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IPWEA Australasian Fleet Conference 2021 Highlights

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Our recent first virtual IPWEA Fleet Conference is done and dusted and it can definitely be deemed a resounding success. Over 180 people attended the conference including a far-reaching international contingent of attendees and presenters. We received great feedback from participants on the presenters and many favourable session ratings and comments. On average the sessions were rated a stellar 4 out of 5 across the board.

People really picked up on the forward-looking industry sessions which included the two keynote addresses on renewable energy fleet and the big picture for fleet management.

Key take-aways from these sessions included:

Renewable Energy Fleet (Ian Kay, CFO, Australian Renewable Energy Agency)

  • The Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s (ARENA) purpose is to improve the competitiveness of renewable energy technologies and to increase its supply to Australian consumers and businesses.
  • ARENA administers the Future Fuel’s Fund to provide grant funding for public charging and refuelling projects & projects which incorporate new technology into fleets.
  • In Feb 2021, ARENA launched the first round of funding focused on Battery Electronic Vehicle (BEV) public fast charging infrastructure in major population centres.
  • Future targets are expected to be:
    • Fleet recharging and infrastructure
    • Regional charging
    • Hydrogen and Biofuels
    • New tech including smart charging innovation.
  • ARENA’s funding for fleets aims to reduce barriers to the broader uptake of BEV’s in fleet.

The Big Picture in Fleet Management (Mark Palavestra, Director, Talking Automotive)

  • Lots of fascinating analysis and stats on:
    • the background of automotive industry in Australia
    • the difficult pre-Covid position for the Australian automotive industry
    • some surprising and unforeseen improvements from, what Mark calls, the “Covid effect”
    • where the automotive industry is heading in the current environment
  • His presentation culminated in an insightful analysis of current opportunities and threats for the fleet industry. A synopsis of his analysis is:

The technical sessions which provided skills that could be applied immediately back in the office also rated particularly well, with one such example being Richard Schuster’s presentation on fit for purpose procurement. Richard’s presentation received an average rating of 5 out of 5 and comments from attendees like “Great information, really comprehensive” and “I really enjoyed this presentation, especially how it was able to show the complexity of the process.  Great visuals and examples.”  

The praise was indeed well deserved with Richard taking us on a structured and engaging procurement journey. It covered the key inputs and outputs, the procurement process itself looking primarily through an evaluation lens and last, but not least, the management of the procurement process.

Richard kept it interesting by peppering it regularly with examples drawn from a wealth of fleet experience. Who knew procurement could be so thought provoking?

The presentations mentioned here are just a few of the highlights from the 2021 IPWEA Fleet Conference. There were many, many more from an exemplary group of presenters, sponsors and attendees. Fortunately for participants, you have access to the session recordings for 30 days post conference, so we recommend you take advantage of this if you haven’t already, before time runs out. If you weren’t a participant, there’s always next year!