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18
September, 2017

Hearing a lot about electric vehicles lately? We’re willing to bet you are. And it’s no wonder, because the EV revolution is happening faster than anyone predicted.

...

Hearing a lot about electric vehicles lately? We’re willing to bet you are. And it’s no wonder, because the EV revolution is happening faster than anyone predicted.

Plug in electric vehicle

As a result, fleets now have the unique opportunity to position themselves as technology and sustainability leaders in their industry.

Although electric vehicles will not work for all fleets, for many, they do have real advantages over gas and diesel-powered vehicles.

These include lower fuel and maintenance costs, which contribute to a lower total cost of ownership.

In addition, by adopting EV’s in your fleet, you’ll positively impact your local air quality and be part of the solution to climate change.

Click here to download our comprehensive guide on adding electric vehicles into your fleet>>

Nevertheless, there are a few misconceptions about fleet electrification that we’d like to address.

5 MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT OPERATING FLEET ELECTRIC VEHICLES

Myth #1: EV’s are too expensive for my fleet

When EV’s were initially introduced to commercial applications, they came with a pretty big price tag.

But electric vehicle cost has been falling each year with vehicles now available within the $25,000 to $45,000 range in Canada.

Furthermore, the following electric vehicle incentives are available in three provinces:

Ontario:

  • $14,000 off the purchase of an electric car from the Ontario government.

British Columbia:

  • Up to $12,000 for the purchase or lease of a new EV by combining government incentives and those from BC’s Scrap It program.

Québec:

There are also other cost-savings factors that help offset the initial cost of an EV.

For example, insurance costs for EV’s are lower, and many insurers in Canada offer green vehicle discounts.

Furthermore, it’s an undeniable fact that the price of gas is rising, and will continue to do so. Did you know the cost of electricity to charge the vehicles is now more affordable than the cost of gas?

EV’s also provide savings in maintenance, fuel costs, and repairs, which leads to a lower total cost of ownership for fleet managers. For example:

  • 100% EV’s will not require oil changes.

  • Regenerative braking of EV’s results in less brake wear and tear.

  • EV’s have fewer moving parts that require maintenance and repairs.

Myth #2: EV’s don’t have enough range to cover my routes

Many people out there have "range anxiety" when it comes to EV’s and fleet managers are no exception. You may worry that the vehicle will run out of power and your drivers will be stranded.

Fortunately, these fears are unfounded in a large majority of the cases.

A study by researchers at MIT showed that 87% of vehicles on the road could be replaced by an EV with no need to charge throughout the day.

In other words, range anxiety was simply unwarranted in 87% of cases.

In Canada, the available EV’s have a range of up to 383 kilometers. This means, depending on your industry and routes, you can swap your conventional vehicles for electric fleet vehicles without encountering any range issues.

Myth #3: More public charging is needed to bring e-vehicles into my fleet

Although public charging is sparse in Canada for now, great strides are being made in building out more infrastructure.

A significant advancement is that an impressive 34 EV charging stations will be installed along the Trans Canada highway in Manitoba and Ontario. This move will allow fleet drivers to travel between cities without fear of running out of power.

And for those areas in which public charging is still sparse, fleets can still operate and charge EV’s.

How?

Fleets can install their own private charging infrastructure on site, so plug-in electric vehicles can be charged overnight or when otherwise not in use.

And if your fleet operates in Québec, you can get 50% off the cost of buying and installing a private charging station -- up to a maximum of $600.

Myth #4: Electric vehicles don’t work in cold weather

Fleet drivers that work in our Canadian winters don’t want to be left out in the cold, so to speak.

Therefore, we know EV winter performance is a real concern.

But it’s a fact that all vehicles, including gas and diesel-powered vehicles, perform less efficiently during cold weather.

In fact, a 100% electric vehicle will actually start more easily than a gas-powered car when cold.

This is because EV’s have fewer moving parts and do not rely on oil that is prone to becoming thick and molasses-like in cold weather.

However, it is true that an EV's range is going to be reduced when cold, so you’ll need to consider this when evaluating your routes.

Myth #5: EV’s aren't safe enough for my drivers

We know safety is always a top concern among fleet managers.

So here’s some good news: EV’s have all the standard safety features and must pass the same strict safety standards as conventional vehicles.

In fact, it can be argued that gasoline-powered vehicles are more dangerous because their fuel is explosive.

Though there may have been some issues with EV batteries early on, those issues have led to substantial strides in safety. For example, batteries now have automatic cut off in the event of a collision.

Final Thoughts

Electric vehicles have evolved significantly since they were first introduced. Many commonly held misconceptions come from a time before the technology became as sophisticated as it is now.

And the good news is, purchasing and owning an EV is now more affordable than ever. Fleets should take advantage of government incentives that will lead to thousands of dollars in savings.

Furthermore, by adopting EV’s, you’ll save money on insurance, fuel costs, maintenance, and repairs.  

In short, fleet electric vehicles are safe and affordable investments that are capable of meeting the range and performance requirements of many fleets.

 
Authored by Basil Marcus
 
 
Want to know if electric vehicles are a good fit for your fleet? Download our free white paper below.

FOSS FLEET MANAGEMENT WHITEPAPER

E-FLEETS ARE COMING: HOW CAN YOU PLAN FOR CHANGE?

Knowledge is power when it comes to bringing electric vehicles into your fleet. Get an in-depth look at the key benefits and challenges, as well as expert recommendations in this PDF document. 

 

08
September, 2017

Fulfilling a campaign promise made by the NDP, the Port Mann Bridge and Golden Ears Bridge are now free to use. Toll charges acquired prior to September 1st must be paid in full, and any...

Fulfilling a campaign promise made by the NDP, the Port Mann Bridge and Golden Ears Bridge are now free to use. Toll charges acquired prior to September 1st must be paid in full, and any trips made after August 31st at 11:59pm are toll-free.

More information on Port Mann Bridge toll removal

More information on the Golden Ears Bridge toll removal

15
August, 2017

Ontario’s 407 Express Toll Route (ETR) is a crucial route for many fleets. This main highway is a quick east to west route that avoids many of the clogged main roads.

...

Ontario’s 407 Express Toll Route (ETR) is a crucial route for many fleets. This main highway is a quick east to west route that avoids many of the clogged main roads.

It’s also the most efficient out of all the 400 series highways.

407 etr highway

Image source: wikimedia

And while the efficiency is a real time-saver for fleets, challenges can arise when it comes to dealing with 407 ETR charges.

Because the highway’s billing process is 100% electronic, it can lead to incorrect charges and possible double billing.

And while fleet managers know that the highway 407 rates are a necessary part of their total cost of ownership, they also know inflated bills slowly chip away at profits.

For ordinary folks, errors are easy to spot. However, fleet managers have many vehicles to track. This makes it hard to take account of every single error without outside help.

On top of that, fleet managers already have a huge array of responsibilities to deal with, from making sure operations run smoothly, to keeping drivers happy, to reducing overall costs.

So if you add dealing with 407 toll billing issues to all of that, the workload becomes almost unmanageable. In addition, fleet managers might not even know how to spot or sort out these incorrect charges.

The challenge is real.

So, for starters, we’ve identified the top three incorrect charges that fleets can incur when using the 407 ETR.

Once you’re familiar with what can go wrong, you may want to enlist the help of a third party service to help you monitor, track, and resolve any potential billing errors.  

TOP 3 ERRORS TO LOOK FOR ON YOUR FLEET'S 407 ETR CHARGES

1. Vehicle Classification Errors

This is a common error with trucks in particular, but can also affect light passenger vehicles. The overhead 407 ETR gantry scans the dimensions of your vehicle as it enters the highway.

It gages the vehicle type, combined with the class of transponder (if one is in the vehicle) to determine the vehicle class: light, heavy single, or heavy multiple.

Unfortunately, this system can end up marking vehicle types wrong, resulting in the wrong per kilometer charge.

For example, a Ford F150 pickup truck should be classified as a "light vehicle". Instead, the system may call it a "heavy single".

2. Camera Charges

A camera charge is billed when there is not a transponder in the vehicle. For a light vehicle, this charge is $4.10 per trip.  For a heavy vehicle, the charge is $50.00 per trip.  

Under the Highway Traffic Act, it is mandatory for heavy vehicles to have a functioning transponder. But from time to time, a vehicle with a transponder can be billed camera charges.

This can occur for a number of reasons:

  • Transponder failure

  • Gantry issue

  • Metalized windshield

  • Transponder not properly mounted

Over time, these 407 ETR charges can add up, being quite costly to fleets. In fact, just six round trips with camera charges cost more than the annual cost to lease a transponder!

3. Double Billing

407 ETR’s system should either read a transponder or capture a picture of the rear license plate. However, it can end up reading both the transponder and the license plate for the same vehicle!

This can occur on all types of vehicles and can be very common with tractor trailers.  

Duplicate billings can be difficult to spot and often times require the assistance of a third party who can easily spot the billing inconsistencies on the fleet’s bills.   

Third Party Help

Though issues with the world's first electronic open-access toll highway are improving, it may take a while before they are completely resolved.

When you have multiple vehicles using the 407, incorrect charges can add up quickly.

Most fleet managers monitor their charges alone and pay the bills without knowing that there are errors.  Monitoring your fleet plates, transponder, drivers, billing errors, and credits is complex and tedious.

A fleet manager’s time should not be bogged down with ETR invoicing.

At Foss National Leasing, we have a specialized department dedicated to resolving 407 ETR charges called Toll Road Services.

This program already helps a large number of fleet managers avoid worrying about incorrect bills so they can get back to what they do best - running their fleets.

Conclusion

Don’t let incorrect charges from the 407 ETR eat away at your company profits.

We recommend keeping a close eye on your ETR invoices and especially look out for vehicle classification errors, camera charges, and double billing.

If managing all of your 407 bills becomes too much to handle, or you are unsure if you are being charged incorrectly, reach out to a third party company like Toll Road Services who can monitor your charges for you.

The savings you will incur will be a real boost to your bottom line.

 

Authored by Darlene Spriel

 
Road toll bills can be a significant part of your total cost of ownership. Learn proven strategies for taking control of your TCO in our free white paper below. 

FOSS FLEET MANAGEMENT WHITEPAPER

UNDERSTANDING YOUR TOTAL COST OF OWNERSHIP

Reducing your TCO starts with taking control of expenses. Get actionable strategies to reduce ownership costs, save money, and maximize ROI.

 

 

20
July, 2017

Managing a fleet is a tough job.

For starters, keeping track of each vehicle's plates, tags, and stickers can burn a lot of your valuable time. You can easily spend...

Managing a fleet is a tough job.

For starters, keeping track of each vehicle's plates, tags, and stickers can burn a lot of your valuable time. You can easily spend hours muddling through these details.

Image source: pexels.com

Although it is an unrewarding task, you need to keep your fleet operational and ensure each vehicle is compliant and up-to-date with licensing and insurance requirements.  

This becomes even more challenging for multi-province operators as rules and regulations are different for each region. How can you keep your entire fleet licensed, registered and insured? How do you manage all the deadlines in each jurisdiction?

The thought of doing this manually is mind-boggling.

So the question that begs to be asked is: 

social-icons-15.png click to tweet 

"What is the best way to successfully manage fleet vehicle licensing and registration?"

VEHICLE FLEET MANAGEMENT BEST PRACTICES: 5 TIPS TO MAKE LICENSING AND REGISTRATION A BREEZE

To start with, if you decide to deal with the licensing and registration yourself, we strongly suggest you become familiar with the rules.

Reading the Canadian Automotive Fleet's (CAF) licensing procedures guide is a good reference and can assist in answering some of the general process and requirements within every province.

After you read CAF’s guide and understand the licensing requirements for your fleet, you’re on your way to streamlining your procedures. The following five tips will help you be better organized and much more efficient in the process.

1.Have access to a detailed database

We recommend you create a very detailed database, or rely on a fleet management company who already has this database in place. The database should host at the very least the:

  • information of each plate

  • plate expiry

  • driver name attached to the vehicle

  • vehicle weight  

Having all of this information in one place will be essential in ensuring you can keep track of the licensing requirements and important dates for each vehicle.

In addition, each province will have their regulations regarding licensing and registration, so you should familiarize yourself with the different laws in the jurisdictions your fleet is operating.

A benefit of working with a fleet management company is that we possess provincially audited databases that host critical registration information. This information accurately reflects each driver's plate and expiry, in addition to insurance requirements for each province.

2. Authorize a Power of Attorney

It’s crucial to have the correct documentation to authorize a Power of Attorney or a fleet management company to manage vehicle registration on your behalf.

This often includes even the ability to ask questions at a licensing body, as provincial government authorities may not answer them unless the person asking is authorized to do so.

Make sure this is proactively in place. If it isn’t, you might have to go back and forth to ensure you have the correct documentation before your vehicle renewal can be dealt with.

Foss National Leasing does over 90% of the registration process for our clients and has the power of attorney to manage leased, managed and owned vehicles on their behalf.

3. Be proactive in your renewal management

Unfortunately, many companies can leave licensing and registration to the last minute. Plate expirations on company fleets can catch many fleet managers off guard if they haven’t been proactive in their renewal management.

And once the renewal process has been completed with the licensing offices, you then have to turn around and get those documents back out to drivers before the expiry date.

It can be a truly overwhelming process.

If you choose to work with a fleet management company, a good one will start this process 90 days in advance of the due date, by scrubbing all data files that are in the fleet’s database. This means fleet managers are not backing themselves into a corner at the last minute to get it all done.

In addition, if you have heavy duty trucks in your fleet, you’ll need take extra proactive steps every year before you can renew your registration.

You’ll need to make sure the trucks are correctly registered for the additional weight requirements, and that they pass the routine safety inspections, in addition to providing accurate mandatory reporting logs dependent on the province(s) where they operate.

A fleet that meets safety requirements means there's one less barrier to getting the license renewed.

When looking at proactive renewal management, it’s also important to know that unpaid bills slow down or halt the licensing process. If you have toll fees, tickets, or violations, pay off everything as soon as possible.

If you don’t you will be prevented from renewing your vehicles’ registration - and risk taking your employee off the road. The cost of a lost opportunity can be significant.

4. Use consolidated billing

As you probably already know, each company or branch has a unique billing structure. It can be a major challenge for fleet managers to figure out expense reporting internally, and how to allocate the right expense to the right division.

A fleet management company can provide consolidated billing assigned to your dedicated cost center structure.

In the fleet’s database, the structure is set up to allocate each vehicle to the correct cost center and level structures, so fleet managers are spared the headache of figuring out which division each vehicle belongs to.

5. Expertise, professional relationships, and compliance adherence

As with virtually every area of life, strong relationships are essential to success when it comes to renewing your vehicles.

And building relationships with the people at your licensing office will go a long way toward keeping your fleet operational and on the road.

For example, when you are licensing vehicles, depending on what type of vehicle you are driving, you could end up registering it under the wrong class. Some trucks sit under a passenger class. However, at a certain weight, they get into a commercial plate license.

It can be a challenge for fleet managers to fill out the paperwork correctly, so having good relationships with licensing bodies can help prevent and resolve these issues. Alternatively, a  good fleet management company will have dedicated agent professional partnerships across Canada at various licensing offices.  

In addition, a significant money-saver is getting to know the discounts that are available for fleets in each province.

For example, in British Columbia, you can save on insurance if you insure at least five commercial vehicles under the Fleetplan program.

However, it’s important to note that, for some fleets, this can add a significant surcharge and may not be beneficial depending on your driver's accident history.  

If this is the case, then it's best to not apply for the Fleetplan discount until your driver's accident history improves.

Saskatchewan and Manitoba cover a portion of insurance for fleets, but will still require you to carry a master insurance coverage certificate to ensure you meet the clauses required for insurance in the Master Lease agreement.

Conclusion

Managing your fleet vehicles’ licensing and renewal process is a downright complicated affair.

Because of this, many businesses opt to hire the extra hands of a fleet management company, which can take the guesswork and headaches out of the process.

So take advantage of these five best practices to have a smooth, stress-free licensing process this year!

 

Authored by: Darlene Spriel

 

Vehicle licensing fees are an important part of your fleet's total cost of ownership. Get a deeper understanding of your TCO as a whole, and learn how to reduce costs with out free white paper below. 


FOSS FLEET MANAGEMENT WHITEPAPER

UNDERSTANDING YOUR TOTAL COST OF OWNERSHIP

Reducing your TCO starts with taking control of expenses. Get actionable strategies to reduce ownership costs, save money, and maximize ROI.

 

 

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