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SPOTLIGHT: Geotab’s David Savage, regional manager, UK & Ireland

Geotab’s David Savage, regional manager for the UK & Ireland, comes under our spotlight this week, telling us about his past at a ride hailing firm, his present at Geotab and the fleet managers’ headache of going electric.

Savage recently joined Geotab as regional manager for the UK & Ireland to support the growth of the business and use our sector leading technology to provide a more cost effective, efficient and sustainable future for fleets and cities. Prior to this, he spent nearly 4 years in ride hailing having run FreeNow UK – a Daimler and BMW owned mobility app.

His car history started, like many in the fleet industry it seems, with a Mini and despite having made his way through various brands has come full circle and returned once more to a Mini, only this time the Mini Cooper S. Trivium, Metallica, Avenged Sevenfold are his three favourite music bands, which blare out from his Mini’s stereo as Savage admits, “They are not popular with my wife”. A self-confessed car lover, Savage says he’s need a pretty big garage to house all the cars he’d like to own, but if he had to settle for one it’d be the electric Porsche Taycan. “It’s environmentally friendly, has a good range, it’s fast, looks good and would also work as a family car”, he adds.

The one essential tool Savage couldn’t live without is Apple’s FaceTime online video conversation service, which he says is due to his and his wife’s parents and families being geographically dispersed. “FaceTime has allowed us all to share in each others lives and for our parents to experience my daughter growing up on an almost daily basis”, he says.

What is Geotab’s focus for 2020?

We’ll be continuing our ethos of constructive disruption, listening to those in our eco-system to understand pain points and continuously evolve our technology to meet the ever changing challenges in fleet management and city infrastructure.

How much have you found the fleet sector is changing, what are the biggest trends and how has Geotab responded to them?

Safety and efficiency have been strongly on the radar for the last few years. I’d now add sustainability (environment) to this. This has been driven by legislative and regulatory efforts to reduce congestion and emissions. Our innovations are built around six pillars: safety, productivity, fleet optimisation, compliance, expandability and sustainability – we are well positioned to address the challenges faced by fleet managers.

What’s keeping today’s fleet manager awake at night?

The switch to EVs is a bit of a headache for fleet managers. There are a multitude of challenges and concerns, such as range and range anxiety, downtime from charging, price and availability of vehicles to name but a few. Through our acquisition of FleetCarma we now offer dedicated EV and an Electric Vehicle Suitability Assessment Tool (EVSA) to help companies transition at the right pace.

How do you see that continuing to change over the next five or ten years?

The move to EVs will only continue to accelerate over the coming years as regulators reach their deadlines on emission targets and OEMs start to transition out combustion for battery technology.

What sort of challenges and opportunities could this present?

This transition underpinned by more user-friendly dashboards and customised data points will allow fleet managers to finesse fleet performance in real time resulting in even greater efficiencies than we are already witnessing.

What would you like to see change in that time?

A seismic move from combustion to electric has a lot of moving parts. OEMs need to be able to offer a range of vehicle types with good range and at various price points, legislation needs to support and not force the transition, greater education needs to be offered to drivers to allow them to maximise the efficiency of the EV opportunity, infrastructure needs to catch up and keep pace with the evolution. This change needs to be managed as a public and private sector collaboration. This has been missing to date.

What’s in the pipeline from Geotab in 2020?

2020 will be another big year for us at Geotab with new products and innovations.

Written by Jonathan Musk

Jonathan turned to motoring journalism in 2013 having founded, edited and produced Autovolt - one of the UK's leading electric car publications. He has also written and produced books on both Ferrari and Hispano-Suiza, while working as an international graphic designer for the past 15 years. As the automotive industry moves towards electrification, Jonathan brings a near-unrivalled knowledge of EVs and hybrids to Fleet World Group.

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