Thibault Alleyn, Head of Global Mobility Solutions, has been at Fleet Logistics for more than 16 years, in two separate spells. He has been heavily involved in the consultancy operations of Fleet Logistics for the last 7-8 years, from which the company developed a dedicated business that combines advisory and technology.
I joined Fleet Logistics in 2005 when we were a purely fleet management business, concentrating on supporting major international clients with the smooth and transparent operations of their vehicle fleets.
Our emphasis at that time was on the harmonisation of our operations across Europe to provide clients in a number of different countries with standard practices and procedures so that the international management of their fleets could become more effective, and take place on a common set of IT systems.
In return, these major companies, like Microsoft, Honeywell, Hewlett Packard and many more since then, have partnered with us to create structures and systems that would operate effectively across international borders with total transparency and reporting at an international and, indeed, global level.
In 2014, we created a separate consultancy division as a complete stand-alone, and a the following year acquired two consultancies to create a new and enlarged consultancy business. We then integrated and consolidated tools and expertise within the group, generating major synergies throughout Fleet Logistics.
Then, in 2020, we launched our Global Mobility Solutions division to further support our fleet customers on a whole variety of strategic issues, including cost effectiveness, sustainability and electrification, but introducing corporate mobility alternatives for the first time.
Our GMS unit was established with the best advisory and technology experts in Fleet Logistics Group with a clear focus on today’s and tomorrow’s hot topics in the fleet and mobility world. We are both providing our services to clients and to Fleet Logistics internally.
We launched during the midst of the current Covid pandemic at a time when many companies had been left with a long list of uncertainties and a number of burning issues to tackle as a result of the pandemic.
Given the initial financial constraints everyone faced in the first year of the pandemic, there was an emphasis for many businesses on making their fleets more efficient, cost-effective and transparent given the severe economic challenges following the crisis.
More clients started to investigate introducing a greater share of alternative powertrains, as more people were home working and travelling less business miles, which made switching to electrified fleets even more practical and economically relevant than before.
Companies had already been redefining mobility options offered to their employees, as more people questioned the value of a company car in the light of a broader mix of mobility types, including such as car-sharing, e-bikes and e-scooters. But the pandemic has certainly accelerated that transition and we are talking to more and more clients about providing their employees with a wider mobility concept.
Demand for global reporting is very high due to the growing movement to fleet electrification and sustainability reporting amongst large international fleet operators, and especially the monitoring that such journeys require.
And there remains a strong demand for electrification consulting projects as this is truly scaling up across more and more countries in the world. Most European countries plan to phase-out combustion engine vehicles by the end of the decade, leaving electric power, and possibly hydrogen, as the only viable alternatives for corporate transport.
As a result, many major international companies are now looking to evaluate their existing vehicle fleets in terms of carbon emissions, power train make-up and TCO.
They are then benchmarking the results against their corporate sustainability targets to help inform their next steps to achieving their environmental goals, whether to move to electrification or limit emissions with the introduction of a CO2 cap.
We are increasingly being asked to delve into greater detail within electrification projects and especially on how to handle its operational complexity, including charging infrastructure for both office and home, with greater frequency.
Our sophisticated modelling and forecasting tools still have a key role to play here, and we are increasingly adding into the mix new mobility options, such as our new MobilityBUDGET, and cash allowances.
In the early days, it would usually have been us pushing clients along these routes, but today it is very much them pulling us to get involved and offer advice on mobility policies, carbon footprint, sustainability and electrification.
I firmly believe that 2022 will be about the exponential growth of electric vehicles as more and more companies fully commit to going down an electric route, and infrastructure is scaled up to support the growing movement.
Mobility solutions will also come increasingly to the fore as more employees realise they can downsize their cars while still accessing a number of mobility alternatives from their monthly allowances.
Supply issues will continue to be more and more relevant. We have all seen the supply issues caused by the shortage of micro-chips for new vehicles. The typical new car has around 1,400 microchips and manufacturers are having to alter their specifications to take the shortage into account.
As a result, companies will have to adopt a more flexible approach to keeping their employees mobile, be that in differently specified cars, from a wider set of brands or with a wider range of mobility alternatives.
We are seeing inflationary effects in the European new car market, which to some extent is being offset by the higher residual values being achieved for used vehicles. But when the second-hand market returns to normal, there will still be an inflationary impact of up to 5% on new car prices.
The Covid pandemic has led to much wider hybrid working practices, with employees only spending 1-2 days in the office. We see this trend continuing and employees downsizing to smaller cars as a result, and accessing a wider array of mobility alternatives by way of compensation.