Missed the NAFA Conference? Here is a Recap From RTA 

If you weren’t able to attend this year’s NAFA Fleet Management Association Institute and Expo in San Antonio, Texas, here’s our recap on everything you missed.  

  • According to our staff, electrification was this year’s theme, with nearly 80 percent of conference sessions focusing on electric vehicles and their management. 
  • Fleets are increasingly building fleet preventive maintenance programs by using software tools to track maintenance activities and minimize asset downtime. 
  • The importance of data analysis and the need for adding additional data analysts to fleet management staff are increasing due to the proliferation of data generated by artificial intelligence. 
  • Fleets should watch power costs closely as many experienced higher costs associated with higher electricity rates during periods of peak power demands. 
  • For EV, some fleets are using battery energy storage to capture power during periods of high production and releasing it during periods of high demand, plus other strategies such as wireless charging to reduce costs. 
  • Many fleets are grappling with how to safeguard fleet depot charging to reduce the risk and impact of EV-charging network cyberattacks. 
  • We enjoyed a presentation about creating a work culture and environment that helps retain employees, not necessarily through higher pay, but through improved communication and work environment. This was based on the popular book, Contented Cows Still Give Better Milk. 

Regulatory Action Encourages Conference to Focus on Electric Vehicles  

Two RTA employees, Jared Turley and Facundo Tassara, said the conference focused on electric vehicles given the regulatory activity occurring at the state and federal level and the increase in the number of electric vehicles sold this year over last.  

Here are some of the details of those regulatory actions: 

  • In 2023, nearly 1.2 million vehicle buyers in the United States chose to go electric. 
  • Electric vehicles represented the fastest-growing car sales category, holding a 7.6 percent share of the U.S. vehicle market in 2023, up from 5.9 percent in 2022, according to Kelley Blue Book, a Cox Automotive Company. 
  • Analysts at Cox Automotive’s Industry Insights forecast that EV share of the total U.S. market will reach 10 percent in 2024, partly in response to new state and federal mandates. 

New Federal Rule Requires Automakers to Meet EV Manufacturing Quotas  

  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released new rules in March that require automakers to reduce the emissions of new vehicles by about 50 percent from model year 2026 to 2032. 
  • To attain that reduction, EPA says that between 35 and 56 percent of all new vehicles sold will need to be electric vehicles and between 13 and 36 percent of all new vehicles will need to be plug-in hybrids. 

Seven States and DC Ban Sale of New Gas-Powered Vehicles After 2035 

As more states are looking to find ways to improve climate change, California is leading the charge by announcing plans to ban the sales of new gas-powered vehicles by 2035, and several states are following suit, including:  

  • Maryland 
  • Massachusetts 
  • New Jersey  
  • New York 
  • Oregon 
  • Rhode Island 
  • Washington 
  • District of Columbia 

Officials with several other states are thinking of adopting similar bans: 

  • Colorado 
  • Connecticut 
  • Delaware 
  • New Mexico 
  • Vermont 
  • Virginia 

Even with the regulatory actions and the move to build more electric and hybrid vehicles, Jared said conference-goers wanted more opportunities to learn about issues related to the management of vehicles with internal combustion engines. Facundo said there were opportunities available with CAFM Live, though it was only available at an additional cost and was geared to help those seeking certification as a certified automotive fleet manager. 

During the conference, NAFA offered a program that allowed conference-goers to discuss specific issues and ask questions of the experts. RTA also provided customers an opportunity to share ideas and observations about their operations during a hosted dinner.  

“I probably learned more from that dinner than I did in some of the classes,” Jared said. “They were just talking about their struggles and networking during a dinner that we set up. So, there was a lot of good information that came out of those [discussions], as well as hearing from current customers and how they’re using the [RTA] software.” 

RTA Fleet Customers Earn Top Honors at NAFA Conference 

One commercial fleet and 12 public fleets were chosen for NAFA’s 100 Best Fleets in the Americas program. The honor identifies and encourages ever-increasing levels of performance improvement and innovation within the fleet industry. The 100 Best Fleets in the Americas contest is open to any fleet in North, Central, or South America.  

Those RTA fleet customers that earned top honors were: 

2024 100 Best Commercial Fleets  

Wanship Enterprises, 15  

2024 100 Best Public Fleets 

  • City of Glendale, Arizona, 7 
  • Chesterfield County Fleet Services Division, Virginia, 48 
  • City of Buckeye, Arizona, 49 
  • El Paso Fire Department, Texas, 56 
  • Town of Queen Creek, Arizona, 59 
  • City of Chattanooga, Tennessee, 65 
  • City of Las Vegas, Nevada, 68 
  • Lake County Board of County Commissioners, Florida, 77 
  • Hernando County Fleet Management, Florida, 88 
  • City of Vancouver, Washington, 90 
  • Indiana University Fleet Services, Indiana, 91 
  • City of New Orleans, Louisiana, 100

RTA encourages customers to apply for the 100 Best Fleets award each year and our team is available to help with application responses. Receiving this recognition often helps fleet managers build credibility within the municipalities and organizations they serve.  

Facundo mentioned that a manager from the City of New Orleans approached him and was beaming with pride over the fact that his city’s fleet operations had earned a spot on that list.  

 “He was like a kid on Christmas morning, and he kept talking about it,” he said. “So, it really meant a lot to them.” 

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