Fleet management is undergoing a transformative journey in an era marked by a growing emphasis on sustainability and a rapid shift toward electric vehicles (EVs).
Integrating electric vehicles into traditional fleets introduces many opportunities, from reduced environmental impact to lower operating costs.
However, with innovation comes complexity, and one key challenge is efficiently managing transaction payments across a diverse fleet.
To navigate this intricate landscape, fleet managers need insights and strategies that address the unique demands of a mixed fleet.
Jay Collins, the senior vice president of Energy Transition at WEX, a global commerce platform dedicated to simplifying the complexities of business operations, offers a comprehensive perspective on the best practices and approaches for managing fleet payments in a mixed environment.
How to Approach to Mixed Fleet Integration
Creating a pragmatic approach is necessary as commercial fleet customers explore the potential transition to electric vehicles.
Instead of creating a separate solution for EVs, WEX suggested integrating EV functionality into its existing products, allowing fleet managers to seamlessly manage EVs and traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles.
"The mixed fleet adoption strategy allows businesses to gradually familiarize themselves with the nuances of EV operation, maintenance, and management without undertaking an all-encompassing shift," Collins said.
This approach ensures uninterrupted service coverage, even in sparse electric infrastructure.
Managing expenses associated with EV charging versus traditional fueling is critical to optimizing costs in a mixed fleet.
For example, WEX's closed-loop payments network and proprietary software provide fleet managers with enhanced metrics and insights.
Collins emphasized, "At WEX, it's more than processing the payment. Harnessing those enhanced metrics available to us, we have built a layer of software on top of the payment, creating a scalable, commercial solution."
WEX's back-end analytics portal, combined with the closed-loop payments network, increases the security of each transaction while transmitting valuable insights such as transaction details, driver identification information, and vehicle mileage to fleet managers.
Scalability and Flexibility in Fleet Payments
The scalability and flexibility of fleet payment solutions are crucial as the fleet industry evolves.
WEX addresses this through its investment arm, WEX Venture Capital, which is dedicating up to $100 million to early-stage companies focused on the energy transition, including fleet electrification and the EV charging ecosystem.
Melissa Smith, chair, CEO, and president of WEX, highlighted, "WEX Venture Capital’s investments will be aimed at supporting companies focused on the critical back-end infrastructure necessary to achieve widespread commercial EV adoption while also creating new value for WEX’s global fleet customers navigating the evolving electric mobility ecosystem."
Shifting Toward the Future of Fleet
As the fleet industry transforms into electric mobility, solutions for managing payments in a mixed fleet are imperative.
By combining EV functionality with traditional fleet management tools, providing cost-efficient solutions, and investing in innovative ventures, WEX ensures that business owners and fleet managers can confidently navigate the complexities of a mixed fleet.
Smith said, "This is a crucial moment for WEX and the larger fleet industry, and we’re proud to help lead this transition."
Originally posted on Automotive Fleet