With the 27th Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP27) in full swing, hosted in Sharm El-Sheikh this month, the aim is to build on previous successes and pave the way for future ambition across the globe in the fight against climate change.
Within this key area of sustainability, alternative fuels (AF) and electric vehicles (EVs) will play a key role. This is why we hosted our first Allstar Alliance event – bringing together key stakeholders from across the market to share stories and challenges, gain experience and leave with a richer experience.
The event kicked off with an opening address by Paul Holland, MD for UK/ANZ Fleet at FLEETCOR, welcoming the delegates on the purpose of the day as well as an introduction to Allstar and our sister brands, Keyfuels and The Fuelcard Company.
He provided an overview of the key trends in mobility with a focus on the complexity behind the transition to EVs that many businesses face today, such as model choice, chargepoint charging costs, and SMR costs and availability.
The first panel discussion was moderated by our special guest and keynote speaker Nicki Shields, television presenter best known as the Formula E pit lane reporter, and had the following special guests:
Paul Marchment, Consultant, Arval
Paul Hollick, MD, Lightfoot & Chairman of The Association of Fleet Professionals (AFP)
Paul Holland, MD, UK/ANZ Fleet, FLEETCOR
Sam Clarke, Chief Vehicle Officer, GRIDSERVE
The panel tackled some key issues including the top three challenges facing businesses today in their transition to EV. Paul Marchment, Consultant, Arval, discussed the importance of considering the total cost of ownership, how businesses and drivers will charge their vehicles, as well as the importance of education.
This theme of education was reiterated throughout the day, including both the importance of businesses making the switch to electric vehicles but also the focus on educating drivers to help make driver behaviour changes.
The panel also tackled other key trends including the rise in chargepoints across the UK, the steep rise in vehicle choice before also having an eye on the future of EV. Sam Clarke, Chief Vehicle Officer at GRIDSERVE discussed the improvements in vehicle range, how infrastructure is ramping up but most interestingly how there needs to be a mindset shift into how charging time is not dead time. For example, while his EV is recharging he is reapportioning that time to take phone calls, respond to emails and get a refreshment while on the move.
Before the next panel discussion, Tom Rowlands, Managing Director, Global EV Solutions at FLEETCOR, gave the audience a comprehensive business update, including key milestones achieved. He kicked off his speech by exploring the EV ecosystem as a whole, picking through the complexity of the different stakeholders involved, as well as the key challenges that need to be addressed. He followed on with an update on the recent acquisitions and investments that Allstar’s parent company, FLEETCOR, has made and how this will enhance the Allstar offering. This includes the greater integration with Plugsurfing, as well as how the relationships with both Zap-Map and Mina are deepening to enhance how we support our valued customers. He said: “This means more network acceptance, better site availability and better site locations for our customers.”
He also described how soon this will also translate into enhancements in workplace charging management, reimbursement, charge point management solutions, a white labelled mobile app and mixed fleet UI. Innovative updates that we cannot wait to offer to our customers.
Our second panel of the day, again moderated by our keynote, Nicki Shields, included:
Matt Waller, Connected Car Director, FLEETCOR
Nick Wooley, CEO & Co-Founder, e.v. energy
James Cowen, Chief Commercial Officer, Humn
Ethan Atler, Product Marketing Director, Motorq
This fascinating panel discussion tackled the complex topics of the connected vehicle and the awareness that is required for businesses around the added technology and telematics offered by today’s modern vehicles. James Cowen, Chief Commercial Officer, Humn, discussed the importance of connectivity and how it is becoming a vital tool in providing meaningful data and insights to business in helping them understand when to make the switch over.
Matt Waller, Connected Car Director, FLEETCOR, said: “The powerful thing from a FLEETCOR perspective is that we can take learnings from our ICE customers and traditional fuel card customers to help them make informed decisions in the transition to EV.”
Nick Woolley Co-founder and CEO of ev.energy described that the data available from telematics helps companies and their drivers on where to charge based on elements such as pricing. But also how this data can ensure drivers have enough charge to ensure they get them to their next location, reducing range anxiety and ensuring efficiencies.
“We’ve come a long way but there is still some way to go but with the right technology and innovation we’ll get there.”
The event concluded with our keynote address from Nicki Shields. She provided an overview of her career, as well as the growth of Formula E. She explored how battery technology has evolved rapidly over the last few years and the great strides that many innovative minds have played in furthering this technology.
Overall, it was a day full of networking and learning from industry players across the whole spectrum of alternative fuels and electric vehicles.