20 May 2022
Tom Rowlands, Managing Director of Global EV Solutions, Allstar Business Solutions spoke to fleet managers at the Association of Fleet Professionals’ annual conference about solving the challenges of switching to electric vehicles.
For decades, Allstar has been a major supporter of fleets through its fuel card and payment solutions, and with the move to electric vehicles continues to work closely with businesses to assist their transition.
As part of that support for fleets, Allstar and its partner charging payment provider Mina co-sponsored this year’s Association of Fleet Professionals annual conference. Tom made the keynote address, looking at how Allstar is delivering new services and working with other suppliers to create a charging and payment ecosystem for electric fleets.
“At Allstar we have been supporting fleets and fleet managers for decades with traditional ICE vehicles and management of fleets. We are more passionate than ever about helping fleet managers through what is probably the biggest change the industry has ever faced: the electrification of vehicles and the various challenges that brings with it,” he said.
One of the major issues for fleets, Tom said, is creating new processes and way of working that allows EVs to operate effectively and simply.
He said: “We understand that even simply ‘fuelling’ an electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid is very different from a petrol or diesel vehicle, and that drivers need to be able to charge in the locations that make most sense for them, be that at home, or on the road, where we are working hard to build a strong strategic on-road EV charging network for fleets.
“That’s why we are offering Allstar Homecharge and our Allstar One Electric card to ensure drivers can charge where they need to. We currently have 11 networks on the Allstar One Electric card giving our drivers access to nationwide charging and are on-boarding more. A high proportion of these are fast or rapid networks because we understand that for fleets, especially those where stopping during the working day will be costing them money, fast charging is highly important.
“We’re also partnering with other experts in the EV space to give our fleets and their drivers the best possible charging experience too. We recently launched our partnership with Zap Map, allowing drivers to lodge their Allstar card in the app, for example.”
Providing a reliable, widespread home and public charging network is a cornerstone of electric but as Tom highlighted it is not the only step fleets need to take.
Before this stage, businesses need to be able to make a case for transition, identifying which drivers or roles are best placed to move to EVs first, what vehicles make the most sense and what hardware to choose.
“We are working on trials with companies to help customers understand the make-up of their current fleet and driving behaviours to help identify which vehicles are most appropriate to transition,” he added.
“At Allstar, we feel it is important to recognise that not every vehicle is appropriate to move to electric right away and we all know there are practical issues preventing fleets from doing this anyway, such as the supply of vehicles, routes and distances some drivers need to travel.”
“We have built EV in as another product/network to our existing fleet manager portal. So now when fleets adopt EVs they are able to see their fuel, on-road, and home electric usage all in one consolidated dashboard. At Allstar we are committed to giving fleets the complete picture of all their vehicles, so they can run their operations more effectively and efficiently.”
The success of the event and large number of fleet managers in attendance showed there is a lot of interest in electrification, and Allstar Business Solutions looks forward to next year’s conference.
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