What issues are moving the fleet industry? Our Carano Fleet Day was dedicated to precisely this question. In addition to the electrification of fleets, the day also saw controversial discussions about the future of the company car, car subscriptions and mobility budgets. We have summarized the most important findings for you.
The company car privilege and mobility budgets
Marcus Federhoff (Head of Operations at Fleet-Hub GmbH), Benjamin Simon (General Manager at ISS Energy Services GmbH in the Berlin/Hamburg metropolitan region) and Hans-Joachim Guth (Managing Director of Carano) debated the so-called company car privilege in the panel. These are tax benefits for the private use of a company car. A topic that divides opinions in industry, companies and politics.
An amount equal to 1% of the gross list price must be taxed each month for the private use of a company car. However, this often represents a subsidy, especially if the car is used a lot for private purposes.
For the panelists, there is no question that this will remain an important part of the corporate mobility mix in the future. Whether this is really a privilege for the majority of company car drivers – and not rather a means of work – is, on the other hand, strongly doubted.
Instead, companies should ensure that equivalent mobility alternatives are made available to all employees. In metropolitan regions in particular, a mobility budget would allow them to choose between different means of transportation – be it public transport, car sharing or electric scooters. But what is the status quo in the industry? Even if there is transparency about which mobility alternatives are available, efficient usability is not yet a given in many companies. Added to this are the additional administrative costs when different forms of mobility have to be combined and billed via various platforms. What matters here are solutions that make this possible in an uncomplicated way.
CO₂ emissions and car features by subscription
The panelists also discussed the question of whether CO₂ emissions are suitable as a taxation criterion. The calculation basis is particularly problematic here. This is because the value specified by the manufacturer is often exceeded by company car drivers. Thus, only an individual calculation can be applied, which in turn leads to additional internal expenses. On the other hand, it seems more sensible to specify a restriction on maximum speeds, engine capacity or horsepower in the car policy.
Have you already purchased company cars for your fleet in the car subscription? The panelists agree that this financing model has not yet arrived in the fleet. However, as a supplement for the mobility mix in the company, it seems a suitable means. And those who want to test certain vehicle models or e-vehicles first or escape supply bottlenecks can also fall back on a subscription model.
And what about heated seats in the subscription? Car manufacturers are increasingly attracting attention with subscription car features. What may seem exciting for private use is not practical for fleet use. Subsequently ordered features can even become a problem for the owner of the vehicle, who must comply with the owner’s liability obligations, and the imputed income.
Companies should ensure that equivalent mobility alternatives are made available to all employees.
Hans-Joachim Guth – Co-Managing Director, Carano Software Solutions
Electromobility at BVG
Electromobility plays a particularly important role in the company car fleet of Germany’s largest public transport company, Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG). The introduction of Fleet+, Carano’s fleet management software, laid the foundation for significant savings. Today, around one third of the 450 vehicles are electrified, and almost all of the passenger cars. Electrification of the entire fleet is to be completed by 2030 at the latest. Above all, the low operating costs already compensate for the high acquisition costs of e-vehicles in the medium term.
According to Heinrich Coenen, a vehicle fleet does not have to be administered, but managed. In the process, data creates the necessary transparency and forms the basis for strategic decisions. Before converting to electromobility, BVG therefore subjected its own vehicle fleet to a feasibility test and analyzed the driving profile data. When does a vehicle leave the site, when does it arrive there again, and what distance has it traveled? This is converted into the required energy demand and allocated to possible charging times. A charging management system can eliminate an increase in peak load.
Thanks to a pooling concept, the Berlin transport authority was able to record a savings potential of 20% of the pool vehicles. The system ensures that e-vehicles with sufficient charge are always available to employees.
The transformation of the fleet at ISS Energy Services
The current ISS and Carano collaboration is dedicated to transforming the company’s global fleet of approximately 20,000 vehicles in more than 30 countries. Due to local conditions and decentralized control, the company has set country-specific targets for fleet electrification. In an initial analysis phase, a global database was set up which, in addition to an inventory overview and the categorization of the vehicles, also includes the respective country targets.
A global Fleet Policy supports the company’s electrification strategy. These include the sustainability strategy and the CO₂ emissions limit for vehicles with internal combustion engines. ISS then evaluated vehicle needs, looking through aspects such as utility and use, price and value retention, or availability and selection. ISS also looked at various criteria with regard to employees. How much co-determination are they given? Is there a loss of comfort? How can acceptance be increased? And will a charging station at home be subsidized? Events, test drives and test vehicles are intended to help employees gradually become more familiar with the topic. Best practices within the company serve as orientation and help to further optimize processes.
- Company cars will remain an important part of the company mobility mix in the future. Whether it is a privilege for the majority of company car drivers is in doubt.
- The car subscription has not yet arrived in the fleet. However, it is suitable for testing new vehicle and drive types.
- Subscription car features are unlikely to succeed in the fleet.
- Thanks to a car-sharing concept, Berlin’s public transport authority was able to record a savings potential of 20% of the pool vehicles.