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Changes coming to fleets in 2022

New year, new regulations. With the turn of the year a lot of new laws and regulations will come into effect and may drastically change the processes in fleet management. What fleet managers now need to know and do.

Often part of a larger package of measures, many laws are put into effect at the start of a new year, which is then followed by social changes. 2022 will be no different. The direction both personal and commercial mobility is moving towards is clear: EVs, faster digitization of complex processes and greater security, including personal data. These developments will have a knock-on effect on fleet processes.

Companies and fleet managers will be called on to adapt the modifications stipulated by new legislations to their fleets. This includes, e.g., the use of apps for legally compliant, swift driver’s license checks as well as gradual implementation of EV-sharing concepts.

Diese Regelungen erwarten Fuhrparkverantwortliche im kommenden Jahr

Die Flotte soll grüner werden

Die Mobilitätswende wird weiterhin staatlich unterstützt. Seit der Einführung der Innovationsprämie im Jahr 2020 hat sich viel getan in Sachen Elektromobilität in der Flotte. Das staatliche Fördergeld, das die Anschaffung von Elektrofahrzeugen belohnt und dessen Zielsetzung eine breitere Nutzung von schadstofffreien Antrieben ist, wird auch 2022 weiterhin ausgezahlt. Im kommenden Jahr soll zusätzlich das Bezahlen an Ladesäulen einfacher und nutzerfreundlicher gestaltet werden – ein weiterer Anreiz um auf Elektromobilität umzusteigen. Darüber hinaus soll für reine E-Autos das Netz an Schnellladestationen ausgebaut werden.

Solange der Staat die Neuanschaffung von Elektrofahrzeugen fördert, sollten Fuhrparkverantwortliche nicht länger zögern, sondern die Flotte nach und nach elektrifizieren. Bereits nach einigen Jahren, insbesondere bei starker Auslastung der Fahrzeuge, haben sich die hohen Anschaffungskosten amortisiert. Der Fokus der neuen Bundesregierung liegt klar auf der vermehrten Nutzung von reinen Elektrofahrzeugen. Besitzer von Plug-in-Hybriden haben hier das Nachsehen, denn ab kommendem Januar wird die förderungsfähige Reichweite von Plug-in-Hybrid-Fahrzeugen angehoben. So wird der Kauf eines Plug-In-Hybriden mit größerer Reichweite und weniger Schadstoffausstoß bevorteilt und der Käufer dazu angehalten, möglichst viele Kilometer mit Elektroantrieb zu fahren.

More targeted subsidies

Promoting SMEs is one of the new government’s objectives. When it comes to electrifying fleets, it is currently and mainly large automakers and energy companies that benefit from government subsidies for EVs. This is now set to change. SMEs will also be eligible for greater financial support. The coalition agreement envisages more precise support for companies through targeted “cluster funding.” However, it remains to be seen how much of this plan will be translated into law by 2022.

Digitization in baby steps

A small step, but one long overdue: By the end of 2022, it will no longer be possible to buy a paper ticket from conductors on long-haul trains operated by the German Rail. Tickets can only be purchased via smartphones or laptops. It must be added, a large majority of private and corporate customers have already been making use of an app to purchase paperless tickets.

Cars on company parking lot

What drivers of company cars need to be aware of in 2022

Adequately insured?

The majority of German drivers will see their car insurance premiums changing next year. The reason for this is the recalculation of type classes. Depending on the class, either more or less tax will be levied. This means most vehicles will be adjusted one type class up or down. In some cases, no changes are expected.

Type classes are calculated based on a number of variables, e.g., the kind of payouts made by insurance companies to injured parties or the value of the vehicle. Many SUVs and luxury models will in all likelihood be paying more motor vehicle taxes, while compacts and older models less.

The end of paper licenses

Driving license holders born between 1953 and 1958 still holding a pink or gray paper driver’s license must exchange it for a forgery-proof license card by 19 January 2022. Company car drivers need to act quickly as anyone caught in possession of a paper license during a police check will be given a warning fine of 10 euros and required to present themselves to the police with a forgery-proof driver’s license. The new driver’s licenses are valid for 15 years, rather than indefinitely, as the paper licenses were.

As part of their respondeat superior obligations, fleet managers will be required to conduct regular checks on the validity of the licenses of company car drivers. Attention should also be paid to the document type. If the driver is not in possession of the proper type, fleet managers may demand that it be exchanged as a prerequisite for using the company car.

Higher fuel prices

With the introduction of the CO tax, fuel prices have risen significantly and are expected to continue rising in the coming year. On 1 January 2022, one ton of CO2 will cost 30 euros, which will affect both gas and diesel prices. For fleet managers, this will mean higher usage costs for fleet vehicles.

Not without a mask

The mask mandate is no longer a novelty. From 2022, both private and company vehicle drivers will have to carry two versions of a mouth/nose mask in their first-aid kits, in addition to wet wipes, adhesive plasters and compresses. It has not yet been determined which type of mask will be permitted or when this regulation will come into effect.

Virtual assistance along for the ride

Starting July 2022 new vehicle models must be equipped with an assistance system. A smart speed assistant, for example, warns drivers if they are exceeding the speed limit. In the coming year other digital aids like accident data memory, emergency lane assistant and alcohol-sensitive immobilizer are to become mandatory in all new cars to ensure safer road traffic.

New road traffic regulations

The Road Traffic Act, revised in November 2021, includes tougher penalties for speeding violations. Failure to promptly form an emergency lane and illegal parking will be penalized more expediently and with higher fines. There will also be a greater focus on protecting cyclists. New overtaking and turning traffic regulations are designed to make bicycling safer.