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Attitudes to electric vehicles are changing

Having recently concluded the research for both the Fleet200 and the FN50 contract hire and leasing report, out next month, it was striking to see the similarity of views on the big industry issues.
Of course, Brexit raised its head, but its influence over operational business strategy was largely dismissed. Interest was roused in mobility services, but most saw them as something for the future.
The biggest topic – and challenge – by far was electric vehicles. It’s easy to assume that everyone is planning their EV strategies, given the extensive column inches in this – and other – publications.
But until now, that has not been the case – EVs have not even been on the radar for many companies. This is starting to change, due to a combination of more affordable products, acceptable range and the significant incentive from the 0% BIK rate next year. Underpinning this is the demand for cleaner air, with clean air zones and zero emission zones rapidly coming into existence.
EVs now top the agenda for fleets and the leasing companies. They still have concerns – supply among them – but most companies seem eager to bring them onto fleet as soon as possible for light duty, shorter distance journey profiles.

Antidote to cash takers

Drivers want them, they’re a perfect antidote to the rise in cash takers, the total cost of ownership sums are starting to add up – in short, the positives outweigh the negatives by a considerable margin.
And that’s even before taking into account the massive benefits for local air quality.
The technology is also improving all the time, with significant investment by global OEMs and local start-ups alike in battery cells that will speed up charging times to 15 minutes or less, bring down prices and potentially extend range, although experts are divided on the need to go much further beyond 200-250 miles, which some cars can already achieve.
Most feel that developing longer-range batteries will result in wasted capacity, higher costs, more weight and longer charging times. Given an abundance of charging options – home, work, public – a couple of hundred miles is all the range anyone will need.
This might require a change in mind-set from ‘empty-full’ fuelling to ‘little and often’, but we already have this culture with mobile phones. Their thinking seems to make sense.
Author:  Stephen Briers

Lex Autolease funds 1000 EVs through EV1000 scheme

Lex Autolease has discounted 1,000 new electric vehicles through its EV1000 cashback initiative, with more than three quarters (83%) going to fleets.
The £1 million scheme has offered £1,000 cashback against each pure electric vehicle order since January.
Designed to accelerate the uptake of EVs, the EV1000 has successfully generated interest from both business and personal customers, above and beyond the orders that qualified for cashback.
More than 2,200 EVs have been ordered this year, meaning one in 16 EVs on the UK’s roads is a Lex Autolease vehicle.
Richard Jones, managing director of motor finance and leasing at Lloyds Banking Group, said: “As the UK’s leading vehicle leasing provider, we have an important role to play in driving change and in helping fleet drivers be the pioneers of the newest, cleanest vehicle technology.
“With the regular replacement cycles that come with leasing, fleet drivers are also feeding the second hand market with low and zero-emission models, which is critical for the country to meet its ambitious emissions targets.
“The financial contributions we’ve offered via the EV1000 are one of many whole-life cost benefits drivers can enjoy with the switch to electric. Cheaper fuel, tax and maintenance are also key considerations – and as battery technology and charging infrastructure continue to develop and improve, EVs are an increasingly attractive option for more and more people.”
The leasing company, which finances almost 400,000 cars and vans, told Fleet News that orders for pure electric cars had increased by 123% since the new benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax rates were announced.
More than 1,300 customers have enlisted the help of Lex Autolease this year on their Road to Zero. Well-known companies and organisations who have benefited from the EV1000 scheme include Anglian Water, EON, Cornwall NHS Trust, Bourne Leisure Limited and Mitie.
Lex Autolease estimates the new vehicles will eliminate more than 18,000 tonnes of carbon from roadside emissions and will cover more than 98 million zero-emission miles over the duration of their contracts.
Of the total EVs ordered from Lex Autolease in 2019 to date, 87% per cent are cars and 13% per cent are light commercial vehicles (LCVs). Business contracts account for 83% of orders.
The Jaguar I-Pace range has proved most popular among Lex Autolease customers with nearly 900 orders received in 2019 to date, while the Nissan e-NV200 is the single most popular commercial vehicle with more than 230 orders.
Author: Matt de Prez

Danish cars younger than any time since 2001

Even though the Danes are unwilling to sell Greenland, Denmark generally is a very good country to do business with, and in. One of the Nordic nation’s added attractions is its highly mature fleet industry. Here are a few highlights of the newly-updated Wikifleet entry for Denmark:
• In 2018, a total of 218,500 new cars were registered. That’s 1% less than in 2017, but that figure nevertheless represents a 6.4% spend. That seeming contradiction is due to the fall in sales of cheaper small cars, and the rise in sales of more expensive SUVs.
• On 1 January 2019, there were 2.594 million passenger cars in Denmark. If current trends persist, by 2023 the Danish car park will number 2.9 million cars.
• The average age of a passenger car in Denmark is 8.8 years – the lowest since 2001. This is due to a drop in the life expectancy of new cars in Denmark: from 15.9 years in 2009 to 15.1 years in 2019.
• Fleet sales have more than doubled over the past decade. In 2009, there were just over 50,000 new car registrations for the corporate market. Despite dropping for two years straight, that figure stood at more than 106,000 in 2018.
• Employers can offer their employees a mileage allowance (kørselsgodtgørelse) for driving their own car for work purposes, with legally defined amounts per km: 3.56 DKK per km (up to 20,000 km) and 1.98 DKK per km (thereafter).
• Leasing is a very popular solution for Danish corporates. In the period of 2017-’19, around 75% of newly registered cars for corporate use in Denmark are acquired via leasing.
• Petrol sales are trending down, from 65.2% of all newly registered vehicles in 2015 to 59.9% in 2016. But in 2018, due in part to Dieselgate, they were slightly going up again.
For much more on the Danish fleet market, check out the updated entry for Denmark on Wikifleet.
Wikifleet – a collaborative encyclopedia on fleet management – is a two-way street: its knowledge can help you, and your knowledge can help it. If you see a chapter that could benefit from your knowledge on that particular subject, please submit your information! You can update or add content by clicking on the ‘Edit’ button.
Authored by: Frank Jacobs

ADAS, telematics, autonomous are the future – Latin NCAP

To prevent car accidents or mitigate the effects of crashes, advanced driver-assisted systems (ADAS), telematics, connectivity, and fully autonomous cars are the waves of the future

“ADAS is a key component in vehicle safety improvements today and it will gradually become more common in the cars of the future, according to Alejandro Furas who is the Secretary General of Latin NCAP, the Latin America and Caribbean regional car safety assessment program.

In Latin America, these technologies will not make a large impact on the industry for at least 15 years. However, they are a key component in the ever-evolving autonomous car of today, Mr. Furas told Fleet LatAm, adding that telematics is another useful driver monitoring tool on the rise.

“In my opinion, drivers will be increasingly more distracted in the future so we must remember that education is a key component in fleet management,” says Mr. Furas.

It has been proven that a human being today, in 24 hours, receives nearly as much information as a human being 200 years ago received in his or her entire life. As such, Latin NCAP strongly believes that a safe system in the future will be one that relies on cars and roads that are “distracted-driver-proof”.

Finally, one technology that many are waiting for with curious eyes is self-driving cars.

“Personally, I believe that autonomous cars will be a safer alternative in the future. However, to have fully efficient autonomous cars, we need reliable artificial intelligence (AI), as well as car-to-car and car-to-road communications [connectivity], said Furas,

Once we have all this, I feel that we will have a safer system, but it is yet to be proven, he added.

Today & Tomorrow

Today, some car makers call their cars “autopilot” or “autonomous” and this is creating an unrealistic expectation by consumers. OEM’s should use a more realistic name like “assisted driving”. Drivers need to be aware that these technologies are meant to help them drive but not to driver for them.

As for when autonomous car networks will be hitting the roads, the Secretary General does not feel that this will make a real impact on the industry for at least another 10 years, and probably at least 25 years to really take off.

In the meantime, we still have a lot to do to make cars safer. If we sit around and wait for those changes to come, we will see a lot of deaths and injuries in the years to come.

For more on the subject of fleet and vehicle safety in Latin America, download the 4th edition of the Fleet LatAm magazine where you will learn the importance of both Safety and Security for your fleet management strategy.
globalfleet.com

Darcy Olmos- Mancilla, Airbus: Readying Urban Air Mobility in Latin America

A smart city incorporates a proper ecosystem that enhances the quality and sustainable performance of urban services such as energy, transportation and utilities in order to reduce the consumption of resources and overall costs, and to build more livable cities.

“One of the keys to building more livable cities and to contribute positively to an urban multimodal mobility system is to implement urban air mobility (UAM) in cities,” says Darcy Olmos Mancilla who is New Business Director and Head of Urban Air Mobility in Latin America for multinational aerospace corporation Airbus.

Let’s take a look into the future with our one-on-one with the executive here.

How would you evaluate the urban mobility situation in Latin America?

Olmos: Latin America is already very urban. More than 80% of its residence live in urban areas and forecasts are predicting that this number will be 90% soon. Although the region represents 8% of the world’s population, 11% of the top 100 most polluted cities are located there.

In terms of traffic and congestion, the extra time lost by people on average per year in São Paulo [Latin America’s largest city] is 154 hours and even worse in Rio de Janeiro where it is around 199 hours. At the same time, the number of vehicles in Brazil is 90-100 million and it keeps growing every year!

To help cities cope with this massive population growth, urban transport solutions need to safely and sustainably improve the way people get from A to B. There is a lot of work to do.

To be clear, urban air mobility is not just about developing new electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicles. It’s a complex ecosystem with critical pieces including designing a safe vehicle, offering the service to passengers, designing a safe Traffic Management for Unmanned and Manned vehicles, as well as building infrastructures that integrate with existing transportation modes.

How can UAM contribute to building the smart cities of the future?

Olmos: UAM leverages the sky to better link people to cities and regions, giving them more possibilities to connect while supporting a balanced development of regions. It also brings the safety, convenience, and the joy of flying to urban communities.

Moreover, UAB enhances the coverage and reach of transportation systems with minimal land impact. It is offers a sustainable complement to existing transport modes, with no CO2 or other emissions that are linked to climate change and increased health risks.

And who should be responsible for implementing urban mobility, the private or public sector?

Olmos: It should be a cooperation between the private sector, governments, and citizens in general. Building efficient urban mobility involves technology, business models, city integration, infrastructure development, and airspace management.

What is the biggest challenge to merging UAM systems into the existing transport network in cities?

Olmos: Contributing to mobility requires understanding the urban context, adhering to the practice of territorial developments, and planning that enables sustainable and efficient urban development globally. Through urban design and planning, Airbus works with world leading experts to integrate new mobility systems that serve the needs of the broader population.

Currently, Airbus is actively exploring how UAM systems can benefit citizens by bringing this added mobility solution to cities and studying what additional infrastructure (vertiports) would be required.

By working with cities, using urban flow data, and developing powerful modelling programs, our teams can run simulations to better understand how people move around. They can then design convenient and sustainable systems that could seamlessly integrate into an existing city infrastructure.

Whether it’s designing and certifying new helipads for take-off and landing or securing capacity to charge our vehicles, infrastructure is a critical need for scaling UAM operations in cities.

When do you think efficient UAM networks will be operating in cities?

Olmos: It’s difficult to have exact forecast. However, by 2030, we can say that 60% of the world population will be urban. Some 80% will be in low or middle-income countries and 90% of the urban population growth is seen coming from developing countries.

To make UAM a reality, Airbus is architecting all pieces of the puzzle. Our approach includes building and bringing together all the critical components – technology, business models, city integration, infrastructure development, and airspace management – in order to take urban transport into the sky.

In doing so, we can ensure maximum societal benefits for urban communities worldwide!
Authored by: Daniel Bland

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