UK Fuels merges fuel card and telematics data
Bill Holmes, Chief Executive Officer – an interview with Fleetnews Magazine.
UK Fuels is targeting car, van and HGV fleets with a new product that fully integrates fuel card and telematics data to improve overall cost control.
The company, which has around 1.5 million fuel cards in circulation, notably in the small fleet sector, has launched a telematics service called Kinesis.
Historically, fleet operators would receive separate data feeds from their in-vehicle telematics system and fuel card provider, says UK Fuels.
But, by channelling information from its in-vehicle telematics device into its existing UK Fuels’ Velocity online fuel management account, the company says it can now provide a clear picture of fuel spend and up-to-the-minute vehicle activity in one streamlined, real-time solution.
UK Fuels, which supplies fuel cards from major oil companies as well as its own Fleetone card, has more than 300,000 corporate accounts, with an average fleet size of around five vehicles.
Bill Holmes, founder and chief executive of UK Fuels, believes telematics providers have largely failed to target the small fleet sector.
The company counts large fleets among its customers, but as Holmes told Fleet News: “Although use of telematics is more widespread, there still sees to be a misconception that it’s only affordable for large fleets and businesses.
“We want to have tens of thousands of telematics units in vehicles within the next two-to-three years.”
Kinesis, a cloud-based telematics solution, enables fleet managers to monitor their vehicles on any web-enabled device.
The web-based functionality was developed in-house, while the hardware was provided by telematics specialist Matrix.
It offers customers: a live map highlighting vehicle and driver locations; journey history over a self-selected time period; and driver performance through four reports – speeding, harsh acceleration, harsh braking and idling – with drivers receiving an individual score against each criteria which is then amalgamated into an overall driver score.
Vehicle performance, which sees fuel transaction data fed into the system to deliver mpg information, is also provided.
Kinesis is contract-free, with no disconnect charge. The standard charge is £12.50 a month per vehicle plus a one-off £50 charge to buy the telematics unit or a £3 a month per vehicle rental fee.
It is anticipated that 75% of fleets will self-install the telematics unit, which plugs into a vehicle’s on-board diagnostic port.
Alternatively, UK Fuels will arrange for an engineer to fit the unit at a cost of approximately £50-£60 depending on the number of vehicles to be equipped.
Holmes said UK Fuels, which is part of Radius Payment Solutions, one of Europe’s largest fuel card management companies, would also work with users to develop monthly functionality upgrades.
However, UK Fuels isn’t the first provider to recognise the potential of connecting telematics data with an operator’s fuel card use. Five years ago, Shell launched FuelSave Partner, targeted at hauliers and automatically linking Shell fuel card usage with in-vehicle telematics to help fleet operators manage fuel consumption more efficiently.
It continues to target HGV fleets and its reporting capability has been improved with last year’s launch of an integrated fuel and fleet management service in a single telematics unit linked to a single online management portal.
Fuel card companies are also teaming up with mileage capture providers. BP launched a mileage capture service recently, which is available to all customers, supplied directly by BP Fuel Cards. The online service uses a GPS dongle and smartphone application to track every journey. It is powered by MileageCount, launched by The Fuel Card Group. And last year, The Miles Consultancy (TMC) joined forces with Barclaycard to launch the Fuel+ mileage capture system.