From a ramp up in electric vehicles and a dip in hybrid sales, to leveraging technology to mitigate ongoing supply chain disruption, David Savage, Associate Vice President UK & Ireland at Geotab, takes a look at the biggest trends and topics in the transport and logistics industry over the coming 12 months.
The electric vehicle (EV) market will experience its most significant surge yet in 2022.
Through cost-effective scenario analysis and research, 2022/23 has been shown to be the first point where EV transition becomes viable across most electric models, and it is possible that new EV car sales may overtake those of petrol and diesel sales as early as this year. On top of continued technology and battery improvements within vehicles, charging infrastructure is set for massive growth based on commitments and contracts already concluded for its rollout. An increasingly demonstrable message is emerging that fleets can be more productive, efficient, and cost-effective with EV technology. The impact of this on fleet management’s self image and business expectations, along with continued subsidies, infrastructure investment and growing sustainability awareness, will all contribute to a pivotal year for EV adoption.
As the EV market matures, we will begin to see more choices in not just electric cars, but also new truck and light commercial vehicle models. Additionally, as people become more eco-conscious, we will begin to see tangible impacts on lifestyles as well as new business models emerge. For example, car sharing programmes could be primed for growth in the coming year as the cost of city-living and the appetite for environmentally friendly solutions continues to grow. With smart cities and more inner-city charging infrastructure, we could very well see electric car sharing schemes become far more mainstream.
The battery-hybrid vehicle market could begin to be impacted as early as 2022.
While battery-hybrid electric vehicle sales have been growing to date, this market could possibly be a loser as fully-electric sales grow. With improving technology, range, performance and charging infrastructure, people will increasingly bypass hybrid technology to go straight for all-electric.
This impact will be magnified as awareness continues to grow regarding battery-hybrid electric vehicles’ (BHEVs) poor emissions performance and shrinking lifespan in the market. While currently the main sustainability message to consumers and fleet managers is with regards to internal combustion engine (ICE) evaporation, BHEVs lay only a few years behind these same requirements and impetus for change.
In addition to electrification efforts, fleet managers will explore new ways to reduce emissions from their existing internal combustion engines (ICE) vehicles.
While fleet electrification efforts will form the cornerstone of many operators’ plans for 2022, there will also be a rising awareness of the importance to maximise the efficiency of their existing fleets. Telematics can play a key role in decarbonising the transport industry by both helping fleets determine the optimum time to transition to electric via tools such as Geotab’s Electric Vehicle Suitability Assessment (EVSA) tool, and also by providing the necessary insights to reduce pollution of petrol and diesel fleets. This is done in a variety of ways, from live route optimisation to reduce time spent on the road, to detailed analysis indicating excessive idling times that produce unnecessary emissions.
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A continued boost in trade and corresponding need for last-mile delivery will further increase demand for telematics.
The boost in trade and changing online shopping trends that have developed as a result of the pandemic will persist, meaning that delivery areas and services – from last mile to multi-modal – will be in high demand. Telematics will thus be critical to a fleet’s ability to track delivery drivers and manage efficiency.
This trend will accelerate the need for holistic telematics services and products. Remote functionality development in driver and user apps will be a prerequisite and a user-friendly interface will be invaluable to enjoy the benefits of telematics, from route optimisation to driver feedback. An added area to keep an eye on will be the growth of cold chain telematic solutions. Capable of accurately monitoring and maintaining freight temperature, cold chain solutions can drive sustainability efforts by reducing food waste, as well as providing huge value for transport in the pharmaceutical industry.
Supply chain disruptions will persist throughout the coming year, along with continued issues in attracting and retaining a HGV driver workforce.
Supply chains are highly complex and we’re more than likely to endure another year of disruption in 2022. The mix of strong demand for popular products, combined with COVID-related supply disruptions could have a lasting impact and hamper economic growth. Compounding the issue, the demographics of Britain’s indigenous workforce will not offer enough recruits to fill labour shortages in problem areas such as logistics, food production and distribution. Meanwhile, the mass exodus of EU drivers due to both the pandemic and fallout of Brexit mean that sourcing migrant workers to plug the shortages gap is far from a given.
As well as collaborative efforts between industry and government to attract new talent and retain experienced drivers within the industry, the use of technology in 2022 can help alleviate the current crisis. Most products rely on components from across the globe from raw materials through to manufacture and distribution. Telematics can aid the on road aspects of the chain through compliance, as well as delivering driver and vehicle efficiencies.