Looking Back at the 2019 I&E

Looking Back at the 2019 I&E
Many of us were greeted by some of the most impressive fireworks I have seen. (Photo: Kate Vigneau)

Highlights from Louisville… with a focus on the Canadian experience.

With an all-new three-day format and an agenda packed with more than 50 education sessions, the 2019 I&E did not disappoint. Many of us arrived on Saturday night and were greeted by some of the most impressive fireworks I have seen, marking the start of Derby week. I can’t cover all of the wonderful events, so I will emphasize the Canadian participation.

Sunday was spent in pre-conference education events where Ray Brisby, CAFM of Calgary Fire (and NAFA’s Senior Vice-President) took the lead in a five-hour policy workshop, and I led a group through a Master’s curriculum, Fleet 401.

On the first official day of the I&E, the Canadians had the chance to get together for both a legislative update and workshop. After sending an excellent replacement the past few years, Huw Williams of Impact Public Affairs was able to join us in person this year. Williams is always a great speaker, and he had some very valuable information that was literally “hot off the press.” A summary of his announcement on the Zero Emission Vehicle tax credits included:

  • Provincial, territorial, and municipal government fleets will be eligible for the federal purchase incentive—Canadian federal $400 million Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV).
  • Business Fleets are included as well— Tax write-offs for businesses up to a limit of $55,000 in the first year of investment.
  • Fleet could take advantage of the retail rebate or the investment tax deduction, not both.

As Williams mentioned, “this is excellent news for fleet in Canada!”

Canadian Workshop

The Canadian Workshop followed this update and involved a discussion about fleet utilization, electrification, and the impact of legalized marijuana led by Sara Church, ARI; Amy Rene, Terrapure; and myself. I took the opportunity to announce the release of an e-book created through a collaboration between NAFA and Agile Fleet.

On this e-book—utilization is one of the most neglected areas of fleet. This is not because fleet managers do not understand it or want to monitor it, but because drivers and fleet users do not want to relinquish low-usage vehicles.

Here is an excerpt from the book’s introduction. NAFA members can download the entire work for free fromnafa.org/ Events-Education/Education/Guides.aspx:

Advances in technology have changed the way we are able to understand and view utilization. And, no doubt, technology will continue to change the way we view utilization. Whereas we used to think of utilization in terms of miles/ kilometres driven or fuel burned, today we can track actual use of a vehicle down to the minute—at each location for each class of vehicle. We can pinpoint usage the minute vehicle usage starts and stops by tracking such actions as turning an ignition on or checking out keys from a self-service kiosk. By understanding vehicle use at this micro level, we can truly understand how many vehicles we need of each class, and at each location.

Canadian attendees lef t these thought-provoking sessions to spend time together hosted by our partner, Mitsubishi, in a room packed with Canadians actively networking and finding solutions to our unique issues.

I could not be in every class (wish I could). These events always leave me thinking that I missed something—I want to learn more. I know there were 70-plus Canadians there. What was your biggest takeaway OR how can we make the Canadian experience in Indy 2020 even better?

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