The future is in our hands

Last week I participated in a debate about car fleet and mobility management organized by Alphabet in Belgium. It was a great event with some super discussions amongst the guests. One of the topics on the agenda was the integration of alternative powertrains in corporate fleets - and whether fiscal incentives from governments offered the only way of achieving market penetration in the corporate - and consumer - fleet community.

The answer was a resounding 'Yes'. Fiscal support was needed to give new powertrains the leg up that they needed to break into the marketplace. We all know that in the longer term this model is not sustainable. Subsidies do not lead to lasting, long term change. Our experience shows that they tend to end up costing citizens bucket loads of cash and the fail to breakthrough into the mainstream. Government support is like an incubator. It gives an idea and its early incarnations support before letting the it loose in the big wide world to fend for itself.

There's a lot we need to change to get our new powertrains into the mainstream - infrastructure alone being one massive area for investment and one that governments need to lead on. So, it's all about balance.

Returning home I was  reflecting on the debate and what had been shared by participants ranging from suppliers, fleet clients, press and other interested parties. It then dawned on me what had been niggling away at the back of my mind. 'Wasn't it a shame that fiscal incentives from government are seen as the only way when our common future is in jeopardy.'  I am not a climate change denier and believe that we need to be smarter with the worlds resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change this week shows that the clock is ticking if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change. The chances of the global community keeping the rise to less than 2 degrees Celsius is slipping away.

Securing our planet's future is our moral duty as human beings - it proves that we are the intelligent and developed species that we claim to be. So why on earth do we then need fiscal measures to change behaviour for something that we all - in Europe - agree upon. 

Choosing change simply because of the money is wrong when we are talking about the big things in life: education, healthcare, food, and the environment. There is no reason good enough not to take action. We all have our part to play. So I hope that corporate fleets and fleet drivers together with the fleet suppliers facilitate environmental friendly fleet behaviour and we collectively have the willingness and intelligence to chose to change - without having our eyes always on our wallets.

After all the future is in our hands.


Authored by: Steven Schoefs