Exclusive insight into ALD’s connected fleet strategy
Via its MOVE 2025 strategy, ALD Automotive has been pioneering fleet innovation in connectivity and mobility products and services. We caught up with Matt Dale, EV Expert, and Rhys Harrhy, Connected Car Product Manager at ALD Automotive UK, to talk about the future of connectivity, mobility and the role of the fleet manager.
ALD is a Diamond partner of the Connected Fleets Conference, which is taking place on 30th September, 2021. Register now to discuss with ALD about Telematics and electrification: working hand in hand for the future of mobility at 14:00 pm CET.
Q: How does telematics and connected tech contribute to an optimised vehicle fleet, and mobility management?
Mr Harrhy answered: “Collecting data for all vehicles regardless of the powertrain is invaluable. Thanks to telematics, fleet managers have greater insight into daily fleet activities. It also fuels longer term strategies - regardless of the size of their fleet. With the appropriate data, they can improve fleet efficiency and decrease excess mileage, optimise vehicle up-time and fleet utilisation, identify cost optimisation opportunities to generate fleet savings, control carbon output and implement driver safety initiatives.
It also makes life easier for drivers, helping them streamline administrative tasks for business and personal travel, facilitate fuel and EV charging claims, adopt smarter and safer driving habits, optimise time management with regular service reminders, and support a company’s commitment to CSR through safer, greener driving.
As mobility providers, telematics is key, as it allows us to do a better job for our customers. Whether that’s getting the vehicle serviced on time, minimising downtime when vehicles break down or accurately reporting on the fleets’ efficiency and CO2 output.
These benefits are even greater when it comes to fleet electrification, as telematics can be the key enabler to help transition a fleet to electric vehicles.”
Q: Electric mobility doesn’t seem practical or viable without connectivity. What’s ALD Automotive’s vision and approach regarding connectivity and electric mobility?
Mr Dale shared his view: “Five years ago, ALD Automotive set out to change its thinking, to develop flexibility and new modes of transport in our offering via digital, connected car capabilities and electrification. Today, more than ever, we know that electrification and connected cars are part of the future of mobility and we’re making these two trends our priority in our Move 2025 strategic plan. By 2025, 30% of our new deliveries will be green vehicles and we count on telematics to help make it happen.
Thanks to connected car data, we are now able to more accurately identify vehicles appropriate for electrification, as well as identify the drivers best suited for those vehicles.
And once a fleet has switched to electric, it’s also important to know how efficiently they are being driven, charged and at what cost. As EVs become the norm and the charging infrastructure across Europe continues to grow and strengthen, there’s an array of providers and tariffs. By utilising data from the car and feeding additional datasets into our connected car platform, we will be able to advise customers on better strategies for charging their fleets as well as battery condition and degradation, which will likely have an impact on range and performance as the vehicles age.
All this has been factored into ALD Connected Car, our own telematics programme, which we built in partnership with Vinli Inc, a US-based connected car specialist. ALD ProFleet is the first product to be launched on the connected car platform that delivers greater insight into daily fleet activities and fuels longer term strategies.
ALD ProFleet is an advanced, fully customisable connected car solution that unifies fleet data and streamlines workflow, allowing you to manage all your fleet information in one secure place. ALD ProFleet gives you control of your fleet in real time, allowing you to increase cost efficiency, vehicle location optimisation and safety – as well as steering you towards the connected vehicle future
New challenges will be presented to us as customers transition to EVs, alternatives or new mobility solutions, and by having the right systems and tools in place, with the support of our consultancy teams, we can help our customers navigate that path towards decarbonising their fleets.”
Q: Digitisation is a key part of ALD Automotive’s Move 2025 Strategy. How many vehicles of the ALD Automotive fleet will you have connected by 2025?
Harrhy told us: “Since the introduction of e-Call in 2018, connected car shipments in Europe are expected to be the largest market globally, growing steadily in terms of units to account for 31% of the world's fleet by 2023. The global connected car parc is projected to increase almost three-fold over the course of five years to reach just under 353 million units in 20231!
Recognising this, and with all new cars and vans having connectivity fitted as standard, by 2025 it is entirely possible that more than three quarters of our fleet could be connected.”
Q: How will connected technology change the relationship between ALD Automotive and the fleet manager and how will it change the fleet manager’s role?
Harrhy shared some insights: “With the immediacy of data being delivered to our platform becoming the norm, decisions on vehicle choice and type will become quicker and easier for both us and our customers. It is likely that the trend to lease vehicles will continue to grow from owning a vehicle outright. In a world where subscription-based services continue to thrive, full service leasing today offers all the benefits of an all-in subscription for the vehicle of choice. The next challenge is to build flexibility into that model. By harnessing that data now, we can work with our customers and partners to understand how demands and behaviours will change so we can adapt and change and bring new forms of e-mobility to our customers.”