Need for Samsara’s data platform even more acute now that EV transition is in the spotlight as new inquiry launched

September 8, 2023

Philip van der Wilt
Philip van der Wilt

Senior Vice President, EMEA


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The House of Lords is spearheading an inquiry into electric vehicles (EVs) to better understand how the Government will achieve its target of decarbonising cars and vans in the next decade or so. 

The aim of the inquiry — instigated by the House of Lords Environment and Climate Change Committee — is to examine the main barriers to the adoption of EVs including the practical use of vehicles and charging infrastructure. 

It will also seek to understand the costs and benefits associated with the 2030 deadline banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans in the UK. 

“The rubber is now hitting the road - as we can’t get to net zero without individuals making changes to our lives, how we travel and what we buy,” said Baroness Kate Parminter, Chair of the Environment and Climate Change Committee. 

“We want to hear from the public about their experience of acquiring and using EVs in the UK, and the barriers to doing so. We also want to find out from industry, local authorities, and all others with an interest in decarbonising transport, what the Government needs to do to encourage greater take-up of EVs ahead of their 2030 and 2035 targets,” she said. 

Earlier this summer the Government confirmed it remains committed to ending the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans in the UK from 2030. But Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, also insisted that he wanted to take a “pragmatic” approach to achieving net zero

Industry needs greater certainty

This has led to speculation in some quarters that the UK Government may be prepared to soften its roll-out plans. 

In August, the Road Haulage Association (RHA) warned that some industries might be able to function properly if plans to ban the sale of diesel lorries go ahead as planned. 

In July,  the Association of Fleet Professionals (AFP) reported that fleets are reassessing matters and that they were slowing their adoption of EVs in the face of several difficulties.

"Many of our members who were committed to electric van adoption as soon as supply was available have slowed or even put a temporary halt on the rate of acquisition,” said Paul Hollick, chair of the industry body. 

"They are hitting a range of operational issues – range, payload, charging infrastructure and more – that means replacing existing diesel vehicles directly with electric equivalents is not yet practical.

"This doesn’t mean that they are intending to resist electrification but that more work needs to be done in all kinds of areas including domestic and public charging, changes in operational practices and improvements in the vehicles themselves,” he said. 

Data is a powerful tool to help mitigate risk

All of which points to one thing: uncertainty. And the current mixed messages circulating around EVs are not helpful — especially among fleet leaders tasked with modernising their vehicles ahead of government deadlines. 

In fact, the AFP’s assessment of industry thinking went further adding that there was a “renewed interest in areas such as utilisation analysis, driver training and idling reduction, all of which can help to cut CO2, NOx and other emissions.”

On this last point, there is one thing I can say for sure. All those core elements — from improving fuel efficiency to reducing emissions — mentioned by the AFP are at the heart of Samsara’s Connected Operations platform. 

It’s much more than simple telematics. Data-driven insights can improve fuel efficiency, reduce engine idling and improve eco-driving behaviour. 

Last year, Samsara helped customers reduce unnecessary engine idling by 130 million hours saving millions of dollars and helping reduce emissions for our planet. Connected GPS technology ensures that drivers follow the most efficient routes saving thousands of miles and reducing vehicle wear and tear. 

Early warning preventative maintenance alerts — everything from tyre pressure warnings to the build-up of exhaust residue — helped keep vehicles in tip-top condition thereby reducing emissions. 

Data-driven insights help combat uncertainty

What’s more, our technology — which provides a real-time bird’s eye view of an entire fleet — can identify those vehicles and routes best suited to electrification. For those that do, our Sustainable Fleet Management solution can provide the oversight to manage a modern fleet and combat issues such as charging schedules and range anxiety. 

As highlighted by the RHA, our technology can also flag routes and tasks where electrification is not best suited but which could, instead, meet net zero targets using a different fuel source. 

Either way, the adoption of a connected fleet management system can help fleet leaders make decisions based on sound, data-driven insights based on real-time evidence rather than hunches. 

The result is that Samsara’s technology can monitor all fleets and assets regardless of vehicle type, manufacturer or fuel. Which makes Samsara’s Connected Operations Platform ideal for total multi-fuel fleet visibility. 

Make no mistake. With all the uncertainty swirling around the industry at the moment, having a technology platform that can provide meaningful real-time data insights into fleet performance is a must.


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