Sustainable Fleet Technology Webinar Series 2023: Navigating the Road to Sustainable Fleet Operations
The 2023 Sustainable Fleet Technology Webinar Series (SFT webinar series) has recently concluded after a year-long exploration of cutting-edge strategies and real-world success stories of fleet sustainability. The series, a collaborative effort between the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) and NAFA Fleet Management Association (NAFA), marked its 9th year, bringing together industry experts and top-performing fleet managers for a total of 11 enlightening webinar sessions.
Unveiling Real-World Success Stories
The series remained true to its mission of sharing real-world use cases and success stories of sustainable fleet operations and strategies. Each webinar session offered a platform for nationally recognized fleets to present in-depth insights into their experiences with integrating applications of sustainable fleet technologies and strategies.
Richard Sapienza, coordinating the SFT webinar series since its inception, emphasized the significance of the series in setting a benchmark for fleet sustainability. “This webinar series provides a guiding light for others to envision how clean transportation technologies and practices can seamlessly integrate into their own fleets,” Sapienza said.
Sharing the Roadmap for Fleet Electrification
With fleets across the United States transitioning away from conventional fuel vehicles, the 2023 SFT webinar series dedicated several sessions to the complexities of fleet electrification. The series began with the “Roadmap to Fleet Electrification” on February 22, 2023, where the basics of fleet electrification were outlined. The Electrification Coalition led the discussion, offering a comprehensive roadmap enriched by the experiences of fleets that shared their electrification planning, progress, and invaluable lessons learned.
The spotlight shifted on March 23, 2023 to the challenges and considerations surrounding medium-duty (MD) and heavy-duty (HD) electric vehicle (EV) charging. This session addressed the energy requirements hindering successful adoption and deployment, presenting considerations and solutions from experts actively shaping the landscape of electrification.
Building on this crucial discussion, “Lessons Learned and Best Practices in Fleet Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Deployment” followed on April 13, 2023 and highlighted what worked and what didn’t in the deployment of EV charging infrastructure from fleets that have charged forward with fleet electrification. The series revisited this topic on October 11, 2023, with the session “Charging Resiliency and Off-Grid Solutions.” Stressing the importance of resilience in electrifying fleets, this session delved into contingency and resiliency planning, introducing off-grid charging solutions.
Spotlight on Emerging Tools and Technologies
The SFTWS also spotlighted emerging tools and technologies shaping the future of fleet optimization for enhanced sustainability. “Fleet Management Information System Solutions to Aggregate Data for Fleet Management” on May 10, 2023 explored the data-driven landscape of fleet management. Attendees delved into the intricacies of deciphering relevant data, seamlessly integrating diverse streams of information, and crafting insightful reports using Fleet Management Information Systems (FMIS). The session not only illuminated the current state of fleet data analytics but also introduced capabilities and applications that were previously unexplored.
“Telematics Use Case Applications and the Right Data to Accomplish Your Goals” on July 19, 2023 highlighted the expansive world of telematics, transcending traditional GPS applications. The discussion illuminated the real-time information integral to fleet operations, offering insights into safety, productivity, optimization, sustainability and compliance. “AI and camera applications are reshaping the landscape of telematics,” Sapienza noted. “This technology is enhancing safety, productivity and overall fleet optimization.”
On November 8, 2023, “Fleet Motorpool Management for Today’s Diverse Fleet” unraveled the transformative potential of motorpool management systems, providing fleets with the tools to share vehicles, optimize operations and eliminate underutilized assets. Attendees gained insights into cutting-edge motorpool management tools and witnessed firsthand how top fleets are leveraging advancements to navigate the complexities of today’s diverse fleet landscape.
Recognizing Excellence and Driving Change
In line with its commitment to recognizing excellence, the SFTWS featured the “Best Practices of the Top Green Fleet Award Winners 2023” on September 13, 2023. Building on the announcement of the 2023 Green Fleet Award Winners at the Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference, this session brought together winners to share their best practices for successful fleet sustainability.
Scott Chandler, Fleet Operations Manager, represented the top green fleet of 2023 which was awarded to the City of Phoenix, Arizona. “Like any great sports team, you need a good game-plan or roadmap, and that’s how we use the city’s Climate Action Plan,” Chandler said. He emphasized that the fleet sustainability goals outlined in the Climate Action Plan drive the adoption of green fleet technology related to alternative fuels and new vehicle technology.
Alternative fuel emerged as a recurring theme throughout the SFTWS, drawing significant attention and boasting some of the highest registered webinar sessions for the 2023 series. On June 28, 2023, “Hydrogen Applications for Transportation” delved into the potential of hydrogen as a solution to drive transportation electrification beyond light-duty applications. Attendees had the opportunity to hear compelling cases for hydrogen as a transportation solution and gained insights into its best applications. Organizations with real-world hydrogen deployments shared their motivations and experiences, contributing to a comprehensive understanding of this innovative fuel source.
Recognizing that alternative fuels offer environmental, financial, and operational benefits, the September 27, 2023 session “Alternative Fuel Total Cost of Ownership Case Studies” explored the total cost of ownership–a critical business practice for comparing options and making informed decisions. “There are folks across the country using alternative fuels everyday in their fleets, doing their jobs, performing reliably and efficiently, and saving money,” shared Sapienza.
As fleets grapple with carbon reduction targets, renewable fuels took center stage as a part of the solution in the final session of SFTWS “Renewable Fuels to Meet Carbon Reduction Goals” on December 13, 2023. Fleets shared real-world deployments and experiences, offering a practical guide for integration into current operations to meet sustainability goals. The session included a comprehensive exploration of options such as biodiesel, renewable diesel, biogas/renewable natural gas, and renewable propane.
The 2023 Sustainable Fleet Technology Webinar Series not only provided a platform for sharing knowledge but also fostered a community committed to steering the industry towards sustainable practices. As fleets face challenges and opportunities in the evolving landscape of sustainable fleet operations, the lessons and strategies unveiled during the series will undoubtedly guide their path toward a greener and more efficient future.
To access all past webinars and sessions from NCCETC’s Clean Transportation program, including the Sustainable Fleet Technology Webinar Series, visit the Sustainable Fleet Technology website.