shake tips for fleets

CONJUNCTURE – With rising vehicle prices, longer delivery times and the transition to electric vehicles, companies are struggling to optimize their fleets.

Inflation is catching up with fleets like it is poisoning many sectors of activity. First of all, the price of fuel plays like a yoyo, without predictable logic. With these uncontrolled movements, fleet managers cannot anticipate the evolution of this item of expenditure, one of the main ones, since it represents almost 16% of the cost of using the company’s vehicle. , according to the Arval Mobility Observatory, think- tank of the BNP Paribas group. According to a study conducted by this structure, the fuel expenditure of companies increased by 21.53% in 2021 and reached its highest level since 2012 and the start of surveys conducted by this think tank.

The fuel item should not hide the increase in the price of raw materials. The price of cars inevitably increases and forces companies to change the prices of reference models upwards. “Trade margins are disappearing, and I don’t know if the current grids will be maintained next year”concerns Chloé Monthieu, fleet, vehicle and mobility specialist within the Epsa group, a consulting firm, one of the departments dedicated to purchasing.

Rising prices and supply difficulties sometimes lead to the violation of tripartite agreements negotiated between car manufacturers, long-term rental companies and companies. Discounts negotiated in exchange for large bulk purchases suddenly disappear and cause an increase in the cost of car parks.

Among the headwinds, companies must also deal with a shortage of semiconductors. “Electric vehicles have triple the number of semiconductors than equivalent thermal vehicles.explains Marc Mechaï, executive director, head of the automotive sector at Accenture. As for premium cars, with their driving assistance, safety and infotainment systems, they act ten times more. However, the automotive industry represents only 10% of the semiconductor market. For producers, and faced with telephony and micro-computing, this is not a priority.

Without electronic components, it became difficult to fulfill orders. Some manufacturers warn their customers of their inability to deliver a particular vehicle. Delivery times now vary from four months to a year with an average of seven months.

A subsidiary of Société Générale, ALD Automotive finances and manages a fleet of 1.448 million vehicles worldwide. For its customers, delivery times range from 200 to 220 days.

More affected by the microprocessor crisis, fleets are not among the priorities for car manufacturers. With less inventory, brands favor customers for whom they make more margins, primarily individuals. Under these conditions, protocols signed with long-term rental companies are renegotiated and discounts melt like snow in the sun.

Short-term rental companies suffer more than businesses. To break the deadlock, they appeal to Chinese manufacturers, whose cars are cheaper while remaining well-equipped. Sixt has committed to buying 100,000 vehicles from BYD by 2028. In another initiative, Hertz Corse has joined forces with Aiways to electrify its fleet with the delivery of 500 U5, its electric SUV. “If the Chinese enter European territory en masse, through short and long-term leases, we can expect a new price war”Marc Mechaï expected.

In the United States, another operation is questioning the world of vehicle fleets. In 2019, the Climate Pledge fund of Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, invested in Rivian, an American manufacturer of electric vehicles. By 2030, 100,000 zero-emission vans will be delivered to the American giant to ensure its deliveries. “This operation can serve as a model for companies where delivery is at the heart of their business model. Taking a stake will make it possible to ensure their supply of vehicles”explains Marc Mechaï.

In a particularly complex context, companies must also negotiate the energy transition. The mobility orientation law (LOM), the climate and stability law and the tax framework (read the box below) they are strongly encouraged to green their mobility. The pressure is intensified by the rise of low emission zones (ZFE). Already deployed in 14 conurbations, these areas reserved for the most fuel-efficient vehicles will be about all conurbations with more than 150,000 inhabitants by the end of 2024.

Companies are responding and electrifying their fleets very quickly. They even exceed the renewal percentages required by the LOM (10% from 2022, 20% from 2024, 35% from 2027 and 50% from 2030). At ALD Automotive, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles make up a third of orders. In the first nine months of the year, company registrations of electric vehicles increased by 21%. This technology now represents 8.2% of the fleet market. In hybrids, themselves increased by 5%, electrified models represent 38.7% of car purchases by professionals. Gasoline fell 8% for a market share of 30.3%, as diesel continued to decline with a decline of 26.3%. Diesel represents only 30% of the company’s fleet registrations.

After peaking, sales of plug-in hybrids fell like a breath. Presented as a panacea, this half-thermal half-electric technology does not pass the test of facts. For daily trips of 20 kilometers and regular recharging, the plug-in hybrid is a relevant solution and allows drivers to have the autonomy of the internal combustion engine for holidays and weekends . On the other hand, when the batteries remain discharged, when the driver mainly drives on the motorway and travels tens of kilometers per day, the consumption increases and, with an excess weight of several hundred kilograms, exceeds in the consumption of equivalent thermal models. For fleets, the plug-in hybrid represents a transition technology before switching to electric. Now, the pendulum is swinging faster.

Taxation favorable to electricity

Two million electric vehicles by 2030. This is the production target in France set by Emmanuel Macron during his visit to the Paris Motor Show held last October. The President of the Republic also announced an increase from €6,000 to €7,000 for the ecological bonus associated with the purchase of a zero-emission model. If this proposal concerns the poorest households, the fleets are not forgotten. Even if 1 goes downeh July for legal persons, the bonus still amounts to €3,000 and will be maintained as it will not be reduced until the end of the year. As for plug-in hybrids, the €1,000 bonus has been extended until December 31, when it will expire on December July.

The bonus can be combined with the conversion bonus, and electric vehicles do not pay for registration. They also evade the annual tax on CO emissions2 and the annual vehicle age tax, the two components of the former TVS (tax on company vehicles). Currently, these rules may change next year depending on the 2023 finance law.

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