Challenges for Fleet Management in 2024

January 26, 2024
Fleet Management

Fleet Incident Management: Navigating the Future

As we step into 2024, the fleet management landscape is set to undergo significant transformations. Challenges such as ‘autobesity’, electrification, ultra low emission zones, and digitalisation are at the forefront. These issues not only influence the day-to-day operations of fleet managers but also shape the strategic direction of the industry.

1. Addressing ‘Autobesity’ on UK Roads

With a third of fleet managers planning to grow their operations, vehicle size becomes a critical consideration. The phenomenon of ‘autobesity’ – where vehicles exceed road sizing and parking bay dimensions – is increasingly relevant. The burgeoning SUV market, accounting for almost half of global car sales, exacerbates this issue, raising safety and emission concerns. Fleet managers must prioritise vehicle size to manage parking charges and environmental impacts​​.

2. The Evolving Landscape of Electric Vehicle (EV) Fleets

The government’s decision to delay the 2030 ICE ban by five years impacts the development of green infrastructure. While this eases the immediate pressure to electrify fleets, challenges remain, particularly in the public charging infrastructure, which could disrupt operations. Building relationships with EV manufacturers, energy providers, and technology companies can provide valuable support and insights. Collaborating with other businesses undergoing similar transitions can also offer opportunities for learning and sharing best fleet practices.

ULEZ Expansion in London: Challenges and Opportunities for Fleet Companies

The expansion of the ULEZ has increased operational costs for fleet operators. This includes not only the potential costs of upgrading vehicles but also the ongoing expenses of daily charges for vehicles that remain non-compliant. Additionally, the need for more careful route planning to avoid ULEZ areas could affect delivery schedules and increase fuel consumption. And although the ULEZ expansion has imposed an additional financial burden on many small firms it has acted as an incentive for fleet operators to transition to more environmentally friendly vehicles. The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in London has shown a significant reduction in polluting vehicles and improved air quality. Since its expansion in 2023 to cover all London boroughs, key findings indicate that the number of non-compliant vehicles driving in London on an average day has been cut nearly in half.

4. Digitalisation as a Tool for Efficiency

Digitalisation in fleet management can significantly boost efficiency through using advanced fleet management software, automated processes, and eco-friendly operations. Fleet management software offers comprehensive insights into vehicle performance and maintenance, aiding in proactive decision-making. Automation streamlines routine tasks, enhancing productivity and accuracy in areas like scheduling and reporting. Additionally, digital tools are pivotal in driving eco-friendly practices, such as route optimisation and monitoring fuel-efficient driving behaviours, contributing to both cost savings and environmental sustainability. These technologies collectively transform fleet operations into more efficient, responsive, and environmentally conscious systems.

The UK car industry, particularly the fleet market, continues to show growth, indicating a recovering economy. However, challenges in infrastructure, particularly for electric and hydrogen HGVs, hinder wider adoption of zero-emission vehicles. The automotive industry’s regulation, such as the proposed Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mandate and changes in the Rules of Origin, are set to create significant challenges in 2024​​​​​​. These policies could affect the cost and supply of electric vehicles in the UK, impacting automakers’ ability to comply with the ZEV mandate and potentially affecting consumer demand due to price increases.

6. Public Sector Fleet Decarbonisation

Public sector fleets face budget pressures in their transition to zero-emission vehicles. Strategies like total cost of ownership assessment and EV suitability assessment using telematics data are crucial for a cost-effective transition. Charging infrastructure is vital for operational reliability​​​​.

7. Fleet Diversity and Inclusion

The Association of Fleet Professionals’ (AFP) commitment to diversity and inclusion within the fleet industry is a significant step towards fostering a more diversified and innovative sector. This focus is especially noteworthy in its efforts to enhance training opportunities for women, demonstrating the AFP’s dedication to creating an inclusive environment.

8. Legislation Challenges: The 4.25-Tonne Derogation for Electric Vans

Ambiguity in legislation concerning 4.25-tonne electric vans poses significant challenges for fleet managers. This special concession, established in 2019, allows drivers with a standard B licence to operate electric vans up to 4.25 tonnes, recognising the extra weight added by batteries. However this poses an issue that these electric vans are then classified as Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs.) The AFP argues that while the concept of the 4.25-tonne derogation is sensible in theory, the reality is fraught with obstacles that hinder the easy adoption of electric vans over traditional 3.5-tonne diesel vans.

9. Insurance Premiums and EVs

Rising insurance premiums, particularly for electric vehicles (EVs), are a concern. Fleet managers are adopting self-insured models and using new technologies to mitigate costs. Addressing the insurance industry’s understanding of EVs is crucial for setting fair premiums​​.

10. EV Residual Values and Total Cost of Ownership

Leasing companies and fleet managers must navigate the complexities of EV service, maintenance, and repair costs. The diversity in leasing companies’ maintenance budgets requires careful consideration to ensure value and efficiency, because although service costs can be much lower for EV vehicles the cost to repair can be significantly higher.

Incident Management in Fleet Operations

Incident management remains a pivotal aspect of fleet management. With evolving technologies, diverse vehicle types, and regulatory changes, fleet managers must be adept at handling incidents efficiently and effectively. Implementing robust accident management systems and staying informed about industry trends and regulatory requirements are crucial for successful fleet incident management. For more details on incident management, visit the How It Works section of the ONO website.

Sharpen your incident reporting and management. Get in touch with our team and we can show you how!

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