time hydrogen is dispensed. How long will it take to complete the project? Typical total build time is around 15-18 months. This includes planning permission, civil engineering works, construction and commissioning. The current lead time for hydrogen electrolysers is about 12 months and for compression tanks it’s about nine months. Proven technology When Aberdeen City Council wanted to develop a cleaner public transport network, it worked with BOC, to develop, install and operate a tailored, state-of-theart hydrogen refuelling station. The facility, based at the Kittybrewster bus depot, produces green hydrogen from electrolysis on site, and supplies the current fleet of ten 42-seat buses that travel up to 350km each day. Kittybrewster is now accessible to all hydrogen-fuelled vehicles, including double decker buses and private vehicles, and has attracted over £20m of investment into Aberdeen. Action Opting for hydrogen refuelling to decarbonise your transport fleets is simpler than you think. The first step is to find the right partner. A good hydrogen fuel specialist should be able to manage the whole project, from assessing specific transport and infrastructure needs to advising on funding, design and development of the facility. It should even operate and maintain it for you. If you need to get your team on board with the project, you might find BOC’s guide to Decarbonising Transport with Hydrogen Hubs a useful resource. It contains all the information in this article and more in a handy PDF format. Visit: www.boconline.co.uk/en/products-and-supply/ hydrogen-energy-solutions/hydrogen-hubs.html

Upfront costs and operational challenges remain a key barrier to widespread adoption of home charging A third (34%) of UK businesses are set to install electric vehicle (EV) charging points at employees’ homes as they electrify their fleets, according to a new study from Centrica Business Solutions. The research, Powering Ahead: The Future of Electric Vehicles for Business, found that eight in ten (81%) firms say the rise in home working during the pandemic has driven them to consider installing charging points in employees’ homes, as a way to support flexible working. Firms reported that one of the biggest barriers to EV adoption was managing the complexities of employees charging EVs at home and at public charging points (42%). But with the government’s ban on internal combustion engine vehicles less than a decade away, the data suggests that firms are prepared to act rather than risk delaying their own EV rollout. Those firms with no plans to install remote charging points say the barriers to adoption include upfront cost (53%), operational challenges (41%) and a lack of knowledge about installation partners (35%). The news comes after it was revealed UK businesses planned to invest £15.8bn in the electrification of their fleets over the next year, a 50% uplift on their spending during the previous 12 months. But, the pandemic has caused one in ten (13%) to cancel their EV plans altogether, with a larger proportion of a fifth (20%) reporting that COVID-19 has actually accelerated their existing plans to invest in EVs. Greg McKenna, managing director of Centrica Business Solutions, said: “The shift to more flexible working means firms are rethinking how they manage the transition to electric fleets and how they support their employees with the right charging infrastructure. However, it’s important to note that a third of drivers don’t have access to off-street parking, meaning businesses will need a balance of home charging, workplace charging and a robust public charging network to achieve their electrification plans. “With the ban on traditionally-fuelled vehicles inching ever closer, and on-street charging costs prohibitively expensive, it’s likely we’ll see more employers offering to install home charging, alongside systems to help them manage the chargers and the energy they use.” Advances in fleet charging management systems now mean that home charging points can be directly integrated with business’ payroll management software. These systems automatically reimburse drivers for business-use energy consumption. Monthly statements, showing all charging transactions, can be created and sent to fleet managers, helping to increase the productivity and profitability of a business’s fleet. To download the full report, visit: www.centricabusinesssolutions.com/businesses-power-ahead-ev

www.myessentialfleet.co.uk

Essential Fleet Manager n 21


Sector News

New highways operation takes to road with advanced safety gear of the agenda. A unique safety measure is reflective logos on fleet vehicles – of huge benefit in servicing the vast rural network at night. The reflective chevrons on the rear of the vehicles and the hi-vis stripes down the sides are made from the highest-grade material. They are top of the range, going beyond existing safety standard requirements, instead working to standards that are likely to be introduced in the future. Other safety features, in addition to the familiar driver cameras and reversing alarms, include:

June has seen a quiet revolution in how everyday highways maintenance and bigger improvement schemes are delivered across North Yorkshire’s network – which laid end to end would reach from North Yorkshire to Tokyo. From June, services will be provided by NY Highways, a company created by North Yorkshire Council but operating as a private business. NY Highways takes on the role after our contract with private sector company Ringway ended. While the highways across the county will form NY Highways’ main workload, there will be opportunities to work for other public and private clients, providing additional income to underpin other services. The vast majority of staff who worked on the Ringway contract will transfer to NY Highways, retaining experience, knowledge and consistent services from day one. The close relationship between North Yorkshire Council and NY Highways will enable the operation to be fleet of foot and to react quickly and flexibly to changes in circumstances. County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Access, said: “Creating this company is an innovative, forwardthinking move that gives us greater control and flexibility over our highways service delivery. “Many members of the highways team live in North Yorkshire. They are passionate about their communities and take pride in delivering services that are used by their friends and families. This new company will benefit from that local pride and passion. This is local people providing services where they live.” The efficiency and effectiveness people expect from the county’s highways operation will be further enhanced as the company develops. Cllr Mackenzie added: “On day one of NY Highways, the residents of North Yorkshire should see no difference in the standard of service they receive. The company will ensure the continuity people would expect during the transition and will then look continually to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the service delivered to the people of North Yorkshire over the years ahead.” NY Highways’ fleet of 170 vehicles is made up of 80 new vehicles, ranging from vans to tippers, gully cleaners, street lighting vehicles and gritters, plus vehicles transferring from Ringway. The safety of the public and its workforce is at the top 22 n Essential Fleet Manager

a scanner on the nearside to alert the driver to cyclists and pedestrians;

an audible alert to cyclists and pedestrians when the vehicles turn left; and

a cutaway panel in the passenger side cab door to give the driver greater visibility of cyclists;

Trucks will have a walk-in tipper body, so drivers won’t need to climb to reach the body of the vehicle. “We have taken a belt and braces approach,” said Ross. “We are investing in safety and in providing the workforce with the right resources. We have the absolute best in PPE (personal protective equipment) for individuals, but also on the vehicles. Every aspect of the resources we’re providing has been thought about very carefully.” NY Highways operatives were invited to give their feedback on a range of innovative PPE, looking at things like ease of movement, heat control and UV protection, to ensure they got the gear they needed. Some items are made from recycled material – supporting our carbon neutral ambition – such as the 100 per cent recycled polyester rain jacket. The gloves include graphene, a very thin but incredibly strong material, as well as being anti-bacterial, dispersing heat and having extra UV protection. Cllr Mackenzie praised Ringway for the service the company has provided since starting the contract in 2012. Ringway delivered improvements to the network, provided essential winter gritting services and an effective response to emergencies, as well as providing support during the Tour de France and Tour de Yorkshire. However, as the contract ended it was concluded the best way forward was for the authority to create a company to provide the service. “NY Highways is about building on what we have and taking it to the next stage, enhancing it with innovation and new techniques,” said Cllr Mackenzie. “It’s about building on best practice and new technologies and maximising efficiency.” NY Highways will be one of North Yorkshire’s largest employers, with a locally based workforce of more than 250 full-time and part time staff, as well as supporting an extensive supply chain. For every £1 spent, NY Highways aims to get 70p re-invested into the local economy by supporting small and medium-sized enterprises in North Yorkshire and spending an estimated £28m during the coming year on local supplies and services. www.myessentialfleet.co.uk


Sector News

Amey continues to gear up for a green fuel future Amey began trials in June with 10 electric vehicles across five of its UK contracts to help understand what requirements are needed to transition from fossil fuel to electric to power its fleet of maintenance vehicles. Working in partnership with Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions, Amey is continuing its work to reduce carbon emissions through the adoption of alternative fuel vehicles across its fleet. With a steer from government and other entities to reduce and ban the sale of certain types of fossil fuel vehicles by 2030, this timely trial will help Amey and Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions understand what the capabilities are of current electric vehicle offerings in the light commercial vehicle market and how they would suit the variety and service delivery demands of the contracts Amey delivers. The trial will see 10 Vauxhall eVivaros electric vehicles used across Amey’s Highways, Waste and Facilities Management businesses to determine the specific requirements needed from the vehicles for each of the different sectors. Tom Lawless, Amey’s Group Fleet and Plant Director, said: “Trialling the use of electric vehicles across a number of our accounts at Amey will help us to understand any additional challenges each part of the business could face in the adoption of an electric powered fleet, we can then plan for this and ensure we have the necessary solutions in place that facilitate the continued operational effectiveness we expect from our vehicles. “The benefits to using electric and cleaner alternate fuels are clear. Ensuring we play our part and proactively take steps towards reducing carbon emission to improve the air quality in and around the communities our vehicles operate in, is a responsibility we take seriously. “Having already made significant progress in reducing the carbon output of our car fleet we’re looking forward to continuing our work with Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions and analysing the results

from this particular trial to help us transition to green vehicle fuel solutions for our commercial vehicle fleet.” The trial, which is due to last for six months will also help Amey and the contracts understand how in the future electric vehicles could be charged and what further infrastructure may be needed to ensure its fleet is fully functioning. Jon Lawes, Managing Director for Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions, said: “Through our expertise and experience in helping complex fleets cost effectively transition to electric vehicles in line with their operational requirements, this trial will support Amey’s zero emissions fleet strategy. “With a long-established relationship and aligned sustainability ambitions through decarbonisation, we’re delighted to be working with one of the largest commercial fleet operators in the country as Amey continue to accelerate their switch to greener vehicles.” Amey’s Sheffield, Streets Ahead contract has been using electric vehicles on the contract since 2016 replacing 20 diesel vehicles with electric and running two hydrogen vehicles as part of its commitment to reducing carbon emissions. The contract was also the first in Amey’s network to trial two vans that use a hydrogen fuel cell to extend the range of power the battery gives to approximately 200 miles. In 2020 Amey began working with the Carbon Trust to review its approach to carbon management, as well as establishing a Carbon and Climate Change Working Group to progress carbonreduction activities and contribute to wider industry action and progress. Amey has already removed all traditional internal combustion engine vehicles from its Company Car Choices List, offers Green Driver Training, increased its cycle to work limit to give employees access to electric bikes, and has transitioned its energy procurement to 100% renewable energy.

www.myessentialfleet.co.uk

Essential Fleet Manager n 23


Industry News

Independent research reveals that home electric vehicle chargers must be shared if the UK is to meet its EV uptake goals INDEPENDENT research by data and analytics experts Dodona Analytics reveals electric charger sharing is essential to support the UK’s ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030. According to their research, if only 4% of motorists with a home charger share it with their neighbours living in flats and terraced houses where they can’t have their own charger, then a successful transition to EVs can be achieved - but without it we face a shortfall or ‘charger chasm’ of over 250,000 chargers. A growing number of companies facilitate EV charge point sharing via apps. The app connects the ‘host’ or charger owner with motorists who would like to rent their charger and will handle the ‘matchmaking’, bookings and payments. Co Charger connects communities to share chargers within neighbourhoods whilst other apps offer ‘destination charging’ as an alternative to public and motorway charging on long journeys. In their white paper, Dodona Analytics have created a model which shows the relationship between projected supply and demand for public EV charge points between 2021 and 2030. The projected demand for EV charge points is based on the assumption that the number of electric vehicles in the UK will continue to grow exponentially until it reaches 9 million in 2030. (source: National Grid) However the installation of new charging points is not keeping pace with the EV market. In the last 3 years 7469 new public charge points were installed each year. (source: Zap-Map) Dodona Analytics modelled the scenario where there were 10,000 new charge points every year, reaching 133,642 in 2030. Policy Exchange, the UK’s leading Think Tank in its report 24 n Essential Fleet Manager

Charging Up predicted that the UK will need public 400,000 chargers by 2030 in addition to home chargers. The public chargers are needed primarily for motorists in flats and terraces who aren’t able to charge at home. But even motorists with home chargers will need them when making longer journeys Dodona Analytics predict that the current rate of charger installation will leave a shortfall of over 250,000 chargers. ‘Our research shows there is a wide gap between the future demand for and the current availability of charge points,’ says Stefan Furlan, CEO of Dodona Analytics. ‘In order to overcome the Charger Gap our paper recommends the following. Firstly a data driven approach to site selection and infrastructure deployment, secondly the sharing of home and workplace chargers and thirdly cross-industry collaboration.’ Joel Teague, CEO of Co Charger says, ‘The paper is a real breath of fresh air and thinking in a complex space that has perhaps been a little over-focused on existing EV drivers and new infrastructure. The UK’s public charger building scheme is ambitious, well-organised and well-funded, but as this paper shows, further access to chargers is needed to help motorists in flats and terraces make the transition. Charge point sharing is a quick, cheap, and self-scaling solution – as EV ownership rises, more home charge points will become available, which can then be shared with neighbours, enabling them to enjoy the benefits of owning an EV and a cleaner, greener neighbourhood’. However whilst there are already 35,000 public chargers in the UK, this is a fraction of the number of home chargers – estimated to be at least 300,000. Co Charger enables those who do have chargers, whether motorists, businesses or community buildings to share them with neighbours who don’t. www.myessentialfleet.co.uk


The Co Charger app connects Hosts with Chargees. Hosts are motorists and organisations with an EV charger they’d be open to sharing, whether that’s a neighbour, charity, or a small business. The app enables Hosts to manage bookings and set the price they would like to charge for the service. Chargees are people who have an electric vehicle, or are considering buying one but aren’t able to charge at home. The process and payment structure is deliberately very simple. At the end of each charging session the Chargee pays via a card pre-registered in the app and the Host receives that payment minus Co Charger’s 12% fee. There is no other cost or commitment. ‘With charger sharing, everyone wins,’ says Joel Teague. ‘In practice it means a motorist living in a flat can have an arrangement with a nearby neighbour with a driveway to charge at theirs once or twice a week, ideally overnight when tariffs are cheaper The Host can earn some extra income from renting out their charger, whilst the Chargee gets the nearest possible experience to home charging. Obviously not everyone is in a position to share their charger, for example they might not have anywhere else to put their own car while someone uses it but moving towards a culture of sharing EV chargers will help us hit the UK’s environmental targets sooner rather than later. And the report by Dodona Analytics reveals that only 1 in 25 need to share – surely we can manage that?’ Ben Nelmes, Head of Policy at independent transport research organisation NewAutomotive says, ‘People who live in flats and terraces need confidence in local and reliable access to charging

Industry News

before they can make the switch to an EV. To have a rapid and early transition to EVs we need to use every tool in the box. This means more data-driven decisions about where to put public charge points and also incentive for charge sharing schemes, which have huge potential to improve people’s ability to charge up their EVs where and when they need to.’ ‘I know how challenging it can be to run an electric car without a charger because I was once in that position myself,’ adds Joel. ‘Five years ago a neighbour convinced me to get an electric car. My new Renault Zoe arrived but the charger installation was delayed, and my nearest public charger was seven miles away. I ended up giving the same neighbour a few quid to use their charger once a week until mine arrived. It was such an easy, convenient arrangement and led to a lightbulb moment in which I realised that connecting communities via an app to share chargers could unlock electric vehicle ownership for millions of motorists.’ Joel himself is a reformed petrol-head turned electric vehicle superfan. ‘I used to drive Jaguars, which I would buy second-hand. But then I decided to invest in a new Renault Zoe because it offered a smooth, quiet ride and was an ethical choice. However, as is the case for a lot of motorists going electric did mean stretching my budget when it came to the initial purchase but I knew that over time the low running costs would make the car a wise financial choice for me and my family. If I hadn’t been able to charge at either at home or within my immediate neighbourhood the transition to an electric vehicle wouldn’t have been viable – and with Co Charger I want to help more motorists have the same opportunity.’

To find out more visit: https://co-charger.com/

www.myessentialfleet.co.uk

Essential Fleet Manager n 25


Supplier News I The Car Key People

‘Hassel free’ vehicle key replacement

The Car Key People helping Siemens’ drivers access their vehicles The Car Key People began three years ago, as one of only a few specialist automotive locksmiths in London and the Home Counties. Their reputation for service and expertise has expanded and they now have a growing list of fleet clients, all of whom benefit from peace of mind in knowing that the disruption and vehicle downtime associated with key loss or failure is being minimised by utilising the Car Key People’s excellent key replacement service. Essential Fleet Manager Magazine once again caught up with Mark Migliaccio to tell us how they are helping one of the largest fleet operators: Siemens. Q: When Siemens approached The Car Key People, how did their requirement differ from the standard key loss/failure service? We were approached by Siemens to see if we could assist in supplying spare keys for more than 150 vehicles within their LCV fleet. The keys were required for vans working within Siemens’ courier service to enable drivers to load stock into vehicles overnight. As a company, we were asked to supply the most cost effective solution that would allow drivers to access each vehicle’s rear loading compartment..

Q: How did you begin the process of working out the solution to this requirement? Siemens vehicles are located all over the UK, and to make things even trickier, a proportion of the drivers also cover large operational areas. To solve this problem we divided theses operational areas into several geographical regions and assigned each one to our nationwide team of auto-locksmiths and technicians. The vehicles requiring our assistance included Ford Transits and Vauxhall Vivaros on lease from Lex Autolease and Enterprise Flex E Rent, who we already supplying keys on a national basis.

26 n Essential Fleet Manager

The Vivaros required a full remote key in order to gain rear loading access. The Transits were supplied with just a standard manual key which can be used in the drivers door lock, with two turns required to unlock the side and rear doors. Q: Once you had decided on the key type for the Vivaros and the Transits, could you describe the process needed to develop the duplicates, both logistically and technically? For both the Transits and the Vivaros we needed to have access to the vehicles for around 30 minutes to provide the new key. Our mobile technicians contacted each Siemens driver individually to www.myessentialfleet.co.uk


obtain their work schedule, which the drivers receive each evening for the following day. From our point of view, it was a case of coordinating when our technicians had bookings in a nearby area and arranging for them to head over to program the keys for the Siemens’ vehicles operating nearby. Sometimes this proved difficult, as trying to arrange for two mobile technicians to meet in one place at the same time, is far from an easy task. The technicians did however, work well together to get the job completed. Q: Was there any disruption to Siemens’ tight driver schedules while you were going through the process? When starting this project, our main priority was to provide all keys without causing any downtime for the drivers. They are all extremely busy with multiple bookings each day, so it was essential we

could provide the keys without disturbing their schedule. There were a few drivers that we couldn’t meet with during the working day, so to ensure zero disruption we arranged to attend their home address at 7am before they left for their first job. Q: What support are you offering Siemens now that this is up and running? As a company we have a great system in place and continue to support Siemens as and when a new key is required. The process of making a new booking has been streamlined and simplified. Our team continues to liaise directly with Siemens’ drivers to ensure any booking is completed with zero disruption to the their working day. Q: How do you see your fleet client base developing over the next year?

The Car Key People I Supplier News

The Car Key People operates with a strong team of expert auto-locksmiths anywhere in the UK. Over the last 12 months we have worked tirelessly on streamlining our work flow processes to offer a simple, centralised booking system in order to work more effectively and efficiently with fleets of all sizes. Our refined booking process, means we can dispatch a technician to almost anywhere in the UK within just 24-48 hours. We are currently supporting several of the UK’s leading fleets in vehicle rental, fleet management, utilities re-marketing and vehicle recovery. Moving forward we want to expand and grow our fleet client list, becoming the ‘go to’ name for vehicle key services throughout the UK.

For further information call T: 0208 226 3787 or visit http://carkeypeople.co.uk/ www.myessentialfleet.co.uk

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Industry News

To help the UK achieve Net Zero, vans must catch up There are more than 4.5 million Light Commercial Vehicles (LCVs) on the road today, yet less than 0.2% of these are electric, according to the most recent figures from the SMMT. With the UK aiming to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2030, it’s vital the UK economy not only switches to electric cars, but also electric vans. A new report from leading sustainable mobility specialist, Arval, which has more than 175,000 vehicles on its UK fleet, aims to help businesses adopt eLCVs through an investigation into real-world range i.e. how far they can go on one charge. For businesses used to running diesel vans and not having to unduly worry about time off the road, the move to all-electric commercial vehicles which have extended recharge times is something new to consider. Until now, independent real-world data about eLCV range has not been easily available leading to doubt within organisations about how electric vans would fit with their fleet needs. The real-world range figures in the new guide – eLCVs – Electric fleet transition powered by real-world data – from Arval allows 28 n Essential Fleet Manager

businesses to plan with confidence when running batteryelectric commercial vehicles. To support the transition, Arval commissioned an independent and scientific trial at Millbrook Proving Ground, assessing vans from three segments carrying full, half and no payload in winter ambient temperatures on urban, rural and motorway routes – helping businesses to plan around range scenarios confidently. The research concluded that the variables involved meant fleets had to look at their specific circumstances because differing types of van, payload, journey type and temperature all had an impact. In the scientific testing for the eLCV Performance Report ranges varied from around 50% to more than 100% of the official figure. David Watts, Arval UK senior consultant, explained: “Our realworld testing across small, medium and large electric vans, each assessed with three payload weights in typically cold weather, shows that to be confident the van won’t run out of electricity on a route, a figure of around 60-70% of the official range should be used. “Obviously there are many variables so fleets will want to use this www.myessentialfleet.co.uk


new data to see what their typical operations will mean to EV range. However there are some reassuring points that can be taken on board – namely, figures for laden eLCVs are comparable with the performance of diesel vans, faster speeds don’t necessarily reduce range and using ‘worst case’ winter performance figures should see a positive impact in warmer months. “Banning the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles, scheduled for 2030, has thrown into sharp relief the different needs of fleet vehicles and how electric light commercial vehicles will fit in. “Tax changes have triggered a sudden surge in electric car interest as drivers seize the opportunity to cut their monthly benefit-in-kind costs, but there’s also increased focus on fleet electrification across all vehicle segments. This has seen the spotlight shift to the very real and practical challenges of incorporating electric commercial vehicles into a fleet.” As a leading advocate of fleet electrification, Arval knows that

Industry News

understanding the realistic operational capabilities of an eLCV is crucial to an effective electric fleet transition process. David added: “Two key questions routinely faced from fleet operators looking to adopt eLCVs are ‘what is the real-world range?’ and ‘what impact, if any, does the payload have on this range?’ “Until now there has been an information void about the real-world range of fully electric LCVs, compared to the official WLTP figures, and also the impact of external variables such as temperature, payload and driving route.” The research shared in the new report is the first independent investigation into the impact of temperature on electric LCV real-world range. It is also the first independent investigation into the impact of payload on electric LCV range. Sustainable mobility, including increasing the adoption of eLCVs, is a key part of the company’s strategy to 2025, Arval Beyond and is also aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals 9 and 11.

To download the full report visit: arval.co.uk/fleettoolbox/elcv-fleet-transition

www.myessentialfleet.co.uk

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Procurement I In the Spotlight YPO

Procurement ‘in the Spotlight’ Ian Reed, Category Manager - Fleet , YPO YPO, one of the UK’s largest public sector buying organisations has launched a dynamic purchasing system (DPS) for the procurement of alternatively fuelled vehicles available to the public sector. Essential Fleet Manager caught up with Ian Reed, Head of Fleet Category to talk more about fleet procurement and how the DPS can be a compliant route for organisations to invest in alternatively fuelled vehicles on the scale that is needed to make a difference to reducing emissions in our communities.

Q: How have the services of YPO fleet evolved over the years? We’ve has been providing fleet related procurement services since 2007 - starting out with one Specialist Vehicles Framework, we now offer a portfolio of fleet procurement solutions including the first Home to School Parent App and the only Telematics and Journey Recorders DPS in the market currently. Our current position is clear - we offer the broadest range of frameworks in the market while delivering on the current YPO strategy of exceptional customer service. In 2021, our aim is to assist customers in their recovery from the pandemic and get back to business as usual with their fleets – some of which will 30 n Essential Fleet Manager

have aged in the past 12 months and run beyond their intended renewal date, as procurement will have been focused on other areas such as PPE. We work closely with customers and suppliers to gather expertise on the latest technology and legislative changes. With new innovations coming into the sector such as the Road to Zero and Clean Air Zones expected to be in place by the end of 2023, we’re gathering market insight and shaping our services to provide effective procurement options. Emerging areas of interest to us are fully electric vehicles, automated and connected technologies, and direct vision standard for HGVs. Q: To what extent have increased safety standards, www.myessentialfleet.co.uk


In the Spotlight YPO I Procurement

environmental concerns and legal obligations complicated the procurement process? Within the YPO fleet category, the biggest concern is sustainability and environmental. Social value is now explicitly evaluated during procurements rather than just considered. This of course includes environmental obligations that need to be in line with the government’s strategy for at least 50% and as many as 70% of new car sales to be ultra-low emission, along with up to 40% of new vans by 2030. With many local authorities declaring climate emergencies, the whole sustainability and environmental package will increasingly become a dominant factor when shaping contracts and selecting suppliers. Q: How important is it for fleet operational teams to communicate fully with procurement specialists? Fleet procurement has become more comprehensive than ever with a wide range of products on offer, meaning that procurement has become, increasingly specialised - so it’s imperative that both sides communicate fully for the desired outcome to be achieved. We facilitate regular information/ specification sharing sessions, site visits while throughout the pandemic we’ve seen a significant increase in Teams meetings and webinars. Q: What are the main considerations when specifying and procuring electric vehicles, especially LCV and specialist, over and above the basics such as range? The main considerations we find are range, cost/price premium, charge time, charging infrastructure, weight, and payload. We would always advise running a whole life costing exercise for your procurement. Q: How are those considerations assisted by the Alternative Fuels DPS? The considerations will be assisted by the speed of the DPS offering, quickly bringing to market any new technology when it becomes available. I can only see all the considerations mentioned within the previous question improving over time as the understanding of the alternative fuels market develops and matures. Q: What are the benefits of supplier expertise being available under a Dynamic Purchasing System, rather than a “traditional” framework agreement? The main benefit is the flexibility of the DPS compared to the more ridged framework offering. As more and more new suppliers come to the market with ever changing technology and innovation, they can be quickly on boarded to the YPO DPS making their vehicles readily available to our customers.

Q: As the choice, flexibility, and diversity of vehicles available on an electric platform expands, how does YPO plan to meet the resulting increase in demand? A DPS remains open throughout its duration for the ongoing admission of suppliers meeting the minimum selection criteria, and allows pre-qualified suppliers to participate in customer’s further competition for in scope services. Benefits of using the DPS: •

We can fully manage the customer’s further competition (call-off ) process if required

Flexibility to respond to changes in the market and offer local suppliers and SMEs the opportunity to bid and be awarded to the DPS

Suppliers not meeting the minimum standard for admittance onto the DPS can resubmit

Reduced timescales – customers do not need to run a full OJEU procurement if procuring via the DPS

Assured supplier standards – suppliers appointed onto the DPS are ‘pre-qualified’ as to their general suitability

Pre-defined terms and conditions

Q: The recent Queen’s Speech stated government plans to simplify procurement processes now that we are outside EU regulations. Is this necessary or have organisations such as YPO already achieved this for end-user organisations? On the 15 December 2020, the Cabinet Office published its long-awaited green paper setting out its proposed reforms to be made to the public procurement regime, which applied in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland post Brexit. YPO supports in principle the ambition to transform public procurement and have submitted a detailed and formal response back to the green paper, with executive summary from our managing director, and the consultation within YPO involved staff at all levels involved in procurement, commercial and contract management roles. We’ve shared our response with many local, regional and national partners and have recently been contacted by government following the submission to engage further in the consultation which we welcome. We feel that we’ve already started simplifying the procurement processes with the addition of the Alternative Fuelled Vehicles DPS - which provides the flexibility to respond to changes in the market and offer local suppliers and SMEs the opportunity to bid and be awarded to the agreement, bringing new and innovative vehicle suppliers to the public sector.

To find out more about the Alternative Fuelled Vehicles DPS Visit: www.ypo.co.uk/frameworks-home/900597#details

www.myessentialfleet.co.uk

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Procurement I Crown Commercial Service

CCS is helping the public sector ease the impact of COVID-19 with vehicle hire solutions By David Baker, Category Manager Vehicle Hire, Crown Commercial Service

On 21 March 2020, business travel in the public sector was stopped in its tracks. All areas of the sector suffered as lockdown came into effect and demand fell through the floor. Many businesses moved to remote working, often very successfully. The pandemic demonstrated above anything else that focusing on staff being physically present, whether working in offices or attending meetings with customers or service users, is not always beneficial. Reducing business travel can also deliver environmental benefits, reducing carbon emissions and moving us closer to the Government’s ultimate aim of achieving carbon net zero by 32 n Essential Fleet Manager

2050, as referenced in the Road to Zero strategy. Looking ahead, organisations will scrutinise business travel like never before in an attempt to minimise these environmental and financial costs. Vehicle hire - innovating in the face of COVID-19 Early on during the pandemic, activity on Crown Commercial Service’s vehicle hire agreements fell to lower than 50% of prepandemic levels. Whilst a recovery has taken place, the Vehicle Hire sector is not expected to rebound fully any time soon. For suppliers of vehicle hire solutions, lockdown meant far less www.myessentialfleet.co.uk


demand and, regrettably, many staff were furloughed and some branches closed. Implementing social distancing processes at work has incurred extra costs, particularly in cleaning, delivery and collection, where more and larger vehicles are required to get the job done safely. Many suppliers have embraced the challenges that COVID-19 has thrown at them. Some NHS trusts and local authorities have had an increased need for people carriers and vans to provide their frontline services, in line with the general uptake of commercial vehicles through the agreement during 2020. In the face of market shortages stemming from the boom in online retail home deliveries and delays in manufacturing, CCS suppliers have demonstrated the determination and agility to secure vehicles for customers, especially key workers. The flexibility of services has been key, as demonstrated through Europcar’s work with Scottish Borders Council. Many of the local authority’s staff - who had been using the company’s car share division, Ubeeqo, for business trips - began working from home, and business travel greatly reduced. The existing scheme was redesigned to assist the Council’s social care operations, relocating vehicles in key areas to better support its work. Vehicle hire suppliers have introduced robust cleaning procedures. Enterprise’s Complete Clean Pledge, for example, aims to set customers’ minds at ease by systematically cleaning each vehicle’s 20 high-touch points with approved disinfectant between each hire. The risk of grey fleet It remains to be seen how long it will be until people, and the organisations that facilitate their business travel, once again feel comfortable using public transport in large numbers. For organisations without the appetite to ask their workers to immediately return to public transport, vehicle hire provides an appealing alternative. A London-based Youth Offending Team praised Enterprise’s car share network, for the flexibility it has afforded them during the pandemic to visit and supervise high-risk young people involved in gangs. Organisations may also be tempted to respond by slackening their policies and allowing employees to use their own vehicles for business travel. The negative environmental impact could be significant. As the BVRLA has highlighted, the average age of grey fleet is 8 years, as opposed to under 2 years for a rental car. Grey fleet is less efficient, emitting 16% more CO2 than rental cars. Permitting its spread would go against most public sector organisations’ aim to reduce carbon emissions. There are also major safety concerns associated with grey fleet. Over 80% of rental cars achieve NCAP’s top 5 star safety rating, which assesses crash protection and crash avoidance technology, compared with only 33% of grey fleet. Furthermore, 40% of vehicles over 8 years old fail their MoTs, which means that employees may be a greater risk to themselves and others. This situation has been further exacerbated by the pandemic: a 2020 survey by Enterprise found that over half of grey fleet drivers had deferred their MoT since the pandemic struck and a quarter of them had never even looked under the bonnet!

CCS calculates that, on average, it will be more cost effective to hire a small car for a whole day to complete a journey of 70 miles or over than allowing grey fleet usage (based on standard daily rate excluding insurance). For shorter journeys, many car share networks, conveniently located in urban locations, are payable by the hour and can also be cost effective. How vehicle hire is a flexible and smarter choice With the uncertainty stemming from the pandemic still present around future business operations, many fleet managers are wary of adding more vehicles to their fleet. During the pandemic many organisations have found themselves with the unenviable choice between continuing to make lease payments on a car sitting on an employee’s driveway or stumping up for early termination fees. Flexible rental, available via CCS, does not incur any early termination charge and gives organisations far greater flexibility when grappling with the modification of its fleet profile in the light of new post-pandemic ways of working. Flexible rental is a bit more expensive than lease but, in these times, paying a little extra but with greater flexibility will prove a wise trade-off for some fleet managers. In the short term, we are likely to see more demand for vehicle hire in place of using public transport. In the longer term, vehicles are shifting to usership models rather than ownership, meaning a rise in uptake of car share and flexible rental solutions for operational vehicles. Let us help you with your vehicle rental needs If you are looking to procure Vehicle Hire solutions, either in place of public transport in the short-term, or as a longer-term strategy, our Vehicle Hire agreement is here to help you.

www.myessentialfleet.co.uk

For more information on our suite of Total Fleet Solutions, including our Vehicle Hire agreement, visit our website: https://www.crowncommercial.gov.uk/ products-and-services/corporate/fleet/acquire/ Sign up for our newsletter: https://www. crowncommercial.gov.uk/ccs-fleet-newsletter/

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Supplier News

Octopus Electric Vehicles selects FMG for EV incident management FMG has been awarded a new contract to support Octopus Electric Vehicles in providing effortless EV solutions for its newly launched Salary Sacrifice scheme, Electric Dreams. The incident management experts will provide 24/7 driver care and an end-toend incident management solution to Octopus drivers. Through Electric Dreams, drivers can save 30-60% off their monthly car costs on salary sacrifice, with Octopus’s first clients saving over £10,000 over a 3-year term, while also feeling good about doing right by the planet. Octopus has designed the scheme to be simple and zero-cost for

an employer to set up, with brands like Huel and Purplebricks already making the benefit available to their staff. Natalia Peralta Silverstone, Head of Propositions at Octopus Electric Vehicles, said: “Businesses and employees across the UK are searching for ways to do their bit for the environment. This scheme, along with the low Benefit-in-kind (BiK) tax rates, make electric cars an attractive option. By partnering with FMG, we can ensure a truly seamless and personal service for our customers when incidents occur.” Andrew Chandler, Sales Director at FMG said, “It’s a privilege to be chosen to partner with such a forward-thining company and we are delighted to be in a strong position to support this transformation of the automotive sector. As many fleets find that their medium to long term EV-adoption plans have accelerated overnight, we have taken proactive steps to prepare for the incidental effect on vehicle repair. In recent

years we have invested time, resource and expertise in EV manufacturer and bodyshop repairer relationships and supported our network’s transition to BS10125, the industry’s most credible quality standard in vehicle repair.” Official government figures released by the Department for Transport in March 2021 show that nearly 11% of new cars sold in 2020 had a plug, compared with just over 3% in 2019. FMG is fully prepared for further dramatic volume increases, with over 300 of FMG’s repairers having the full capability - machinery, tools, training and skill - to carry out high quality EV repair. Andrew continued, “The impact of the last 12 months on the automotive sector has been staggering and as more drivers switch to greener ways to get around, we are proud to play our part in protecting the future of high-quality modern vehicle repair.”

Humanising Autonomy enhances behaviour AI for VisionTrack HUMANISING Autonomy, a behaviour AI company, and VisionTrack, leading in-vehicle video telematics and computer vision provider, have entered into a strategic partnership to bring advanced vulnerable road user (VRU) perception to vehicle operators globally. Humanising Autonomy’s behaviour AI will be integrated into VisionTrack’s Autonomise.ai solution, enabling a nuanced understanding of human behaviour in fleet management and compliance, insurance, road safety and risk management settings. Behaviour AI will enable drivers to receive real-time VRU collision warnings. By empowering vehicle camera technology to accurately analyse and predict human behaviours, the technology aims to generate earlier alerts to the driver with a higher degree of accuracy than traditional ADAS systems. The sophisticated Behaviour AI Platform will also enhance VisionTrack’s ability to identify safety challenges and key coaching opportunities for fleet customers by better analysing incident statistics and trends using advanced behavioural insight. “Humanising Autonomy’s Behaviour AI Platform will help to better support and protect drivers and ultimately save lives on the road,” explains Richard Lane, Commercial Director of VisionTrack. “We are truly passionate about road safety and driver welfare, so we are thrilled about our new partnership with Humanising Autonomy. Together we will deliver cutting-edge technologies that not only benefit our customers, but all road users.” Autonomise.ai is a next-generation IoT platform that is at the forefront of the video telematics sector. Launched last year, it 34 n Essential Fleet Manager

uses computer vision to collect, process and analyse footage alongside supporting vehicle data from a growing number of connected camera devices. Autonomise.ai is also empowering the latest AI technologies including Advanced Driver Assist System (ADAS), Driver Status Monitoring (DSM) and Blind Spot Detection (BSD), with the aim of preventing collisions before they happen. Said Humanising Autonomy’s Chief Executive officer Maya Pindeus: “For us, this partnership is further validation that our Behaviour AI Platform is critical in eliminating pedestrian deaths, and enabling safer fleets.” She continued, “We’re excited about the doors this opens for both parties.” Tackling the industry’s core challenges with camera perception, the technology can be used in all lighting, road and weather conditions, as well as in areas with high densities of road users. Backed by a dataset of 1 billion human behaviours, Humanising Autonomy offers the best possible VRU detection and prediction and multi-camera support. www.myessentialfleet.co.uk


A new tyre service dedicated to meeting the tyre fitment needs of ‘extraordinary fleets’ is to be piloted in the Bristol and South Wales region LAUNCHED by one of the UK’s leading tyre wholesalers, Micheldever Tyre Services, the new Micheldever Fleet Solutions (MFS) offer will provide fleet operators with the opportunity to utilise MFS’s wealth of industry knowledge and product expertise to deliver against the performance and commercial needs of the most demanding vehicle fleets. MFS’s pilot project will be available exclusively to fleet businesses in the Bristol and South Wales region for the next couple of months, before being rolled out across further UK regions later in the year. The MFS offer will include the new ‘Extraordinary Fleet Calculator’, a simple five question multiple choice diagnostic that helps to inform fleet managers how extraordinary their fleet is based on its tyre fitting requirements. An exclusive MFS ‘Fleet Manager’s Essential Guide to Tyre Health and Safety’, offering insight on legal obligations for fleets and advice on tyre maintenance, is also available as a downloadable PDF on the new MFS website https://micheldeverfleet.co.uk/ The new MFS online platform will also provide advice, expertise and insight from the MFS team, case studies of ’Extraordinary Fleets’ MFS are currently working with and the opportunity to

Fleet industry calls for review of the Advisory Electricity Rate for EVs The Association of Fleet Professionals and the BVRLA have joined forces to call upon Government to take steps to ensure that the Advisory Electricity Rate (AER) for electric vehicles is fit-for-purpose. The industry bodies share concerns that the current 4 pence per mile rate, which remains unchanged since 2018, is no longer reflective of real-world conditions, and have written to HMRC to make the following recommendations: • Review the current AER level • Establish an ongoing review process for the AER • Create a separate AER for vans • Begin work on a hydrogen AFR Advisory Rates are widely used by employers to determine reimbursement rates for employees claiming business mileage, with HMRC publishing updated AFRs quarterly for petrol, diesel, and hybrid vehicles. Paul Hollick, chair at the AFP, explained: “The HMRC’s current rate

Supplier News

directly contact the MFS team. For the launch, an ‘extraordinary’ incentive is being offered to the first five fleets in the Bristol and South Wales region to sign up to the new service. Those five fleets will qualify for a free fleet tyre audit and risk assessment valued at £8,000, carried out by MFS’s team of experts at each respective businesses’ main fleet location. Martin Towers, MFS Sales Director, said: “We are excited to launch the new MFS fleet tyre service and to give fleet businesses in the Bristol and South Wales region the first opportunity to engage with us and resolve their tyre fitting requirements. “At MFS, we have specialists who can assess a fleet’s requirements and tailor the correct tyre fitment to suit, regardless of how extraordinary a fleet is or the job its tasked with carrying out. “We can assess and provide tyre solutions that enable a fleet to operate in all types of weather conditions, all kinds of terrain and all year round, delivering exceptional performance including mileage. “The new MFS website is a great place to start a Fleet Manager’s journey. It provides the opportunity to gauge the extraordinary status of a fleet’s tyres and follow it up with sound advice and insight from our expert team. We look forward to hearing from fleet businesses in the Bristol and South Wales region.” Through MTS’s supplier agreements, MFS has access to well established brands such as General Tire, Falken and BF Goodrich, enabling it to offer a comprehensive range of tyres suited to all types of terrain. As well as identifying the right tyre to suit the right vehicle, MFS can also find a solution for disposing of the original equipment tyres. MTS partners with their customers to ensure tyres taken off vehicles are successfully redeployed, both removing the hassle for the customer and allowing the tyres to be put to an alternative use that is beneficial to all involved. For honest, unbiased advice on a range of tyre solutions for fleets businesses, please contact Martin Towers at martin. towers@micheldever.co.uk or 07787 576686.

was set at a time when business use of EVs was in its infancy and is quite a blunt instrument, using the same rate whether for a small city runabout or a large luxury 4x4. Clearly, the fuel costs of these vehicles are not the same. “The Advisory Fuel Rates (AFRs) used for petrol, diesel and hybrid vehicles recognise that there are different engine sizes that have different fuelling costs. A similar approach needs to be adopted for their electric equivalents.” BVRLA Chief Executive, Gerry Keaney said: “The current AER rate and the process for determining it is not fit-for-purpose. It has the potential to compromise the uptake of electric vehicles, as employees will not, in many cases, be adequately reimbursed for their business travel costs. “A fifth of BVRLA members’ fleet already has some form of electrification and this figure is only set to increase as more people look to upgrade to cleaner vehicles. The tax system must catch up and reform of the AER process is needed to ensure parity with the fairer process applied to AFRs.” The Association of Fleet Professionals and the BVRLA will continue to work together on this issue to ensure that the voice of the fleet industry is heard amongst policymakers.

www.myessentialfleet.co.uk

Essential Fleet Manager n 35


Supplier News I BigChange

BigChange Drives Efficiency with Paperless Working at Fleet Dynamic Fleet Dynamic, the commercial vehicle rental and leasing company, is using the latest mobile technology to transform its fleet management. Providing complete automation across the entire hire and leasing lifecycle, the cloud-based, 5-in-1 solution from BigChange has helped Fleet Dynamic switch to paperless working. The system has also contributed to a 30 percent improvement in workshop efficiency as well as a reduction in lost charges and operating costs. “Before BigChange, all parts of the process, from hire request through to delivery ticket, were paper-based. We couldn’t attach additional information such as photographs, essential information including vehicle or customer details were often not captured and retrieving data to resolve queries was difficult,” commented

Terry Stockwell, Sales and Marketing Director at Fleet Dynamic. “Now, with BigChange, every time a customer account is touched, a digital record of the interaction is made, and every time a vehicle is sent out its every movement is recorded. “This has helped us become paperless, which was timely in view of the pandemic as we wanted to eliminate the handling of paperwork to minimise the risk posed by the virus.” Fleet Dynamic is a multi-award winning company and includes Manchester City Council amongst its client base. With headquarters in Wigan, Fleet Dynamic was established in 2009 with the aim of providing customers with a one-stop solution for all their vehicle requirements. A comprehensive vehicle rental and leasing service includes

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cars, vans and a full range of specialist vehicles, for example 4 x4 double cab pickups and seven-seater welfare vehicles. The company also provides a range of interior and exterior corporate signage and Health & Safety signs as well as a ply lining business for bespoke vehicle interiors. Using the single-platform CRM, Job Scheduling, Mobile App, Vehicle Tracking and Online Portal from BigChange has enabled Fleet Dynamic to remove paper forms and reports from its hire and lease operation. Hire requests, delivery tickets, on-hire and off-hire details are all digitally recorded by drivers using mobile devices or office-based staff using PCs. This information is then available, 24/7, from any internetenabled device giving management total visibility of the mobile operation. www.myessentialfleet.co.uk


BigChange I Supplier News

Severn-Seater Welfare Van exterior

Fleet Dynamic also uses the BigChange asset tracking system to provide additional intelligence and security for its corporate account customers. “The capture and sharing of intelligence means we can effectively manage the fleet, monitoring downtime and forward planning for servicing and MOT events. This has contributed to more efficient use of workshop time with savings of around 30 percent,” Stockwell continued. “Additional savings have been achieved as a result of a reduction in missed recharges and the fact we no longer have to pay for specialist software, such as an HR platform, as BigChange does it all.”

Severn-Seater Welfare Van interior

For further information visit: www.bigchange.com or call 0113 457 1000

www.myessentialfleet.co.uk

Essential Fleet Manager n 37


Supplier News

Modul System expands UK Operation Modul-System are pleased to announce the acquisition of its new North based vehicle conversion site near York. This addition to the existing UK operation delivers an increase in capacity of over 40% and contributes to the implementation of the businesses long term strategic plan to deliver growth and high levels of service to new and existing customers. Paul Railston Managing Director at ModulSystem UK added, with the consistent levels of growth we have experienced in

the UK over recent years the time is right to move to next phase of our strategic plan which includes the expansion of our operational base. This has been delivered through the acqisition of an established partner which is wholly owned by Modul-System UK. This allows us to hit the ground running and deliver improved efficiency and capacity from day one.

while keeping pace with vehicle technology and the changing operational profile of modern commercial vehicles. The time is now right for us to focus on growing our infrastructure to keep pace with the growth we have achieved on the back of our product and service developments.

This development delivers the growth we have planned for as part of our longer term strategic plan and meets our current and future business needs while growing and delivering wider more focussed geographical cover within the UK.

Modul-System will continue to deliver high levels of customer service, innovation and solutions and technical support but we will now be better placed to deliver higher levels of customers service, reduced lead times and more local support to our customers.

Over recent years Modul-System has focused on growing the business by delivering new products, innovation, and a fresh approach to customer service meeting the changing demands of modern and diverse fleet operations

We will release more information over the coming weeks and for those who can attend the re-scheduled CV Show in September we wil be supporting this event and the wider Commercial Vehicle industry so please drop in and see us.

have cemented our position firmly among the top 10 UK van and truck conversion companies. The proposed expansion would enable us to treble our production capacity, as well as consolidating administrative offices We also plan to establish a vehicle handover and conference centre to enhance customer experience.”

to fulfil large-scale public and private sector contracts with government, local authorities. fleet operators and leasing corporations on time and to the customer’s entire satisfaction. LeasePlan selected us, and our design concept for the vehicles was fine-tuned with the Department of Health & Social Care.”

TGS Automotive plans major expansion in Bristol Commercial vehicle conversion company, TGS Automotive, is planning a major expansion of its Bristol operation, which would more than double its current workforce and enable it to handle large-scale public and private sector projects .

The move comes on the back of a contract to convert 500 Renault Master vans, recently completed for the Department of Health & Social Care. The vehicles are being leased to the department from LeasePlan as mobile covid 19 testing units. The contract was completed in only three months in response to the national pandemic emergency. The TGS Group has occupied its current premises in Fishponds, Bristol, for about 15 years. Founded in 1973, it evolved from a road haulage business. The planned expansion would more than treble workspace capacity . The current workforce of some 45 skilled workshop engineers would be more than doubled. Director, Glenn Smith, said: “We

He added: “We completed the contract for health service vehicles in an unprecedented three months, demonstrating our capacity

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Glenn went on the say that TGS was fully equipped to handle conversion requirements for electric vehicles in the future.

www.myessentialfleet.co.uk


Supplier News

Three-quarters of UK fleet managers claim poor driving negatively impacts their business Three-quarters (73 per cent) of UK fleet managers claim poor driving behaviour negatively impacts their business, a new report from Webfleet Solutions has found. The findings of the research, which offers insight into attitudes and safety concerns of 1,050 fleet decision makers in Europe, are published in the European Road Safety Report 2021 eBook. According to the research, respondents were most worried about their drivers’ habits and poor behaviour behind the wheel, specifically the use of mobile phones and other devices (71 per cent), followed by speeding (69 per cent), eating or drinking behind the wheel (68 per cent), and driving while fatigued (67 per cent). High accident rates and insurance claim incidents suggest these concerns may be justified, with 68 per cent of UK commercial fleets involved in road collisions every year, and 61 per cent of fleets saying that, on average, they have at least one insurance claims a month made against their company by other road users. As well as posing a danger to their drivers and other road users, respondents were concerned about the reputational damage to

the company. While 73 per cent of UK fleet managers claim poor driving behaviour negatively impacts their business, 65 per cent were concerned poor driving behaviour harmed their company’s reputation. Combining survey data with official EU statistics and data from other authoritative sources, the eBook presents a holistic view on the issue of road safety for commercial fleets. Furthermore, the report discusses how data driven technology can support fleet managers to keep their drivers, vehicles and other road users safe. According to the European Road Safety Report survey, UK fleet decision makers were most likely to have adopted reversing and side camera technology to help improve road safety (40 per cent) and half (51 per cent) of businesses said they were offered a lower premium if they adopted a telematics system. Driven largely by the positive impact connected cameras can have on insurance claims, the stringent new vision regulations coming into force in parts of the UK will also play a role in connected camera uptake.

“Significant investment is being made in developing more powerful hardware and software to make vehicles safer. “Telematics, for example, can improve the safety of commercial fleets by offering powerful insights into driver behaviour. Fleet managers and decision makers can access a range of valuable data points from each driver trip, with an overview of incidents like speeding, harsh steering, or sudden braking. “This data can be paired with vehicle camera footage, offering fleet managers context of why these events occur. Driver-facing cameras, using Artificial Intelligence (AI), also assist in better driving by detecting various types of unsafe behaviours and alerting the driver to correct their course before an accident occurs.

“The integrated solution gives fleet managers and decision makers full transparency and clarity, allowing them to protect their drivers from non-fault claims and coach them to drive more safely. “This latest research underlines the need to improve road safety of UK fleets, and the best way to achieve that is through better driving habits and improved visibility. “Legislative change will certainly encourage uptake of technology in the coming years but fleet decision makers should aim to be one step ahead and use technology and telematics to their competitive advantage.” Beverley Wise, Sales Director UK & Ireland, Webfleet

www.myessentialfleet.co.uk

Essential Fleet Manager n 39


Supplier News I Trakm8

Energy Assets chooses Trakm8 Trakm8, the UK’s leading vehicle technology specialist, has confirmed a new relationship with Energy Assets, a leading independent business in the energy services sector. The telematics technology expert has rolled out its award winning RH600 integrated telematics camera across Energy Assets’ full fleet of 200 vehicles, following a successful trial period. Energy Assets is one of Britain’s fastest growing independent industrial and commercial multi-utility metering businesses, helping both the private and public sector improve energy efficiency through ground-breaking technology analytics and customer-focused processes. Trakm8’s RH600 solution combines rich telematics data with a cutting edge 4G in-cab camera system, providing ultimate peace of mind for fleet managers. It is proven to reduce accident rates by up to 39% and cut instances of speeding by 35%. Indeed, it was the driver safety credentials of the RH600 that first led Energy Assets to investing in the device. Ben Holleyhead, Fleet Manager at Energy Assets, explains: “The roll-out of RH600 across our 200-strong fleet represents a significant investment from Energy Assets into driver safety.

“To serve our customers, our engineers drive to all corners of the country. The Trakm8 RH600 solution will help create a positive environmental impact via efficient route planning by not only reducing engineers’ time on the road, but also fuel used and therefore emissions. “Also, having the reassurance that they are following safety protocols and avoiding actions that could cause danger to themselves or other road users is absolutely essential. The system will provide valuable insight into our driver’s behaviour when out on the road to ensure we maintain a careful and considered driving approach. “The integrated camera enables us to keep track of our driver’s habits, helping us spot potential training opportunities to further bolster the safety of our fleet. The RH600 also proves its worth from an insurance standpoint, with the device providing crystal clear footage from the driver’s perspective to help adjudicate during accident claims. “After a successful trial period, we are excited to be rolling out the RH600 across our whole fleet. The feedback from drivers so far has been overwhelmingly positive and we’re looking forward to seeing the benefits the system can deliver to the business longer term.”

For more information on the full range of products and services offered by Trakm8, please visit: https://www.trakm8.co.uk

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www.myessentialfleet.co.uk


Specialist vehicles from Crown Commercial Service meeting your every need From refuse collection, street scene and grounds maintenance, to minibuses, buses and coaches, we have solutions for all of your specialist vehicle needs. CCS can help you with a wide range of purchase, rental and lease options, along with ancillary services, to help you secure the vehicles you need to deliver vital public services while remaining mindful of environmental targets. Choose CCS for your specialist vehicle needs and benefit from: • • •

a full range of standard build and specialist vehicles the ability to easily to compare quotes online in real time average savings of 9% on leases and 3% on purchases

Find out more about everything we can do for you:

www.crowncommercial.gov.uk/products-andservices/corporate/fleet/acquire


Sector News

South Ayrshire switches to LIVE vehicle camera system for better protection A spate of faulty vehicle cameras and unrecorded footage on waste and recycling vehicles at South Ayrshire Council has led the council to switch to live camera systems that are remotely monitored and health-checked. The authority has been fitting camera systems to its waste and recycling fleet since 2015. However, a spate of faulty camera incidents, which resulted in unrecorded footage has led the council to switch suppliers and install LIVE camera technology to its fleet. 18 waste management vehicles and 9 accessible buses are now equipped with the RXLite LIVE camera systems from Innovative Safety Systems Ltd (ISS). Ronnie Hannah, Fleet Officer, South Ayrshire Council: “We used to record footage onto a hard drive with our previous supplier. However, the hard-drive had to be removed, downloaded and reviewed, which was time-consuming. Also, we experienced a number of situations where footage from particular incidents had not been recorded due to undiagnosed faults with a camera. For this reason we investigated options for a more reliable, fit for purpose solution.”

our behalf. They carry out regular health checks to make sure all the cameras are working correctly and that the whole system is working to its full potential. If there are any issues, they fix it automatically. This saves us time and we know we won’t be left in a situation where we don’t have the footage we need. We are delighted with the system and the service from the ISS team. They are quick to respond and great to work with.” The council has also installed the Cyclear safety warning device from ISS to its fleet to protect cyclists and vulnerable road users. Keith Boyfield, Sales Manager (Scotland and the North East), ISS said: “We are delighted to be the supplier of choice for South Ayrshire Council and it has been a pleasure working with Ronnie and his team over the last 6 years to enhance the safety of their fleet.” Four new buses and six new refuse vehicles, all equipped with RXLite and Cyclear are due to arrive at South Ayrshire Council later this month.

The ISS managed service includes remote monitoring, management and preventative maintenance of camera systems and in-vehicle technology, including daily equipment healthchecks, automatic fault management and pro-active warranty call-out response from the ISS support team.

ISS provides market leading vehicle safety technology for fleet operators across a diverse range of industries such as waste management, construction, emergency services, haulage and passenger transport. The company, which is backed by Leeds-based YFM Equity Partners, is responsible for pioneering products such as *Cyclear, Reaclear, IDClear and recently launched its new fleet management software solution FleetClear.

Ronnie explains why: “The RXLite system works very well. Not only is the footage very clear, ISS also monitors the system remotely on

For further information about ISS products visit www.iss-international.co.uk or tel: 01386 630 155.

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www.myessentialfleet.co.uk


Sector News

Clancy charges towards electrification with zero-emission Mercedes-Benz eVito

Pictured: David Janes, head of operations at Clancy Plant

Leading utilities contractor Clancy has taken a positive step towards a ‘greener’ tomorrow by setting seven battery-powered Mercedes-Benz eVito vans on the road. The eVito vans are based at Clancy depots in the south and east of England, and undertake a range of duties, from supporting water meter replacement teams, to delivery of essential parts and materials to construction sites in London, where the eVito’s Congestion Charge exemption translates into welcome £11.50 per vehicle daily savings. David Janes, head of operations at Clancy Plant, said: “We are working hard to find ways to drive sustainability as we continue towards our goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2030. Decarbonising our fleet will be crucial if we want to achieve this, and so we are constantly assessing the technology available to support our business activity in a sustainable way. Investing in fully electric vehicles will be an important pillar of our net-zero strategy. “We plan to install charging points across many of our depots in the next year, to pave the way for the introduction of more electric vehicles. We’ll use them wherever they can meet our operational requirements. “As the market advances we’ll be keeping track of new developments such as longer-range batteries, and we’re investigating other ways to reduce the impact of our operations on the environment too, for example by using cleaner gas-to-liquid fuel for our diesel-engined vehicles.” Clancy’s long L2 eVito vans have gross weights of 3.2 tonnes. Five are PURE variants with payload allowances of 905 kg, and an average range on a full battery charge of 92 miles. The remaining two are PROGRESSIVE models, with colour-coded bumpers and wheel covers. All wear specially designed graphics reinforcing Clancy’s ambition to ‘harness green technology for the good of the planet’.

Like its diesel-engined stablemate the eVito has sliding load doors on both sides, providing easy access, in the case of the L2 variant, to up to 6.0m3 of cargo area – the 41 kWh battery is securely mounted in a protective housing beneath the floor, so does not impinge on the available space. Clancy acquired its first Mercedes-Benz vehicles from Midlands Truck & Van five years ago. In 2020 it took delivery of more than 500 new vans bearing the three-pointed star, including examples from all three core model lines in the manufacturer’s range. “Our Mercedes-Benz vans are very reliable,” explained Mr Janes. “The fact that they are hardly ever off the road for anything other than routine maintenance is crucial. They’ve also been impressively cost-effective to run across a tough working regime in which each averages around 30,000 miles per year.” Multi-award-winning Clancy is one of the largest privately-owned construction firms in the UK. With a 60-year track record in technical expertise and innovation, the business employs and trains more than 2,400 people to build and maintain essential infrastructure in the water, energy and civil engineering sectors throughout the UK. Since Clancy placed its order Mercedes-Benz Vans has responded to customer feedback by realigning the eVito range around the PROGRESSIVE trimline. The vehicle now comes with a facelifted, chrome-finned grille and a higher capacity charging cable, as well as additional equipment including a reversing camera and Audio 30 entertainment with DAB radio, an Anti-theft Protection Package and double-locks. Customers can further upgrade their eVito by choosing the optional PLUS Package, which incorporates extra features such as electrically folding exterior mirrors, 17-inch full wheel covers and PARKTRONIC parking sensors.

www.myessentialfleet.co.uk

Essential Fleet Manager n 12


Supplier News I Specialist Fleet Services Ltd.

North Northants Council replaces waste and recycling fleet

New unitary authority North Northamptonshire Council is updating its waste and recycling fleet with a vehicle replacement programme comprising over 110 vehicles. Specialist Fleet Services Ltd (SFS) was awarded the contract to provide and maintain the vehicles as well as workshop management services. Previously SFS worked for Kettering and Corby Borough Councils, both of which are now part of the newly formed North Northamptonshire Council along with Wellingborough and East Northants Councils. The first vehicles began arriving at the Council’s Kettering depot in February this year and include 11x 26t Refuse Collection Vehicles (RCVs) and 2x 18t RCVs from Dennis Eagle, all fitted with Euro 6 engines, which offer low carbon emissions. The vehicles are also equipped with onboard weighing equipment and the latest safety equipment including the Maple DriveLock system to protect vehicles against unauthorised movement or theft, the Cyclear cyclist warning device and 360° vehicle camera recording systems with LANlink automatic footage download, from ISS. Cllr Graham Lawman, Executive Member for Highways, Travel and Assets at North Northamptonshire Council, said:

“We are very pleased to be updating our fleet at North Northamptonshire Council with SFS. These new vehicles come with additional safety features to keep our crews and members of the public safe, as well as more efficient engines which cut fuel use and reduce air pollution. By updating our fleet we can ensure we continue to provide residents with a reliable waste and recycling service.” The remaining vehicles, over half of which have already been delivered, include 90+ Ford Connect and Ford Transit vans fitted with a range of different body specifications, plus a truckmounted Scarab Sweeper. Bob Sweetland, Managing Director, SFS: “We have enjoyed an excellent working relationship with Kettering Borough Council for over 17 years and we hope to continue as a key vehicle partner with North Northamptonshire Council.” Established in 1992, SFS has a successful track record in delivering fleet and workshop management solutions to local authorities and the private sector and runs a network of workshops across the UK as well as operating its own municipal vehicle hire division, CTS Hire.

For more information about Specialist Fleet Services tel: 01604 234601; email info@sfs.co.uk; visit www.sfs.co.uk

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www.myessentialfleet.co.uk


Sector News

Polaris Ranger EV supports security operations at G7 Summit With the support of CR Willcocks, a Polaris dealer based in the South West of England, Polaris supplied a fleet of electric utility vehicles – the Ranger EV – to the Devon and Cornwall Police for the G7 summit. The 47th G7 summit was held on 11-13 June 2021 in Cornwall, UK, gathering leaders of G7 nations, the EU and guest countries to unite and work towards a greener, more prosperous future, as well as discussing how the world can rebuild and recover from the coronavirus pandemic. Used to support security operations around the Carbis Bay beach area of Cornwall, a total of seven electric-powered Ranger EVs and one Ranger Diesel machine were supplied for the event, along with full vehicle operation and safety training for firearms officers. Superintendent Joanne Hall of Devon and Cornwall Police said: “The G7 Summit was the largest operation in Devon and Cornwall Police history, with a total of 6,500 officers and staff on duty from all over the UK. We worked extremely hard to minimise the impact on the community around Cornwall, and as part of those efforts, we enlisted a fleet of electric Polaris Ranger vehicles to patrol and monitor the beaches and other hard to reach areas. Being completely electric off-road vehicles, they were the perfect choice for use on sand and provided our officers with the ideal

Cambridgeshire County Council announces energy partners to pave region’s way to net zero SSE Enterprise and Bouygues Energies & Services have been named preferred partners to develop a series of framework energy projects intended to support Cambridgeshire County Council and its regional local authority partners in meeting their commitment to decarbonising the region by 2050. The joint venture will see the two partners work on the design, construction and delivery of projects to help the county reach its goal of 100 percent clean energy and net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

solution for maintaining security without noise, pollution or disruption to the local community.” Stephen Retallick, dealer principal at CR Willcocks, based in Newton Abbot, said: “Polaris have been excellent in helping us supply this fleet of electric UTVs to help Devon & Cornwall Police keep the G7 leaders secure. As more and more farmers and landowners go green, our involvement in the G7 Summit will raise awareness around the availability of electric off-road vehicles even more. It has already piqued the interest of a number of our existing customers as they become more environmentally conscious.” The Polaris Ranger EV pairs the off-road capabilities of the world’s bestselling UTV, with the gentle operation of an electric vehicle, providing a clean ride with no exhaust fumes, as well as keeping disturbance to a minimum thanks to its whisper-quiet engine noise. Charging from a standard domestic plug and propelled by a single 48-volt, highefficiency AC-induction motor, the Ranger EV needs little maintenance due to its direct drive system with low-noise transmission and offers a usable and practical driving range in even the most demanding work environments. What’s more, the EV boasts an impressive 454kg payload capacity in addition to a 680kg towing capacity and 25.4cm of ground clearance, making it the smoothest, most capable battery electric side-by-side in its class. Projects will include work to improve the energy performance of publicly owned assets, such as buildings and car parks, using measures to boost energy efficiency and generate low or zero carbon energy from rural estate, transport and other assets. In transport, the framework will look at local opportunities to support the transition to electric vehicles through the provision of essential infrastructure such as EV charging points and hubs. As part of the green economic recovery envisaged following the Covid-19 pandemic, Cambridgeshire County Council and its local authority partners intend to leverage the framework to generate additional business opportunities that will develop low carbon and smart communities. The framework will also be available to other local authorities in England thanks to an access agreement arrangement.

www.myessentialfleet.co.uk

Essential Fleet Manager n 45


Sector News

SSE chooses Renault Zoe for its range and lower Whole Life Cost SSE, one of the UK’s leading utility providers, has identified the Renault Zoe Van as being the ideal vehicle to help with the electrification of its commercial vehicle fleet and contribute to the company’s commitment to have ‘net zero’ carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest. The business has introduced a quartet of Zoe Van’s into its commercial vehicle fleet after the UK’s only fully electric carderived van was recognised as the perfect replacement for several ICE vehicles where the range of existing commercialfocused EVs had previously compromised the transition to pure electric power. SSE is set to take delivery of a further eight with more in the pipeline. SSE’s new Zoe Van’s will be used by its supervisors and team leaders to visit the company’s operational sites and developments throughout Scotland. The award-winning Zoe Van has a range of up to 245 miles on a single charge enables SSE’s personnel to visit more remote areas, particular in the north west of the country, where the charging infrastructure can be limited, while enjoying the refinements and drive associated with the Zoe E-tech 100% electric passenger car upon which it is based. At the same time, the dedicated load area allows operatives to easily and cleanly transport the specialised tools, wet weather clothing and PPE they require for their roles. As well as enabling SSE to continue its drive to have 3,500 of its 4,000 commercial vehicles fully electrified by 2030, the Zoe Van will help the company to lower its environmental impact in terms of both emissions and noise. Notably, SSE estimates that 46 n Essential Fleet Manager

over a five-year period each Zoe Van will provide a saving of 23.5 tonnes of CO2. In addition to the driving range of the Zoe Van, SSE’s decision was influenced by its Whole Life Costs being lower than those of a similar-sized petrol car-derived van, offering significant savings in terms of fuel, VED and servicing costs. The spread and support of the Renault dealer network, plus the standard eight-year battery warranty, further enhanced the appeal of the Zoe Van to SSE, while its flexible charging means SSE’s personnel will be able to charge their vehicles at home without issue. The Zoe Van were converted to SSE’s specification by Renaultaccredited converter, Qi, which added details including a hygiene station and fire extinguisher. All were specified in Business trim, which includes such standard features as full LED headlights, automatic air conditioning, heated electrically adjustable door mirrors, cruise control/speed limiter, EASY LINK radio with 7-inch touch screen and Smartphone integration with Android AutoTM and Apple CarPlayTM. Completing the new Zoe Van is a unique wrap by Mediafleet, which haloes their pure electric power and even glows in the dark to ensure that SSE’s commitment to electrifying its commercial fleet can be seen day and night! Neil Chamberlain, National EV Manager, SSE, said: “As an EV100 company that is committed to switching its fleet to electric, and with our focus on renewable energy and making a significant contribution to building low-carbon electricity systems fit for the future, introducing the Zoe Van to our operations fits perfectly with www.myessentialfleet.co.uk


Sector News

our strategy and ethos. The range of electric LCVs has always been a bit of an issue in the past for the roles that these vehicles are used for, so that of the Zoe Van now gives us the option to make the transition and look at other areas where a van is traditionally used but there isn’t a need for a high payload. The comfort is a big benefit to our operatives and, for those that are negotiating the narrower, more demanding roads of the Highlands, the compact dimensions are another welcome bonus. With the Zoe Van we’re further lowering our environmental impact at no detriment to our operational costs or effectiveness.” Vincent Tourette, Managing Director, Renault UK, commented: “SSE is a significant driver of innovation in the energy sector, so it’s very pleasing to see such a forward-thinking company recognise that the Renault Zoe Van fits with both their operational requirements and green energy strategy. We’re delighted that its combination of practicality, range and refinement has now presented SSE with another avenue through which to grow the electrification of its commercial fleet.” The Zoe Van is based on the multi award-winning Zoe electric passenger car, which won the ‘Best Small Electric Car’ category in the 2020 What Car? Awards and which has been honoured at the annual What Car? ceremony for the last seven years. The commercial version is already an award-winner, having recently won the compact van ‘Best Value for Ownership Costs’ category in the new What Car? Van Awards. Combining the same advanced specification of the Zoe with a load volume of one cubic metre and a maximum payload of

up to 457kg excluding the driver (Business specification), the Zoe Van is available in two generous trim levels – Business and Business+. It offers a WLTP combined range of up to 245 miles on a single charge on Business models and via the 50kW DC charging option can be charged from zero to 80 per cent in just one hour and ten minutes. Its R110 motor delivers zero to 31mph acceleration in only 3.9 seconds – making the Zoe Van electric ideal for urban journeys with stop-start traffic, and a perfect fit for tasks such as multidrop deliveries, and for use by utility companies and local authorities, for example. All of which are completed with zero tailpipe emissions. As it’s based on the regular Zoe, the Zoe Van benefits from the same assurances that Zoe customers enjoy. That means it boasts a five-year, 100,000-mile warranty that gives customers greater peace of mind, mirroring the rest of Renault’s car range. The first two years feature unlimited mileage restrictions, while the remaining three have a 100,000-mile limit. In addition, the E-Tech electric 50 battery receives an eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty. Renault PRO+ now offers the widest range of all-electric commercial vehicles of any manufacturer, the line-up also including the Renault Kangoo E-Tech 100% electric and the Renault Master E-Tech 100% electric. For details of the Renault PRO+ E-Tech 100% electric range, please visit www.renault.co.uk/live-electric/business

www.myessentialfleet.co.uk

Essential Fleet Manager n 47


Sector News

SKY UK makes further investment in Eco Fleet SKY UK has more than quadruple its electric vehicle (EV) fleet year-on-year, as the business looks to become netzero emissions by 2030, two decades ahead of the government’s target. Headquartered in Isleworth, Brentford, it has a fleet of more than 4,000 vehicles, which is made up of over 600 company cars and 3,500 LCVs. In 2020, the company introduced 29 pure EVs, and has already added a further 60 this year, with an additional 72 due for delivery in the coming months in line with its zero-emissions strategy. The Kia e-Niro and the Renault Kangoo Z.E make up 60% of the business’s EV fleet and will be used by colleagues across the business, including the Sky News team when filming on location, sales teams, and

company managers. To support the sustainable switch, their leasing company has developed a Whole Life Cost policy for Sky UK’s EV fleet, including a full service and maintenance package which will help reduce running costs and minimise vehicle downtime. Oliver Wanklyn, Senior Fleet Operations Manager at the Sky UK, said: “As we look towards the future, we wanted to work with our leasing company to speed up our

transition to a net-zero fleet. “Our long-standing partnership of nine years meant they really understood our ambitions and have helped us to start achieving them while keeping our business on the road. “The team worked with us to develop a sustainable fleet solution that will not only save us money but ensure our fleet is heading in the right direction and is in line with our broader sustainability strategy of being a zero-emission fleet by 2030.”

WMAS’s fully electric response cars Following the launch of the UK’s first 100% electric ambulance by the Trust in October 2020, West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) has worked with its conversion partner to launch two all-electric zero emissions Jaguar I-Pace ambulance response cars which will be going into operation in Birmingham. WMAS Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “West Midlands Ambulance Service has been at the forefront of developing ambulance technology and operating a modern fleet for the last ten years. Working with industry specialists we have used aircraft style technology and design to create the most hi-tech and lightest vehicles in the country. This has continually reduced our impact on the environment by lowering our CO2 levels and ensured that patients receive the highest standards of safety and comfort. With an all-electric ambulance already in our fleet, which was launched last year, it’s hugely exciting to now have two fully electric response cars to add to our operational vehicles in Birmingham.” Tony Page, General Manager for Fleet and Facilities Management at WMAS, said: “It’s great to see the delivery of this latest innovation in our drive to deliver a zero-emission fleet. This new edition follows the successful integration of the fully electric emergency ambulance last year which is performing well and receiving good feedback from

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operational colleagues as I am sure the new I-Pace cars will too. WMAS Director of Strategic Operations and Digital Integration, Craig Cooke, added: “These new Jaguar I-Pace cars will be utilised every single day by the tactical operational commander teams responding in the UK’s second city. These vehicles are highly capable and will allow the Trust to deliver the best Ambulance Response Service in the UK, whilst also operating zero emission vehicles for these 24/7 commanders. Alongside the vehicles, considerable investment has been made in the charging infrastructure on the operational hubs in Birmingham to facilitate very fast charging of both the zero-emission ambulance launched last year and these two new response cars. WMAS is fully committed to driving down the carbon footprint of our operations and these new vehicles alongside other developments in the pipeline will also help WMAS contribute to the Commonwealth Games 2022 commitment to reduced carbon footprint.”

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Sector News

Mobile vaccination clinics developed for vulnerable communities The NHS in Essex has teamed up with Ford and local community health leaders to roll out a vital initiative across Mid and South Essex, delivering COVID-19 vaccines to communities who are vulnerable to COVID-19 and those who might face barriers to accessing traditional healthcare services. Despite the UK’s successful vaccine rollout, COVID-19 vaccine uptake is lower among some communities facing access challenges. Such communities include those experiencing homelessness, ethnically diverse communities, travelling communities and unregistered patients. To help address this, a specially converted Ford Transit van will begin to travel across Essex as GP practices work together with local community leaders to safely deliver and administer vaccines in areas of low uptake. The Ford Transit will be a hub for dedicated vaccine clinics in the grounds of churches, mosques and other community venues. The NHS and partners across the Mid and South Essex Health and Care Partnership will liaise with community leaders and groups to fill pre-booked appointments to rally and vaccinate as many people from the local

communities as possible. Take-up of the vaccine has been exceptionally strong; 19 out of 20 people aged 50 and over have already chosen to take up the offer, which remains available. Additionally, the number of people from ethnic minority backgrounds coming forward has more than tripled over the last two months. The vaccine van initiative aims to help continue NHS efforts to administer COVID-19 vaccinations to as many people as possible. The bespoke vehicle is based on a Ford Transit. The vehicle’s specification includes medical grade refrigeration with WIFI monitoring capability, vaccine transport coolers, a collapsible chair for administering vaccines as well as an integrated tablet for accessing and updating health and vaccination records. Dr Smitesh Patel, Clinical Director at Benfleet Primary Care Network, Essex commented: “Our goal of giving everyone an equal opportunity to receive this essential vaccine is now in closer reach,. This added mobility has meant the gap will be bridged for so many facing a struggle to visit their local vaccination centre. With this support, we enter an important chapter of our vaccine roll-out with a renewed sense of hope and optimism.”

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The programme will run as a pilot initially, with scope to increase the number of vehicles in the future and explore further outreach models in the future. Essential Fleet Manager n 49


Sector News

Lambeth Council adds the all-electric Renault Kangoo E-Tech to its landscape divisions fleet

Renault electric vehicles are helping Lambeth Council in its drive to improve air quality in what has traditionally been one of the most polluted areas in London and to become a carbon-neutral council by 2030. The Council has taken delivery of six 100 per cent electric Renault Kangoo E-Tech vans, which contribute to its ongoing goal of electrifying 30 per cent of its hardworking landscapes division fleet. The new vans are the first to be purchased by the Council and complement an all-electric Renault Zoe E-Tech car, both of which replace similarly sized diesel vehicles from another manufacturer. The all-electric Kangoo E-Tech vans will be used by the landscape division’s housing supervisors and mobile fitters for daily visits to council works across Lambeth’s 10.36 square miles. As well as helping to lower noise and air pollution across the borough, the vans provide Lambeth Council’s personnel with a more relaxing and convenient driving experience, the fully automatic transmission and instant torque being a welcome benefit in negotiating the often heavily congested inner London area. As well as enabling the Council to help achieve its ambitions 50 n Essential Fleet Manager

for a low-emission fleet, as outlined in its five-year Air Quality Action Plan, it chose the Kangoo E-Tech after an initial trial highlighted it to have sufficient range and size for the demands of the operational role. Compared to its previous diesel vans, and in addition to significant fuel savings, Lambeth Council will also benefit from lower servicing costs, less downtime for maintenance and exemption from any congestion charges. Lambeth Council will charge its new all-electric Renault vans via 13 new 7kW smart chargers that it has installed across its five maintence depots located throughout the borough, including at its main site in Archbishops Park. All the Kangoo E-Tech vans have been supplied in Business specification, which includes such standard features as electrically operated door mirrors and front windows, ABS with EBD (Electronic Brake Force Distribution), ESC (Electronic Stability Control) with Hill Start Assist, and DAB radio with Bluetooth and USB connectivity. The Renault Kangoo E-Tech can be specified in three body styles (Panel Van, Maxi Panel Van, and Crew Van) and two trim lines – Business and Business+. The Business+ specification includes electrically operated and folding door mirrors, one-touch driver’s electric window, body coloured bumpers, metallic paint, and www.myessentialfleet.co.uk


Sector News

rear parking sensors. Depending on the model, it offers a load area of up to 4.6 cubic metres. It has has a potential range of up to 143 miles (WLTP) and can be charged to 100 per cent in six hours when using a 7kW wallbox. Renault PRO+ now offers the widest range of all-electric commercial vehicles of any manufacturer. In addition to the Renault Master E-Tech and Renault Kangoo E-Tech, it

also encompasses the Zoe Van E-Tech, which combines the equipment and 245-mile range of the passenger car version with a versatile payload of 457kg (Business trim). The Zoe Van E-Tech comes with a five-year/100,000-mile warranty and an eight-year/100,000-mile battery guarantee, while the other vans come with the reassurance of a standard threeyear/100,000-mile warranty, with a battery guarantee of five years/60,000 miles.

“As a council that is striving to significantly improve air quality within our borough, we want to lead by example and have a low-emission fleet. For anything under 3.5t, we are now only considering electrified vehicles. The Kangoo E-Tech allows us to continue our focus on our local environment with no impact on our operational effectiveness. When you add in the lower running costs and the fact an electric van can be serviced in minutes, then it’s actually very hard to justify a diesel or petrol van of a similar size. “The Kangoo E-Tech is perfect for what we need and for the area we operate in. It’s ideal for city traffic, has the space we require and provides a good level of comfort. We’ll certainly consider more Renault E-Tech models, and, with its range and refinement, the new Zoe Van E-Tech looks like it could be a good replacement for some of our diesel vehicles where a big payload isn’t an absolute necessity.” Robert Presnall, Lambeth Landscapes Transport Manager

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Essential Fleet Manager n 51


Sector News

Mercedes-Benz Econics make sound financial sense for cost-conscious fleet managers while winning the votes of crews who use them Residents and businesses in the West Midlands borough of Walsall are now receiving collections of waste and recyclables from Mercedes-Benz Econics that make sound financial sense for cost-conscious fleet managers while winning the votes of crews who use them. Walsall Council’s Clean & Green Services team sourced the eight low-entry trucks from primary contractor CPD, of Chorley, Lancashire, a leading municipal vehicle specialist and a Qualified Partner of Mercedes-Benz. Armed with a ground-breaking safety armoury that includes the manufacturer’s Active Brake Assist 5 emergency braking system, all are 26-tonne Econic 2627L models with rear-steer axles that assist drivers by reducing turning circles. The Econic range is purpose-designed

for urban duties. Innovative catalyst technology helps to reduce emissions of particulate matter and oxides of nitrogen from the advanced Euro VI engines. These 7.7-litre ‘straight-sixes’ deliver plenty of torque, even at low engine speeds, and are highly fuel-efficient, while also restricting AdBlue consumption. Customers for diesel-engined variants can choose from three power options – the 200 kW (272 hp) outputs produced by Walsall Council’s new trucks are transmitted to the road via six-speed Allison automatic gearboxes ideally suited to stop-start applications. Its Econics are fitted with Terberg split bin lifts, and CPD Titan XLS bodies with 23m3 capacities. These offer class-leading payloads, 14-second compaction cycles, and – with only 890rpm required from the engine – fuel savings worth up to 15%. At 75dB(A) they are exceptionally

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quiet too, while short rear overhangs also contribute to manoeuvrability. The authority’s latest order represents a breakthrough for Mercedes-Benz and CPD – although it was already running Titan-bodied Econics, more recently it had acquired refuse collection vehicles by another manufacturer. The new trucks work Walsall Council’s Environmental Depot in Brownhills and are fully interchangeable in being used to make fortnightly collections of general and green waste, and recyclables, from domestic properties, as well as trade waste. The authority maintains the fleet in its own workshop but receives warranty support and parts deliveries from the Wolverhampton branch of MercedesBenz Dealer Midlands Truck & Van, which also supplied four of the chassis; the other www.myessentialfleet.co.uk


Sector News

“After studying whole-life costs of the fleet, downtime figures and feedback from the drivers and crews, we decided to return to the tried and trusted combination of Mercedes-Benz Econic chassis, CPD Titan body and Terberg hoist.” He continued: “We are still running vehicles of this combination which are near eight years old. Not only have they proved to be both durable and reliable, but they are also well-liked by the colleagues who use them, day-in, day-out.” Den Edwards, Walsall Council’s Procurement Manager for Clean & Green Services

four arrived via S & B Commercials. The Econic’s air-conditioned cab has a deep, wraparound screen that provides the low-seated driver with an excellent view. Features specified by Walsall Council include an optional sliding window integrated into the glass panel on the nearside of the cab, which makes it easier for drivers and crew members inside the vehicle to communicate with those outside. The Mercedes-Benz Econic leads the market in terms of safety technology. Added to the vehicle’s standard specification late last year, Active Brake Assist 5 adds a camera to the radar employed by previous versions to spot potential hazards. This cutting-edge system can detect vehicles ahead and stationary objects in its own lane, at speeds of up to 56 mph (90 km/h). Detection of a dangerous situation triggers a three-stage reaction: first, the system warns the driver with visual and audible alerts; then, if the driver fails to react, it applies partial (approximately 50%) braking; finally, if the driver has still not intervened, it initiates maximum braking to bring the truck to a halt, activating the hazard warning lights to alert drivers behind.

The new sensor fusion has dramatically improved the truck’s response to moving pedestrians when it is travelling at speeds of up to 31 mph (50 km/h). Active Brake Assist 5 can apply full braking when encountering pedestrians crossing its path, approaching from the front or walking ahead. This remarkable capability increases safety for vulnerable road users and vehicle crews, while also helping to relieve stress for drivers. The electronic architecture required for operation of Active Brake Assist 5 means Walsall Council’s Econics also benefit from Electronic Parking Brakes, which are applied automatically when the engine is switched off. When the truck is at a standstill, after full braking for example, the automatic HOLD function prevents unintended rolling away. Walsall Council has also specified its Econics with two other optional Mercedes-Benz safety aids, Sideguard Assist and Rearguard Assist, both of which provide additional support to drivers. Sideguard Assist comes into play when making left turns or changing lanes in busy environments where visibility may be restricted. Two short-range radar sensors mounted on the passenger side of the truck monitor up to a lane’s width. The system delivers acoustic and visual

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warnings when it detects the presence of cyclists, pedestrians or other vehicles. When the vehicle is reversing at manoeuvring speed, Rearguard Assist displays on the instrument cluster the distance from objects being approached. Like Active Brake Assist 5 it also provides warnings that the driver can hear and see, and is able to brake the vehicle to a controlled stop when the distance to an object becomes critical. “Previous experience and the analysis that we’ve conducted confirmed that there are compelling arguments in favour of the Econic in terms of costs, uptime and the opinions of front-line colleagues. “Safety is another factor that weighs heavily in favour of Mercedes-Benz, and in this respect the latest enhancements to its standard specification and additions to the Mercedes-Benz options list have elevated the Econic to another level,” confirmed Den Edwards. “Given the Council’s total commitment to responsible, compliant operation, it is reassuring to know that these new vehicles are so comprehensively equipped when it comes to the protection of our drivers and crews, and, indeed, of everyone else who uses the borough’s roads.” Essential Fleet Manager n 53


Sector News

Augmented reality, drone and robotic device integration will form integrated command centres in vehicles for first responders

Police and first responder vehicles are set to undergo a technology revolution, that will include augmented reality, mobile surveillance and remote device control according to transport and connectivity software pioneer VNC Automotive. Drawing on the emerging trends in consumer vehicles, and taking the latest applications borne from mobile phone platforms, the UK based software expert is already in discussion with forces and conversion specialists as it integrates new systems into a car’s existing infrastructure. “We’re already seeing a focus on app-based solutions, but there is now a shift towards exploring how technology including remote control functionality, the relaying of remote surveillance footage to a car’s dashboard and even augmented reality,” explains Philip Handschin, Technical Consultant at VNC Automotive. “However, all this functionality needs to remain intuitive and easily integrated with the large format touch screens that are becoming commonplace in today’s vehicles.” With over a decade’s experience in passenger vehicle systems, and its work in approximately 35 million vehicles worldwide, VNC Automotive is well versed in programming highly effective entertainment, navigation and comfort control systems. However, this knowledge is now proving invaluable when it comes to law enforcement and first responder vehicle conversions. “We can tap into the systems that OEMs build into cars, utilising large format touch screens and the existing hardware for communication and connectivity, but add functionality that empowers police and first responders to allow them to work more effectively and make better-informed decisions,” says Handschin.

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Information highways Every second counts in an emergency, and responders need to have access to the latest information – whether they’re running standard checks, on route or in pursuit. The status of team vehicles, including air support, and other emergency services, is vital, as is getting on scene quickly – taking into account traffic and other delays. All this means that information presented to the driver and passenger in a form that is quickly assimilated is vital. “The benefits that augmented reality can provide are obvious when considering navigation, call status and database information. It also means the driver need not take their eye off the road, and can make decisions with fewer distractions.” This includes technologies like ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition), where the instantaneous notification of illegal and stolen vehicles and banned drivers allows action to be taken quickly and effectively, removing issues from roads. With the emergence of drones and advanced robotics (such as the headline grabbing Boston Dynamics’ Spot) it isn’t too much of a stretch to see how video and data from units operating in dangerous environments can be relayed to vehicles and allow police, paramedics and even fire fighters the chance to react accordingly. Smart responders Already many police and responder services are moving to mobile devices, with smartphones replacing separate items of equipment. In some cases smart platforms and apps now form part of the daily work process, including reporting and file management, database access and team communications. With a host of connectivity services built into the cars at the www.myessentialfleet.co.uk


factory as standard, allowing an officer’s phone to sync with a vehicle is an obvious first step, but VNC Automotive can go beyond what standard consumer systems offer. More than just being able to make a call, its IVI connectivity software includes options like the automatic locking of the car when away from the vehicle (talking with a member of the public or pursuing a suspect on foot), the ability to activate remote functions like sirens, cameras and PA systems, or even transmit location information in an emergency. Looking ahead this line of thinking allows for the future integration of wearable tech, that can cover biometrics, personal security and incident management. Reducing cabin pressure With long shifts and the requirement to wear bulky equipment, anything that can make officers and first responders’ time in vehicles safer, more productive and comfortable is welcome. That extends to the ease of using the systems and technology – if the controls are awkward and movement restricted mistakes will be made and time lost. VNC Automotive’s proprietary software allows additional hardware, like rugged laptops, to be safely stowed in the boot yet seamlessly integrated via the factory fitted touch screen. There’s a knock on benefit when it comes to passenger safety. The severity of injury during a collision rises steeply if there’s bulky equipment mounted near the dashboard. With clutter removed, airbags and other safety systems can operate as originally intended. Remote controls With so much technology in each vehicle, their function moves beyond transport and they effectively become intelligence gathering hubs - passing valuable, first-hand data back to a central command centre and allowing the coordination of teams and other services. VNC Automotive’s solutions already allow command centres to connect with vehicles in real-time, controlling certain systems such as sirens and providing crucial navigation information to officers. Extending this idea, video and other data can be transmitted and the live feed from every vehicle used to provide a valuable net of surveillance around a serious incident. Recorded and indexed this could prove vital as evidence for later convictions. Made to measure VNC Automotive’s experience in the conversion of conventional cars into vehicles for the emergency services means they understand that requirements are evolving. “We’ve worked on factory equipped vehicles like the Dodge Charger Pursuit vehicle in the US, as well as with conversion companies in the UK and North America, and are in discussion with separate police forces across these regions. The US market is catered for by the OEMs, with vehicles supplied straight from the production line, but the economics are not the same in the UK. We’re the bridge in the middle, working directly with installers as well as operators to understand their needs and making it cost effective,” concludes Handschin.

Sector News

MAHLE Powertrain working as integration partner for Bramble Energy

The first demonstrator vehicle for a novel new hydrogen fuel cell technology is in development by MAHLE Powertrain. As integration partner to hydrogen fuel cell specialist, Bramble Energy, MAHLE Powertrain is helping to optimise the integration of the company’s Printed Circuit Board Fuel Cell (PCBFC™) technology within the powertrain of a Renault Kangoo ZE. The vehicle, which will be unveiled in 2021, will showcase the reduced-cost, high performance potential of high power density liquid cooled fuel cells. “Hydrogen is certainly a viable option for the light commercial vehicle sector,” says Jonathan Hall, MAHLE Powertrain’s head of research & advanced engineering projects. “We are delighted to be working with Bramble Energy on such an exciting and timely project. The commercial vehicle sector is currently exploring alternative fuel options as several large fleet operators pledge to meet net-zero CO2 emission. PCBFCä technology provides a high power density solution that is perfectly suited to typical commercial vehicle duty cycles. In addition, we hope accelerated development of fuel cell technologies will have the knock-on effect of inspiring increased deployment of supporting infrastructure for areas where it is currently lacking.” MAHLE Powertrain was chosen to support Bramble Energy on the integration project, which leverages high volume printed circuit board manufacturing techniques to reduce cost and ease of production scalability, due to its expertise in EV control systems, zero-emission vehicle systems integration and cooling system development. Utilisation of PCB technology enables Bramble Energy to offer a bespoke fuel cell capability and enhanced production flexibility, plus a robustness inherent in the printed circuit board manufacturing process. It also enables the company to strip-back fuel cell complexity and reduce weight, negating the need for separate sealing materials and lowering the number of components without negatively impacting build quality or performance. “We’re excited to be working with MAHLE Powertrain on this integration project and to be so close to showcasing the benefits of our PCBFC™ technology in a liquid-cooled application,” says Dr Tom Mason, Bramble Energy CEO and CTO. “Delivery of this project will be a milestone moment for both Bramble Energy and net-zero CV powertrains and we cannot wait to demonstrate the tangible performance and cost benefits to the CV industry.”

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Essential Fleet Manager n 57


Industry News I LCV Registrations

Van market reaches new heights with best May on record for registrations The light commercial vehicle (LCV) market had another record-setting month, with 29,354 vans registered in May, according to the latest figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). It was the best May performance on record for the LCV market, 4.7% up on pre-pandemic levels as the increasing sector confidence continues beyond lockdowns, when demand for deliveries, e-commerce and essential services first put commercial vehicles to the test. Registrations grew across all vehicle segments, with the total number of units quadrupling on last year’s lockdown-impacted figures. Demand for larger 2.5-3.5 tonne vans drove the increase, comprising two thirds of all registrations, some 19,687 vans.

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With 157,150 vans registered so far in 2021, performance year to date is the highest on record, almost double what it was in 2020 (up 99.3%), and up 4.0% on a pre-pandemic five-year average.2 Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “May’s figures are welcome news, suggesting Britain’s additional reliance on commercial vehicles is a long-term shift rather than a lockdown stopgap. As the nationwide vaccination rollout continues at pace, maintaining business confidence is essential for the LCV market. However, to counter the environmental impact accompanying increased demand, we need to incentivise some 4.6 million van users and operators alike to make the switch to zero-emission capable technologies. This starts with plans for a nationwide charging infrastructure that can support the diverse needs of the commercial vehicle sector.”

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Sector News

All-wheel drive VW Transporter the choice for M Group Services Plant & Fleet Solutions M Group Services Plant & Fleet Solutions (MGSPFS) has taken delivery of a 40-strong fleet of converted Volkswagen Transporter 4MOTION all-wheel drive vans . MGSPFS is a part of M Group Services, an industry-leading infrastructure services business delivering a range of essential services to the water, energy, transport and telecommunication sectors in the UK and Ireland. The 40-strong fleet of converted Volkswagen Transporter vans will help M Group Services-owned operating business, Magdalene, a leading telecom infrastructure service provider, deliver its vital services to clients nationwide. The Transporters have been equipped with a bespoke new fit out making it the first fleet in the UK to feature this conversion. The conversion which was developed in collaboration with MGSPFS, includes underfloor drawers and three Euro boxes for storing tools and equipment, as well as a high-powered inverter kit and a non-slip plywood deck. Also unique to this conversion is the ladder storage pocket,

VW Commercial Vehicles extends conversion offering by welcoming two new partners onboard Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has added two more experienced van conversion specialists to its award-winning Converter Recognition Scheme, expanding the range of conversion products available to customers. Clarks Vehicle Conversions and CoTrim have officially joined the scheme, which provides customers with an extended range of off-the-shelf or bespoke conversions while guaranteeing the quality of products supplied directly through Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ Van Centre network. Family-run Clarks Vehicle Conversions, based in Doncaster, and will bolster Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ welfare van offering with the development of a new Volkswagen Crafter conversion to be released later in the year. Welfare vans help support mobile workforces, such as motorway maintenance

which will be fitted to match Magdalene’s required ladder specifications, along with a laptop holder, first aid bracket, and hygiene system on the rear door. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles was chosen by M Group Services Plant & Fleet Solutions because of its complete package, from the suitability of the vehicle to the excellent fuel economy and extensive aftersales service. Tony Raymond, Head of Fleet Operations from M Group Services Plant & Fleet Solutions, said: “As a company that delivers essential telecommunication infrastructure services across the UK and Ireland, it is vital that Magdalene can rely on this fleet of vans to transport its people across the country. The Volkswagen Transporter vans are an excellent choice for us in this application. We sourced them specifically for work that Magdalene will be delivering on behalf of a new client that will require four-wheel drive vans that can be used both on- and off-road. “The conversion provides Magdalene with an excellent vehicle to deliver the best possible service in this working environment. The feedback on the new vehicle from our technicians has been excellent.” crews, with self-contained facilities such as a canteen area, seating, and wash facilities. Salisbury-based CoTrim, has worked alongside Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles for many years and specialises in crew vans which provide additional people-carrying capacity, while still maintaining a rear load space for carrying tools or materials to and from site. The two new partners have completed a rigorous certification process, meeting the stringent quality and technical criteria required by the scheme. All conversions completed by any of the 21 scheme partners are fully covered by a warranty that matches the term of the base vehicle warranty, while customers liaise with a single point of contact at their Van Centre for all servicing and aftersales support for a seamless ownership experience. Conversions available through the scheme include car transporters, cranes, minibuses and mobile workshops, as well as racking, refrigeration, welfare and wheelchair access vehicles, on top of standard Lutons, dropsides and tippers. For the full list of conversions visit: www.volkswagen-vans.co.uk/

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Essential Fleet Manager n 57


Commercial Vehicle Options

All-New Vauxhall Movano delivers class-leading space and low running costs in large LCV sector VauxhalL has released the first details and images of the AllNew Movano and Movano-e, the first large Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) from the brand to be available as a fully-electric variant. Featuring class-leading load volume, a wide variety of body styles, seating for up to seven and low running costs, both electric and diesel versions will arrive in the UK later this year. Designed to comfortably meet the wide-ranging demands of business and fleet users, the versatile All-New third generation Movano is available as a panel van, crew cab and chassis cab. With All-New Movano-e, customers also benefit from zero emissions-in-use running, low running costs as well as a range of up to 139 miles (WLTP). It joins the Combo and the Vivaro as the newest members of Vauxhall’s award-winning LCV family. All-New Movano-e lines-up alongside Vivaro-e and, from later this year, Combo-e, meaning Vauxhall offers a fully electric version across its entire LCV range and remains on course to deliver an electrified version of all its cars and vans by 2024. Paul Willcox, Managing Director, Vauxhall, said: “I’m delighted to announce the addition of All-New Movano and Movano-e to Vauxhall’s award-winning LCV range. Large van customers are some of the most demanding in the business, but with its class-leading loading space, low running costs and wide range of body options, All-New Movano is more than up to the challenge of even the most demanding businesses and fleets. “Crucially, with the introduction of All-New Movano-e, Vauxhall is now one of very few brands offering an electric variant across its entire LCV range, giving buyers the choice to go fully electric to suit the needs of their business and benefit from the environmental, ownership cost and user experience benefits they offer. As a brand, 58 n Essential Fleet Manager

Vauxhall is committed to offer an electrified variant across its entire car and van range by 2024.” Featuring a 90kW (122PS) and 260Nm electric motor, the Movano-e is available with a choice of either a 37kWh or 70kWh battery, with ranges of 72 miles and 139 miles respectively under WLTP testing, making it perfect for urban environments, such as last-mile deliveries, and the open road. Like Vauxhall’s other fully electric LCV models, Movano-e is exempt from current ultra-low and congestion charge payments. The zero emissions powertrain also allows businesses to save significantly on company van tax, with a 0% Benefit-in-Kind tax rate. This provides eligible businesses with immediate and significant annual savings that can amount to thousands of pounds. All-New Movano-e’s lithium-ion battery is mounted under the floor between the front and rear axle, resulting in no compromise in load volume compared to the diesel-engined model. This positioning of the battery also results in a low centre of gravity, improving cornering and stability even when fully loaded. A sophisticated regenerative braking system that recovers energy when slowing further increases the Movano-e’s efficiency. It is also available with a powerful, durable and efficient diesel engine option. The state-of-the-art 2.2-litre unit meets strict Euro 6d emissions regulations and is available with a range of power outputs, from 120PS to 165PS and with torque figures of between 300Nm and 370Nm. All versions of the engines feature a six-speed manual gearbox and front-wheel drive. Panel van customers can choose from four wheelbase lengths (L1, L2, L3 and L4) and three height options (H1, H2, and H3), with load volumes from 8.0 to 17 cubic metres. Measuring 1,422mm between the wheel arches and 1,870mm between the www.myessentialfleet.co.uk


Commercial Vehicle Options

Vauxhall has revised pricing for its award-winning electric vehicle range to ensure customers can still access the revised Plug-in Car Grant (PiCG) incentive.

side panels, the All-New Movano has set benchmarks for its rivals load bay dimensions. On high roof H3 variants the rear doors have an unrivalled 2.03mm loading height, plus can be opened up to 270 degrees. The All-New Movano also benefits from one of the widest range of Gross Vehicle Weights in the large LCV class (2,800kg to 4,000kg) and a maximum payload of 2,100kg. The standard panel van has a single row of three seats, while crew cab versions benefit from second row seating that can accommodate a further four passengers. All-New Movano is also available as a chassis cab, a chassis crew cab and a platform cab with a single row of three seats. Developed to meet the widest range of needs, these versatile models provide a perfect base for a wide range of conversions, including tippers and dropside loaders. As with other Vauxhall LCV models, All-New Movano and Movano-e benefit from both VauxhallConnect and the MyVauxhall app. On the Movano-e, the MyVauxhall app allows access to useful information such as nearby charging stations, while VauxhallConnect gives drivers access to features such as current charge status. On all versions of All-New Movano, LIVE Navigation provides online traffic information in real time Vauxhall Connect also comes with Vauxhall’s e-Call and b-Call technology, where in the event of an emergency or breakdown drivers are put in touch with a trained advisor with just the touch of a button. All-New Movano and Movano-e are also available with a range of key safety features designed to protect both occupants and other road users. Depending on trim level the systems available include forward collision alert, blind spot warning, lane departure warning and Hill Descent Control, which takes into account the extra length of a trailer when warning drivers about objects in their blindspot. www.myessentialfleet.co.uk

The changes to the incentive have meant the grant has been reduced to £2500 and making fully electric vehicles costing more than £35,000 RRP (including VAT and delivery fees) no longer eligible. To ensure customers can still benefit from the grant, Vauxhall have announce new prices for its all-new Mokka-e and Vivaro-e Life to ensure they remain accessible. All examples of the award-winning Corsa-e supermini qualify for the new PiCG criteria, so it is not subject to any price changes. The new Mokka-e sees prices revised across the entire trim range to ensure all derivatives remain eligible for the grant. To ensure the Vivaro-e Life qualifies for the new Plug-in Car Grant, Edition models have seen their list price realigned by more than £2,000. The Vivaro-e Life Combi will be the same specification level as the Edition model. Paul Wilcox, Managing Director, Vauxhall, said: “At Vauxhall, we believe in making sure our vehicles are as accessible as possible to the greatest number of people, and especially so when it comes to zero emissions-in-use motoring, so I am pleased to confirm that all Corsa-e, all Mokka-e and the new Vivaro-e Life Combi are eligible for the Government Plug-in Car Grant.” Vauxhall is aiming to offer an electric variant across its model line up by 2025, with the entire model range available to order via the new Vauxhall Online Store. The new online platform allows buyers to configure, finance and order their next vehicle entirely from the comfort of their home. Vauxhall Corsa-e customers will receive the option to take a free Wallbox Pulsar Plus charger professionally installed by a British Gas engineer. British Gas will also offer 30,000 free green miles to Vauxhall customers through a British Gas EV dual fuel tariff. The special EV tariff offered by British Gas is a time of use tariff that offers cheaper electricity overnight for charging between the hours of 12.00am and 5.00am. The electricity on the tariff will be 100% renewable energy, with 30,000 miles free of charge. For the Mokka-e, Vauxhall also offers a subsidised 7kW home charging unit from PodPoint. In addition, all fully-electric Vauxhalls purchased will be automatically registered for eight years battery warranty, eight years roadside assistance and six months Polar Plus subscription.

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Commercial Vehicle Options

Peugeot introduces the new e-Boxer van Peugeot has opened reservations for the new e-Boxer van, the brand’s largest full electric Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV). Available with two battery options and comes in three lengths to suit a variety of needs for all types of operators. Battery capacities depend on size of the vehicle. The L2 length comes with a 37kWh unit, while L3 and L4 versions feature a larger, 70kWh battery. Both lithium-ion batteries are connected to a 90kW electric motor producing 350Nm of torque. The 37kWh battery is capable of up to 73-mile WLTP-approved range, while the 70kWh battery increases the range of the Peugeot e-Boxer to 139-miles. All Peugeot e-Boxer models come with a 22kW Mode 3 Type 2 Charging Cable that is compatible with both single and three phase wallboxes. A full 0-100% charge using a 7.4kW single phase wallbox can be achieved in six hours on the 37kWh battery, and 12 hours on the 70kWh battery. The e-Boxer also supports 50kW rapid 60 n Essential Fleet Manager

charging, allowing a 0-80% charge in just one hour. Drivers have the choice of switching between three driving modes, each selected by pushing one of three buttons marked D (Drive), N (Neutral) and R (Reverse), which replace the conventional gear lever. To maximise vehicle range, the e-Boxer features regenerative braking technology that converts the kinetic energy usually lost during braking into electricity for the battery, providing more electric miles of range. The Peugeot e-Boxer is available exclusively in ‘Professional’ trim, and comes in three different body styles to suit a variety of needs; Panel Van, Window Van, and Chassis Cab. With a choice of three wheelbases, up to 4.04m long, the Peugeot e-Boxer comes in three lengths – L2, L3, and L4. With the battery located underneath the floor of the vehicle, there is no compromise to practicality, as the e-Boxer comes with a 15m3 maximum load volume, 1,150kg maximum payload on Panel Van, and up to 1.87m internal width on Panel Van versions. www.myessentialfleet.co.uk


Venson I Operational Advice

Don’t cut corners when fitting out commercial fleets Venson offers businesses tips on selecting the right conversion supplier to ensure vans ‘get the job done’

With the Society of Motor Manufacturers (SMMT) revealing that light commercial vehicle (LCV) market recorded yet another recordsetting month for registrations, Venson Automotive Solutions is reminding businesses to maximise their investment by ensuring vehicles are equipped for service. Many businesses are switching to LCVs or choosing electric LCVs for their fleet in a move to reduce emissions, maximise payload efficiencies and cost-effectively ‘get the job done’, but says Venson, unless vehicles are fit for purpose a return on investment could be a long time coming. Gil Kelly, Operations Director at Venson Automotive Solutions explains: “Running correctly specified vehicles is crucial for the efficiency and productivity of the business. An LCV supplier who can advise and help on how to get the right conversion and fittings, such as external roof systems and internal storage, ventilation and security, will ensure the most appropriate layout for the vehicle, which in turn, will deliver operational cost savings. If conversion space has been used efficiently, it will also help identify if any of the other vehicles on fleet can be downsized to smaller models. “Businesses also need to take into consideration how their vehicles are used, including the working environment

and the payload of the goods and equipment they are carrying. How a driver needs to access the vehicle, both inside and outside, should be discussed prior to production of the conversion specification.” But it’s not just the day-to-day functionality of the fleet that needs to be evaluated at the outset. Understanding the longer-term cost-effectiveness of processes and procedures in managing it are also key. For example, if a business intends to transfer the equipment fitted to another vehicle at the end of the contract there will be cost implications, including any repairs and refurbishment. “From fit for purpose and streamlined processes, to health, safety and warranty, there are many, many things to consider when choosing and converting vehicles,” continues Kelly. “It may be tempting for businesses to turn to their own skilled workforces to make alterations, but this can be costly and unproductive in the long run, as well as put the business and its drivers at risk. “Finally, with the switch to electric on the horizon, throwing another aspect into the equation, decisions made now are critical to a fleet’s future success. Partnering with a supplier who offers a one-stop-shop of expertise will deliver a commercial fleet that’s future proofed.”

Top tips for choosing a commercial vehicle conversion supplier •

Fit for purpose? - consider what the vehicle is being used for, perhaps using a pick-up instead of a van means the driver can get closer to where the work needs to be carried out.

Plan Ahead – anticipate the reuse of racking and other equipment to work out your lifetime funding costs.

Cost savings – running correctly specified vehicles is critical to the efficiency and productivity of the business. The right conversion ensures the best layout delivering operational savings.

Customised racking – a provider that can design the maximum storage capacity will save money and time. It will also provide the opportunity whether the size of van can be downsized.

Turnkey solutions – having access to this solution can lead to more efficient handovers and finance process.

Key-to-key handovers – a supplier that can provide a one-stop-shop speeds up the conversion process. This ensures a more streamlined service and minimum downtime for the fleet.

Reuse – you can expect to get up to 10 years of use from some equipment. Consider equipment lifecycles when managing conversion costs.

Understand transfer costs – if you are intending to transfer equipment from one vehicle to another, understand the cost implications including repairs and refurbishments.

Payload – productivity and the impact on the vehicle’s performance should be a key consideration when determining equipment specification. Increase in payload can save fuel and enhance employee efficiency.

DIY racking risks - Don’t try cutting costs and let skilled workforce build their own racking to save money. This can prove costly and unproductive and can lead to health, safety and warranty issues.

For further information and advice visit www.venson.com

www.myessentialfleet.co.uk

Essential Fleet Manager n 61


Sector News

SES Water provides employees with electric and plugin hybrid vehicles through company car scheme SES Water has announced all of its new company cars will be either electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles as part of the water industry’s Public Interest Commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030. The Company Car Scheme will see qualifying employees provided with leased electric vehicles or plug-in hybrids when they either join the scheme for the first time or when their vehicle is next replaced. Employees will also be provided with homecharging facilities and all of the Company’s treatment works and Redhill Head Office already have vehicle charging points in place. For those employees choosing to take a car allowance rather than a vehicle, from 1 April 2025 they will be required to move to a vehicle with a CO2 emission value of 50g/ km or less and from 2030 employees will not be eligible for the scheme at all if they drive a vehicle with an emission value above this limit. SES Water Energy and Carbon Manager, Henrietta Stock, said: “We are committed to minimising the impact our essential operations have on the environment and our communities, which is why this scheme is such an important step for us to take and we believe we are one of the first in the industry to do this. Each electric car in our fleet will help save around 2-3 tonnes of CO2e per year as well as reducing the impact on local air quality.” The announcement builds on the Company’s initial trial, in partnership with The Drax Group, which has seen it replace 12 of its vans with fully electric models, as well as investing in 42 new charging points across its sites. Each day SES Water uses enough electricity to power 13,000 homes, however since 2018 100 per cent of its electricity comes from renewable resources – the equivalent of taking 4,000 cars off the road. The Company has solar panels at six of its sites, which last year generated just over 266,000 kWh of electricity, enough to power more than 65 houses per year.

Going electric - Wyre’s new fleet of electric vehicles WYRE Council is taking huge strides in their ambitions to become net zero carbon by 2050. The council has introduced a set of electric vans to its fleet of vehicles as well as part electric powered refuse and recycling trucks with electric lifts. The new set of electric vehicles will be taking to the streets of Wyre and used by the council’s environmental team as they tackle environmental crimes and to help keep Wyre cleaner and greener. As well as the new vans, the council last year introduced a new fleet of refuse and recycling vehicles part – powered by electricity. They have electric bin lifts, which use less diesel than hydraulic lifts and are much quieter for residents and much better for the environment. This is just part of the new actions agreed by the council’s cabinet earlier this year to tackle climate change and to reach their goal of becoming net zero carbon by 2050. Electric charging points are also being installed in Wyre’s car parks, with two charging points already in place at Cleveleys Rough Lea car park and further points will be installed in six locations across the borough. Councillor David Henderson, Leader of Wyre Council commented, “We are already making great progress in tackling climate change in the borough and I can’t wait to see our new vehicles hit the streets of Wyre. “We still have many actions to take to reach our goal of net-zero carbon by 2050, but this is a fantastic start.” Wyre’s recycling rates for 2019/20 have been released and are heading in the right direction, with an increase in recycling in the borough of 3.5%, the biggest increase in Lancashire along with South Ribble. In the last year, the borough has also seen on average a 30% increase in glass, cans and plastics being recycled. Councillor Henderson continued, “An increase in our recycling rates is fantastic news and I thank our residents for their commitment to creating a more sustainable future. “However, there is always more than we can do as we still find a lot of recyclable items in grey bins which are sadly going to landfill.”

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Passenger Vehicle Options

Striking gran coupé introduces all-electric mobility to the heart of the BMW brand The BMW i4 is a statement vehicle, putting all-electric mobility at the very heart of the BMW brand. It combines style, agility and comfort with zero tailpipe emissions and up to 367-mile range (WLTP). Due for launch in the UK in November 2021, the i4 is the first all-electric premium car from the BMW Group aimed at the traditional core of the midsize segment. Its combination of sportiness and long-distance ability has been achieved with an efficient drive system technology and intelligent lightweight design, which enable exhilarating driving dynamics and an impressive range without the need for disproportionately large and heavy batteries. The newcomer offers both a captivating drive and class-leading levels of technology. In addition to being based on a flexible vehicle architecture conceived from the outset for a purely electric drive system, the new i4 features the latest generation of the iDrive system, plus cutting-edge innovations in the areas of automated driving and parking assistance. Beneath its four-door gran coupé body style, it boasts fifthgeneration BMW eDrive technology incorporating the latest power electronics, charging technology and high-voltage battery as well as the highly integrated electric motors that enable strong performance combined with everyday usability and long-distance capabilities. The BMW iDrive / Operating System 8 is key to the user experience on board the BMW i4 and takes the interaction between driver and vehicle into the digital future. The new BMW Operating System 8 helps give the BMW i4 all the tools needed to serve as an intelligent and proactive partner in

any situation. The intuitive, multimodal operation becomes a dialogue between the user and their car that seeks to tailor all the functions controlled via BMW iDrive precisely to the driver’s needs and preferences. This new model will be available in three different model variants from launch, including the first ever BMW M car with all-electric drive. The BMW i4 M50 is a performance model from BMW M GmbH delivering extreme driving enjoyment, bringing the classic M formula of agility, dynamism and precision to the world of electric mobility. Equipped with electric motors at both the front and rear axle with a combined maximum output of 544hp and M-specific chassis technology, it promises exceptional performance while achieving a range of up to 316 miles in the WLTP test cycle. In the BMW i4 eDrive40 Sport and BMW i4 eDrive40 M Sport, a 340hp electric motor teams up with rear-wheel drive to enable locally emission-free driving with plenty of sporting flair. It has a WLTP-calculated range of up to 367 miles. The BMW i4 enhances its usability further still with flexible charging options. Notably, its Combined Charging Unit allows use of DC high-power charging stations with an output of up to 200kW. Range of up to 102 miles (BMW i4 eDrive40) and 87 miles (BMW i4 M50) can be delivered within a 10-minute charging stop at stations of this kind. The i4 eDrive40 in both the Sport and M Sport specification includes 18-inch alloy wheels and the Live Cockpit, plus such standard equipment as a reversing camera, Parking Assistant, automatic air conditioning, ambient lighting, LED lights front and back and acoustic protection for pedestrians.

www.myessentialfleet.co.uk

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Passenger Vehicle Options

The all-new Audi Q4 e-tron and Q4 Sportback e-tron With the all-new Q4 e-tron and Q4 Sportback e-tron, Audi have cascaded the benefits of full electrification into a compact SUV, producing a vehicle that will integrate seamlessly into everyday life. Trim options include; Sport, S line, Edition 1 and Vorsprung and there is a choice of two battery variants and three drive configurations capable of WLTP-certified driving ranges of up to 316 miles (Q4 40 e-tron Sport). In the Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron, the especially low coupé-style roofline ends in an expressively designed rear where the spoiler sits deep on the two-part window. At the front, the narrow vertical bars below the headlights channel the airstream smoothly along the vehicle’s side, resulting in a three-mile range uplift. The 19-inch Aero wheels with their flat designs also facilitate low-loss air flow,

notching up an additional three miles. LED headlights are of course standard throughout the new Q4 e-tron and Q4 Sportback e-tron ranges. In Edition 1 and Vorsprung versions these include Matrix LED technology, which is also available for Sport and S line models as an optional extra. Where Matrix LED lights are installed, a light strip also extends for the full width of the rear. A choice of eight paint finishes can be specified including the new metallic shade aurora violet which has until now been reserved for Audi Sport models. On the inside there is lots of storage space with 25 litres of capacity available throughout the cabin.The luggage compartment accessible via a powered tailgate which is standard for all variants. Depending on the positioning of the rear seat backs, the volume of the luggage compartment is 520 to 1,490 litres in

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the Q4 e-tron and 535 to 1,460 litres in the Sportback. Among the many high quality materials and finishes available either as standard or optionally for the Q4 e-tron are upholstery choices in either premium fine Nappa leather or combinations of leather and artificial leather or artificial leather and the microfibre material Dinamica. This looks and feels like suede but is made of 45 percent recycled polyester from various sources, including textiles and PET bottles. For music lovers, new to the Q4 e-tron and Q4 Sportback e-tron has a premium sound system supplied by Sonos. Fitted as standard to Vorsprung versions and available for all others as part of the optional Comfort and Sound pack, the system is incorporated into the Audi soundCube, a fully integrated and easily adaptable software environment. www.myessentialfleet.co.uk


The system distributes signals to ten loudspeakers, this gives the listener the impression they are sitting in the middle of the orchestra or band. The four tweeters and centre speaker are driven by an amplifier that is integrated in the car’s MIB 3 digital architecture. A separate eight-channel booster is responsible for the four bass loudspeakers and the subwoofer in the luggage compartment. Together, the two amplifiers offer an output of 580 watts. Everyday driving in the compact electric SUVs is facilitated, and delivered as economically as possible, by a number of standard assistance systems. These include predictive efficiency assist, which supports a forward-looking driving style that optimises the consumption of energy, Audi Pre-sense front with pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane departure warning and swerve and turn

assist. Further optional systems – like many other equipment features – are divided into packages. Highlights of the Assistance Package Pro include adaptive cruise assist, which assists the driver with longitudinal and lateral guidance over the entire speed range, and a fourcamera system providing 360° visibility that makes lighter work of city driving and parking. The Safety Package Plus adds features such as Audi Side Assiast blindspot monitoring and the rear cross traffic assist reversing aid. Both packages are standard features of Q4 e-tron and Q4 Sportback e-tron Vorsprung models. Quick and easy charging is another strength that ensures daily use of the Q4 e-tron and Q4 Sportback e-tron is as undemanding as possible. Depending on version, they feature a 52 kWh or 77 kWh battery which can be charged at HPC (high-power charging) stations at a charging capacity of up to 100 or up to

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Passenger Vehicle Options

125 kW respectively. At 125 kW, and in ideal conditions, the battery can achieve an 80 percent state of charge from a 5 percent starting point in 38 minutes. WLTP testing has confirmed that the Q4 40 e-tron, which uses the larger battery, can recharge enough electricity – again in ideal conditions – to cover a distance of about 80 miles (WLTP) in around ten minutes, and can achieve a range of up to 316 miles. Using the myAudi app, owners can activate charging remotely using a smartphone. The app also provides access to the comfort remote preconditioning system, which enables remote adjustment of the cabin temperature and seat heating functions to ensure that the cabin climate is always comfortable well before a journey begins. Essential Fleet Manager n 65


Passenger Vehicle Options

Subaru Outback

- the station wagon crossover SUV Since its launch in 1995, the Subaru Outback has built a history as the forerunner of a new car segment, the station wagon crossover SUV. Outback has grown into Subaru’s flagship model, and its popularity has increased over the years. The model is known for providing safety, comfort, combined with capability and drivability. The new model offers all-around safety protection, from an optimal driving position, window heights, and carefully arranged pillars to provide excellent visibility in all directions to an array of world-class, advanced safety technologies. Standard across all three trim levels is Driver Assist technology that includes; Advanced Adaptive Cruise Control with Lane Centering Function, Emergency Lane Keep Assist, Speed Sign Recognition with Intelligent Speed Limiter, Lane Departure Warning with steering wheel vibration, Lane Departure Prevention and Pre-Collision Braking System with expanded support for collision avoidance at junctions and crossroads. A brand-new technology for Outback is the Driver Monitoring System to complement its existing safety technologies, which will alert the driver when distracted or feeling fatigued. Reverse Automatic braking is also a new safety feature fitted as standard for all-new Outback that helps drivers to avoid collisions when reversing and mitigates the damage in case of collision. Its rich safety equipment also includes Subaru Rear Vehicle Detection (SRVD), and Multi View Monitors (Front, Rear and Side) available on Touring, for a safer drive that reduces vehicle blind spots. The new model preserves the distinctive combination of permanent Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (SAWD) with the BOXER engine and Lineartronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) transmission. It incorporates a direct-injection 2.5-litre naturally aspirated horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine, 66 n Essential Fleet Manager

with about 90% engine parts redesigned and a higher compression ratio. The Lineartronic CVT has been enhanced with the gear ratio coverage expanded to a wider range. The hydraulic system has also been redesigned and the oil viscosity lowered, which reduces horsepower loss by 22% compared to the previous Outback model. This combination offers enhanced driving performance and increased torque control, while the standard SAWD, provides all-weather capability, paired with a standard active torque vectoring for improved handling and cornering performance. Handling performance and ride comfort have been increased with significant improvements made to the suspension and chassis, removing vibrations from the steering system, floor, and seats. By increasing rigidity of the body, front suspension and rear subframe, all-new Outback has enhanced straight-line stability and minimised body roll by 50%. More responsive handling allows the driver to better steer the car as intended and improves hazard avoidance. The all-new Outback is more spacious than the previous model. The windshield has been moved forward and the front door windows moved out for a more spacious front interior, resulting in a class–leading spacious cabin. The total length has also been extended to further expand the rear interior and cargo space. The 60/40 fold down rear seats and a wider boot opening create a flat load area, up to 522L, whilst integrated roof rails provide further secure storage overhead making it easy to just load up and go. It also incorporates Subaru’s first hands-free power tailgate, which allows easy access to the boot when you have your hands full by simply waving an elbow near the badge to automatically raise the tailgate. The boot space also includes improved hooks and net pocket so objects can be easily secured when driving. The side sill steps at the front and rear www.myessentialfleet.co.uk


doors have been widened for better footing and changed to a non-slip pattern. With a completely re-imagined cabin interior, the allnew Outback ensures you can stay connected out on the road. Equipped as standard with a completely redesigned infotainment system, you can easily touch, swipe, or drag to navigate the large, intuitive 11.6-inch full HD vertical display or simply use your voice. Bring up maps, find contacts, send messages, select driving modes, and access compatible apps, news, music and much more. Besides its safety features, the Driver Monitoring System also delivers convenience with the facial recognition camera identifying up to 5 individuals in the driver seat and automatically adjusting settings for seat position, door mirror angles and air-conditioning preferences. The improved engine performance offers more power for acceleration as well as driving on rough terrain, so drivers can enjoy SUV performance in all driving scenarios. The toughest Subaru SUV built to date, new Outback comes with a newly evolved X-MODE with Hill Descent Control for reliable control on steep, wet, or slippery terrain. Switch between [SNOW/DIRT] mode to confidently negotiate snow, dirt, or gravel, or [D.SNOW/MUD] mode for soft conditions where lesser vehicles get stuck. At the press of a button, SUBARU Intelligent Drive (SI-DRIVE) lets you adjust the throttle and gear-shifting response to give you immediate power and agility on demand. Select Sport Mode for instant throttle response, ideal for enjoying winding roads, or Intelligent Mode for more fuel-efficient power delivery around town or on long journeys. Engineered to drive on or off-road, all-new Outback also offers excellent road clearance for a wider range of activities. The high 213mm ground clearance maximises approach, departure and ramp angles, minimising the risk of the bumpers or chassis

Passenger Vehicle Options

getting damaged or stuck. It also boasts a 2,000kg braked or 750kg unbraked towing capacity to enable high performance towing and control. A rear-view camera jet washer has been added so that the camera lens is always clear of dirt, mud, and grime to assist with parking and off-road adventures. The exterior design of Outback is more tough and rugged than ever. Prominent wheel arches surround the new premium 18” alloy-wheels which are available on all trim levels. Outback is very well specified with Keyless Entry and Push Button Start System, LED headlights, equipped with high beam assist and an adaptive driving beam to optimise visibility and reduce glare, and LED front fog lights standard across the range. The new model features a redesigned interior with carefully selected materials for a more premium feel throughout the entire cabin. Enlarged windshield and long line motif extended from the centre of the instrument panel to the door panels expresses a relaxed and open atmosphere of the cabin space. New Outback offers a variety of seats options, from Nappa leather seats for a more luxurious feel in the Outback Touring, to more practical and durable water-repellent synthetic leather seats in the Outback Field with distinctive green stitching complementing green accents on the bodywork and trim, ideal for those with ore active lifestyles. Fatigue-reducing seats offer comfortable support and stability for long journeys, so you feel more refreshed when you reach your destination. Both front and rear seats enjoy heating to shoulder level with three temperature settings and a heated steering wheel takes the chill out of winter journeys. All-new Outback is offered in three trim levels: Limited, Field and Touring and its unique character is also expressed through the two newly and specially designed exterior colours, Autumn Green Metallic and Brilliant Bronze Metallic (not available on Field model).

www.myessentialfleet.co.uk

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Passenger Vehicle Options

Vauxhall - new Grandland Vauxhall has revealed the new Grandland – a significantly revised version of its popular, elegantly sporty SUV that offers a bold and pure design, innovative infotainment and assistance technologies, an electrified powertrain as well as intuitive controls and increased on-board comfort. With the fully digital Pure Panel, it offers drivers a completely different cockpit experience with two widescreen displays. The Grandland features additional technologies and assistance systems that until now have only reserved for premium segments of the market, such as the adaptive IntelliLux LED® Pixel Light with a total of 168 LED elements, which has made its way to the SUV from the New Insignia. The same goes for Night Vision, which is celebrating its premiere for Vauxhall and is now available on New Grandland. The system detects pedestrians and animals in darkness at a distance of up to 100m and alerts the driver. Another new technology is the semi-adaptive Highway Integration Assist which keeps the vehicle in the middle of its lane and maintains the distance to the vehicle in front, it also allows for “stop & go” progress in traffic. Vauxhall’s flagship SUV is now available with adaptive IntelliLux LED® Pixel Light. The 168 LED elements – 84 per headlamp, as seen on the Insignia – result in a seamless adaptation of the light beam according to the driving conditions and surroundings, without glaring oncoming traffic. The LED elements of each slim headlamp line up in a three-row matrix system where the functions flow seamlessly into the next level: • For short range, a long row of pixels continuously adapts the light focus to every curve. • At the bright-dark border, a row of finely defined, dynamically adapting pixels ensures optimum range. • The actual matrix function in the middle and upper rows precisely cuts out the beam from affecting oncoming traffic in milliseconds. The other areas remain fully illuminated with the main beam. 68 n Essential Fleet Manager

The LED daylight running lights integrated into each headlamp feature the characteristic Vauxhall signature. This innovative lighting system adds extra safety and driver comfort and places New Grandland at the top of its field in this area. Night Vision is another technology in the New Grandland that further increases the safety of all road users, especially when driving at night on dark country roads. The system’s infrared camera detects people and animals up to 100m ahead of the New Grandland in the direction of travel, based on their temperature difference from the surroundings. Night Vision warns the driver and shows the position of pedestrians or animals in the 12-inch digital instrument display. Two wide screens in a single unit form the Vauxhall Pure Panel. This fully digital, driver-oriented cockpit is intuitive to operate. The up-to-10-inch central touchscreen faces the driver, who can therefore concentrate on driving without needing to take his or her eyes off the road. And the 12-inch central screen displays the infotainment. Vauxhall’s new Highway Integration Assist technology is available on New Grandland models with automatic transmission. Using a camera and radar sensors, the system combines various technologies for making driving even more relaxed. The adaptive cruise control maintains the distance to the vehicle in front according to the set speed and, in combination with the active lane positioning, keeps the Grandland in the middle of the lane. The Grandland’s speed increases or decreases to follow the vehicle ahead – without exceeding the set speed – and can brake to a standstill if necessary. Thanks to “Stop & Go” functionality, the New Grandland with Highway Integration Assist automatically resumes driving from a standstill. The New Vauxhall Grandland features numerous other assistance systems. The 360-degree panoramic camera makes manoeuvring easier for the driver via a front and a rear camera. The area in front and behind the SUV as well as a bird’s eye view www.myessentialfleet.co.uk


Passenger Vehicle Options

is displayed on the infotainment screen. The automatic parking assistant identifies longitudinal and transverse parking spaces and steers the Grandland in and out automatically, while the blind spot warning system prevents potential collisions when turning or changing lanes. In case of danger, a vehicle symbol lights up in the respective exterior mirror. Every New Grandland comes as standard with the following technologies: • Front Collision Warning with Automatic Emergency Braking (with Pedestrian Detection) • Lane Departure Warning • Traffic Sign Recognition • Drowsiness Detection • Cruise Control Top levels of comfort: Ergonomic seats and high-end infotainment The New Vauxhall Grandland sets the highest standards not only when it comes to driver assistance systems but also when it comes to comfort. The ergonomic active seats for drivers and front passengers help support good posture. Leather seats come with the option for heated and ventilated seats. Comfort is further increased by “Keyless Open & Start” and the sensor-controlled tailgate that can be opened and closed by a movement of the foot under the rear bumper. The New Grandland’s infotainment system is fully compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and also supports wireless phone charging via the centre console. Continuing Vauxhall’s electrification strategy, the Plug-in Hybrid versions deliver not only strong acceleration but also offer emissions-free driving, thanks to their electric motors or motor (depending on model) and regenerative braking.

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Passenger Vehicle Options

MG’s electric offerings are affordable and practical MG offers ‘electric for all’ with its line-up of more affordable and practical electric car range which includes the MG ZS EV, the new MG5 EV and MG HS Plug-in. With a range of three plug-in cars, MG is further strengthening its position as the go-to brand for mainstream electric cars. The new MG5 EV offers the flexibility and practicality of a capacious estate car with great driving dynamics Like all MG models, the new MG5 EV comes with a 7 year / 80,000 mile fully-transferable warranty as standard. It is powered by a 115kW electric motor (equivalent to 156PS), giving acceleration of 0-60mph in just over eight seconds, with a 52.5kWh Lithium-Ion battery pack that can be charged from zero to 80% in just 50 minutes using a rapid charger. A full charge at home using Type 2 fast charging can be attained in around eight and a half hours. MG5 EV has a WLTP-approved combined range of 214 miles in normal day-to-day use. This rises to 276 miles if the car is used solely for urban driving. Benefit-in-Kind tax is just during 1% in 2021-22. Two trim levels are available – Excite and Exclusive, both comprehensively equipped. With the rear seats up and load cover in place there are 464 litres of boot space, or with the load cover retracted that extends to 578 litres with the rear seats still in place. Drop the 60:40 folding seat back and the load capacity increases to an astonishing 1,456 litres. The new MG HS Plug-in SUV uses the existing model’s 1.5-litre turbocharged engine working in tandem with a 90kW electric motor to give an EV-only range of 32 miles with zero tailpipe emissions – plenty enough for most commutes. Together the electric and petrol motors develop a combined power output of 258PS, giving the model a performance advantage, too. It has the ability to accelerate swiftly from 0-60mph in 6.9 seconds. MG HS Plug-in also introduces an innovative new 10-speed transmission which works with both the petrol and electric motors to optimise power delivery and efficiency. Power from the petrol engine is channelled through a sixspeed automatic gearbox, while the electric motor transfers power through a four-speed electronic drive unit. Yet despite these impressive power and performance figures MG HS Plug-in boasts very impressive economy figures and a low CO2 emissions figure of just 43g/km. Using a Type 2 fast charger, the MG HS Plug-in can be charged from zero to 100% in just three hours. A key features of the MG HS Plug-in is a high-tech driver assistance suite called MG Pilot, which is carried-over from the 5 star Euro NCAP rated petrol version, and comes as standard. MG Pilot includes a number of safety aids, including Autonomous Emergency Braking, Blind Spot Detection, Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Collision Alert, Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. With rapid acceleration coupled with the MG Pilot suite, MG HS Plug-in revives MG’s tradition of “safety fast”. Two trim levels are available – Excite and Exclusive – both with high equipment levels. 70 n Essential Fleet Manager

www.myessentialfleet.co.uk


Passenger Vehicle Options

Renault adds the Captur E-Tech hybrid All-New Captur E-Tech hybrid joins Renault’s growing range of electrified vehicles, emitting as low as 114g CO2 and returning fuel economy figures of up to 56.6mpg.

Using regenerative braking as the main source of charging its battery and there being no requirement for it to be plugged-in to charge.

This latest hybrid version sees the Captur offer one of the largest powertrain choices in its sector.

The arrival of the hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) version combines strong, responsive performance with low running costs. Compared to a similar petrol version it offers significant fuel savings, while it also provides efficiency that is close to that of a diesel. After the Captur E-Tech Plug-in Hybrid, it is the most efficient and powerful version in the range.

Available in Iconic, S Edition and R.S Line specifications, the E-Tech powertrain uses advanced technology including a multimode clutchless gearbox.

Volkswagen ID.4 new entry-level model now eligible for the Plug-in Vehicle Grant The Volkswagen ID.4 range has grown further, with City and Style versions now added. Both models bring the option of ‘Pure’ and ‘Pure Performance’ battery and motor specifications, with the former delivering 52 kWh and 148 PS, and the latter having 170 PS available with the same 52 kWh net battery capacity setup. These latest trims fit below the existing ones in the ID.4 line-up, with the City Pure having the additional bonus of being eligible for the Government’s Plug-in Vehicle Grant, The ID.4 ‘Pure’ and ‘Pure Performance’ specifications can both add up to 137 miles of range from a 100 kW rapid charger in 30 minutes, while a 7.2 kW

home charger takes around 7 hours and 30 minutes to take the battery from 0 to 100%. Charging to 80% from a DC, CCS charge point takes 38 minutes. The Style, as the design-focused trim positioned above the City, is marked out by its 18-inch Falun alloy wheels, LED matrix headlights with Dynamic Light Assist, illuminated door handle recesses, and tinted windows. Inside, the ID.4 Style gains a suite of comfort, convenience and practicality features, including enhanced climate control, a luggage net for the load area, and a keyless locking and starting system. A rear-view camera is also standard-fit for the Style, as part of its Assistance.

www.myessentialfleet.co.uk

Essential Fleet Manager n 71


Passenger Vehicle Options

Volkswagen expands plug-in hybrid line-up of new Golf with UK launch of frugal 204 PS eHybrid

Volkswagen has introduced the fleet-friendly addition to its Golf plug-in hybrid line-up with the unveiling in the UK of the new Golf eHybrid Style model. Offering CO2 emissions of 21 g/km (WLTP) and fuel economy of up to 235 mpg (WLTP, combined) – as well as a pure-electric range of 44 miles on a full charge – the new 204 PS Golf eHybrid is set to expand significantly the appeal of the brand’s plug-in hybrid offerings. The new five-door Golf becomes available in the UK as Volkswagen works to broaden already-strong interest in its plug-in hybrid Golf. The new 204 PS eHybrid model is offered exclusively in luxurious ‘Style’ trim, and features a 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine, an electric motor and a lithium-ion battery that is located beneath the rear bench seat. The drive system provides a compelling combination of minimum consumption and impressive power delivery propelling this new model from rest to 62 mph in only 7.4 seconds. Moreover, since the Golf eHybrid can also be driven in all-electric mode at speeds of up to 80 mph (where permitted), motorways can also be covered under purely electric power if desired. At the start of the journey, the driver simply enters the percentage of the battery capacity that must be reserved in the infotainment system. The battery also does not have to be fully charged at the start of the journey for this to function effectively, since the lithium-ion unit can also be charged during the trip via both the TSI engine and brake energy recuperation. 72 n Essential Fleet Manager

A charge port is provided in the front wing on the driver’s side into which the charging cable is plugged. Depending on the power source, charging takes place with 2.3 or 3.6 kW alternating current (AC). When supplied with 230 volts at 2.3 kW via the normal domestic grid, the battery is fully charged in five hours if it had previously been completely empty. If the power source is a Volkswagen wall box or a charging station with 360 volts and a charging cable designed for 3.6 kW, the charging time is reduced to three hours and 40 minutes. The battery charger manages charging fully automatically –all the driver has to do is to connect the plugs. The driver can also control the time at which charging takes place via the infotainment system or using the We Connect app on a smartphone, in order to benefit from cheaper off-peak electricity. Generously equipped, the Golf eHybrid Style features a raft of standard-fit kit including the likes of Volkswagen’s sophisticated Digital Cockpit Pro (digital instruments); a ‘Discover Media’ navigation system including streaming and internet, DAB+, and mobile phone interface with inductive charging function; Dynamic Road Sign Display; a multifunction leather steering wheel; sports comfort seats; Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Assist lane keeping system; Front Assist Autonomous Emergency Braking; Air Care Climatronic automatic air conditioning; a start/ stop system with brake energy recuperation; the pioneering Car2X local warning system; new Keyless Start keyless comfort start function; LED Plus headlights and LED tail light clusters; as well as smart 16-inch ‘San Antonio’ alloy wheels. www.myessentialfleet.co.uk


Passenger Vehicle Options

The Hyundai IONIQ 5 - rapid charging and strong performance The Hyundai IONIQ 5, is the first Hyundai built on a new dedicated Electric-Global Modular Platform, enabling it to have unique proportions on an elongated wheelbase.

300 miles1, or a 73kWh all-wheel drive with a range of up to 287 miles1.

As well as strong performance with ultra-fast charging, and a Vehicle-to-Load (V2L) function it comes with a high level of connectivity, safety features and driver assistance enhancements.

IONIQ 5 features 800V charging as standard, which when combined with a 350kW ultra-rapid charger will provide 80% charge in just 18 minutes and 100km of driving range in 5 minutes. The system also supports both domestic wall box charging and mainstream public 400V high speed charging, using the motor and the inverter to convert the voltage from 400V to 800V for optimised charge times whenever possible.

Customers have the choice of four battery and drive types; a 58kWh rear wheel drive with a combined range of up to 240 miles1, a 73kWh rear wheel drive with a combined range of up to

It is available in 3 specification levels, SE Connect, Premium, Ultimate, which join the comprehensively equipped special launch edition Project 45.

The all-new BAYON

At launch there will be three specification levels, SE Connect, Premium and Ultimate. Standard kit includes 16” alloy wheels, roof rails, spoiler, leather wrapped steering wheel, black cloth interior with mood lighting, together with rear parking sensors with camera, and smart device integration. It is available in nine colours, with a standard two tone finish with Phantom Black roof on Ultimate models. All models come with Hyundai’s 5 Year Unlimited Mileage Warranty, 5 Year Annual Health Check, 3 year MapCare navigation update program, Roadside Assistance package, and 12 Year Anti Corrosion Warranty.

The IONIQ 5’s has an innovative interior design with eco-friendly materials.

BAYON has a unique exterior design with a distinctive light architecture. All models are powered by a 1.0 turbocharged GDi engine which combines with a 48 Volt Mild Hybrid system to provide a choice of 100PS or 120PS power outputs. Two transmissions are offered, an intelligent 6-speed manual or a 7-speed dual clutch transmission which combines optimum fuel consumption and automatically controlled gear changes. This new model also comes equipped with a number of Hyundai SmartSense systems as standard.

www.myessentialfleet.co.uk

Essential Fleet Manager n 73


Passenger Vehicle Options

First glimpse of the next generation Vauxhall Astra Vauxhall has released the first glimpse of the All-New Astra – the first generation of the British brand’s compact car to be electrified. The images reveal the extreme precision and high attention to detail of the eagerly awaited all-new model, which newly interprets the brand’s pure and bold design philosophy and shows the way forward for its up-coming passenger cars. Paul Willcox, Managing Director, Vauxhall, said: “The All-New Astra will open an exciting new chapter in the 41-year history of our popular compact model. We are confident that the next generation Vauxhall Astra will make a powerful impression and attract new customers to the brand, especially now Astra will be electrified for the first time.” Vauxhall Vizor will seamlessly integrate cutting-edge technologies The central exterior design element is a further development of the Vauxhall Vizor first seen on the All-New Mokka. The face of the brand stretches across the front, seamlessly integrating technologies such as the ultra-slim IntelliLux LED® headlamps that will once again bring cutting-edge innovation to the compact market segment. At the rear, the Astra nameplate is 74 n Essential Fleet Manager

centrally placed on the sheer, taut surface of the tailgate. Next generation Pure Panel with fully glazed displays The same engineering precision applies throughout the interior. The next generation Pure Panel digital cockpit with fully glazed surfaces echoes the seamless integration of the Vauxhall Vizor with two widescreen displays delivering detoxed information in a horizontal driver-oriented format. Physical controls are reduced to the core functions in the form of finely crafted keys. The high quality of the interior experience is further emphasised by the shape, textures and materials used in the newly-designed steering wheel and the ergonomic front seats. Electrified All-New Astra continues Vauxhall’s ongoing product offensive Designed by a team led by British Design Vice-President Mark Adams, the next generation Astra will be available as a dynamic five-door hatchback and versatile Sports Tourer estate, continuing Vauxhall’s ongoing product offensive and adding considerable impetus to the electrification of the brand’s entire product portfolio. Detailed information on Vauxhall’s All-New Astra will follow in the coming months. www.myessentialfleet.co.uk


The experts in fleet management and leasing We can help you to: Minimise Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)

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KEEPING MOVING “It’s now more important than ever to make sure your fleetBRITAIN management company not only delivers in the key areas shown above – but also supports you with outstanding levels of resilience and financial flexibility. At Rivus, we have kept some of the UK’s most critical fleets running throughout the pandemic – and we’ll continue to do so in the face of more uncertainties such as Brexit, clean air legislation and the transition to alternative fuels. We have proven capability to stay ahead of the curve in all areas of running a fleet – so whatever challenges you face, our one-stop-shop approach can make your journey a smooth one.” Jason Chamberlain, & Marketing Director, KEEPING BRITAIN Sales MOVING Rivus Fleet Solutions.

To see how we could help with fleet requirements, please call

0121 820 1101 rivusfleetsolutions.com


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Essential Fleet Manager Magazine - June 2021  

For fleet professionals working within the Essential Fleet Sector - including Public Sector, Utilities, Housing and Infrastructure Managemen...

Essential Fleet Manager Magazine - June 2021  

For fleet professionals working within the Essential Fleet Sector - including Public Sector, Utilities, Housing and Infrastructure Managemen...

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