The changing face of fleet management was visible at the prestigious 2016 ACFO Awards with three of the seven awards recognising plug-in cars.
Fleet acceptance of Tesla as a supplier of company cars was recognised as the company won ACFO awards for the first time.
Tesla won the environmental initiative of the year award and shared the green vehicle of the year award for its executive Model S with the plug-in BMW i3, which made it a hat-trick of ACFO title successes as the car retained the trophy won for the past two years.
Further emphasising the emergence of ‘green’ power in fleet operations in the 2016 ACFO Awards is that BMW was highly commended in the environmental initiative of the year and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class plug-in hybrid electric vehicle was similarly recognised in the fleet car of the year category.
However, there was not change everywhere as the Jaguar XE, which entered UK showrooms 17 months ago, retained the fleet car of the year title won last year. The BMW 3 Series was also highly commended in the category.
An audience of 250 ACFO members and their guests attended the annual awards with the winners revealed during a gala dinner at the St John’s Hotel, Solihull, yesterday (November 16).
There was also a hat-trick of successes for vehicle contract hire and fleet management specialist Marshall Leasing as the business, which has more than 6,000 company cars and vans on its books, notched its third ACFO Award.
The company won the fleet service company of the year title it previously secured in 2013 and 2010.
A newcomer to the ranks of ACFO Award winners was road safety charity Brake, which won the fleet safety initiative of the year for providing fleet decision-makers with a range of resources - including events and webinars and expert advice - to further improve occupational road risk management across the corporate sector.
There was also a highly commended in the category for the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme. It was a first-time mention at the awards for the accreditation scheme which aims to improve commercial vehicle compliance standards.
The 2016 ACFO Awards also saw a return to the winner’s circle for both the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and the Volkswagen Caddy as they respectively won the large van of the year and small van of the year awards. The Sprinter last won in 2010 and the Caddy two years ago.
John Pryor, chairman of ACFO, said: “The fleet industry continues to evolve and 2016 could be viewed as a watershed year as managers through their votes recognised that electric vehicles have a role to play in their company car operations.
“Significantly, more than half of all new cars are bought by the corporate sector. Therefore, with the Government continually seeking to drive up demand for ultra-low and zero emission cars it is critical that models such as those from our 2016 award winners Tesla and BMW find favour with fleet managers and company car drivers.”
Fleet safety initiative of the year (sponsored by Activa Contracts)
Highly commended: Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme
Fleet service company of the year (sponsored by Skoda)
Winner: Marshall Leasing
Environmental initiative of the year (sponsored by Bott)
Highly commended: BMW
Small van of the year (sponsored by Zenith)
Winner: Volkswagen Caddy
Large van of the year (sponsored by Commercial Fleet)
Winner: Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
Green vehicle of the year (sponsored by Prolegal Solicitors)
Winners: Tesla Model S and BMW i3
Fleet car of the year (sponsored by Lex Autolease)
Winner: Jaguar XE
Highly commended: BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class plug-in hybrid electric vehicle