What I’ve learnt – Richard Schooling of Alphabet
Car ownership is no longer the be-all and end-all
Historically, your car signalled perceived personal status and conferred a degree of authority, ie the more expensive the car, the more important you must be. However, this is changing and, with schemes like AlphaCity, it can now be a far more attractive proposition for some business drivers to borrow a pool vehicle for specific journeys, rather than running a company car full-time. The future of car usage, and indeed business travel as a whole, is flexible, with people able to bring together an integrated mix of transport solutions to make moving from A to B as efficient as possible.
EVs are finally becoming viable
Support for electric vehicles (EVs) from global car makers has reached a crucial tipping point, with the involvement of mainstream manufacturers helping to support credibility and drive interest in the sector. The introduction of practical and desirable EV models at realistic prices from respected and trusted automotive brands means that the adoption of EVs could more than double in the UK over the next three years. There is still a way to go in terms of charging infrastructure; however, many of the traditional barriers are falling.
Connected businesses require connected vehicles
Telematics has come a long way in recent years. The concept of the “connected car”, which is equipped with on-board wireless internet access, is fast becoming the norm. The recent international consumer electronics tradeshow, CES 2014, has shown some incredibly exciting and innovative tools to provide high speed on-board connection to streaming entertainment, information on surrounding traffic conditions and mobile devices which feature dashboard controls. Over the next five years, it is likely that every car manufacturer will start to embed telematics on every vehicle, as the cost comes down dramatically. Indeed, for the new generation of self-driving cars, embedded telematics will be crucial.
The market needs strong players focused on the future
Over the past two years, the fleet market has changed shape dramatically as a result of players dropping out or consolidating. Indeed, there have been a number of new names in the industry league tables, while the established market-leaders have shown solid growth despite the recession. Looking forward, there will need to be a period of stability while the market adjusts to the new status quo. This is the perfect opportunity for fleet managers to take advantage of the raft of the new customer service initiatives and innovative products being launched.
You now need to work across multiple markets
When it comes to business mobility, an increasingly connected world requires an increasingly integrated travel solution. It is vital, therefore, that organisations are able to work with suppliers which also offer international capabilities. This means providing innovative pan-European products and solutions which help customers achieve their business goals across multiple markets. It isn’t just about cars and vans. You need to deliver connected, integrated, international solutions to support organisations to take complete control of their business mobility, whether in one country or multiple markets.