Managers of light fleets gathered in Wellington on 8 March for a first-of-its-kind event for light fleet managers and business leaders. The one-day event, sponsored by EROAD and the Greater Wellington Regional Council packed in insights from several industry experts including, Jonathan Parker, founder of ThunderGrid and ChargeNet CEO Danusia Wypych.
Jeanette Parsons from Greater Wellington Regional Council says, “As a Fleet Manager, the EROAD Fleet Expo is an invaluable, unique event for the industry to embrace vehicle technologies and data whilst motivating us all as we look towards a greener, safer future! Greater Wellington Regional Council is proud to support such an inspirational event!”
EROAD Fleet Expo is not your average run-of-the-mill industry conference. Working with multiple car dealerships, including Hyundai NZ, Capital City Ford and many others, the event also put on an impressive display of over 60 different light fleet models for attendees to experience. What made this event stand out from the crowd, was the ability to test drive a number of the vehicles on the purpose-built track and off-road.
Speaking about why EROAD put on the event, EROAD’s Executive General Manager for Australia and New Zealand, Konrad Stempniak says, “Fleet Expo is an excellent way to bring together light fleet professionals and businesses to discuss the challenges, trends and opportunities they’re facing.”
Transport accounts for 17% of New Zealand’s emissions, and in a recent EROAD survey, 76% of businesses operating light vehicles said low or zero emissions vehicles will become part of their fleet by 2025. Events like EROAD Fleet Expo aim to help businesses understand the options available to them, and learn from each other as they work to reduce emissions.
“We want to help break down some of the barriers that might be getting in the way of progress towards net-zero,” adds Stempniak, “Fleet Expo was designed to serve up knowledge, industry connections and first-hand experience of new technologies in a single event – something that hasn’t been available to light fleet professionals until now.”
Over 120 fleet professionals, experts and business leaders took part in discussions on the journey to electrification and the actions leaders should take now to prepare for the future. There was also practical advice on fleet optimisation, leasing versus buying and how to plan for EV charging infrastructure.
Commenting on the event, one of the attendees added “the benefits of being able to drive the vehicles first-hand rather than viewing them statically were immense.”
EROAD, which is currently developing a fleet decarbonisation tool in conjunction with EECA, hopes that the event will encourage more fleet businesses to begin or advance their own fleet sustainability programs.
Stempniak adds, “We know fleets want to better understand their emissions and ways to reduce them. We also know the pathway can be unclear. As well as technology solutions, businesses need to be able to learn from each other and that’s where events like this come in.”
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EROAD modernises road charging and tax compliance and health and safety compliance for road transport by replacing paper-based systems with easy-to-use electronic systems that also improve fleet management. The company is headquartered in Auckland, New Zealand, and is dual-listed on the New Zealand Exchange (NZX) and Australian Stock Exchange (ASX). Its US business is based in San Diego, California serving customers with vehicles operating in every US mainland state, growing outward in concentration from the Northwest. In 2009 EROAD introduced the world’s first nationwide electronic road user charging (eRUC) system in New Zealand and, in 2017, more than 50% of heavy transport RUC was collected electronically, representing a rapid transition to e-commerce on a voluntary, industry-led basis, due to the cost-savings and benefits to customers. EROAD is also a leading provider of health and safety compliance services, including vehicle management and driver behaviour and performance measures.