GreenFleet over the years
To mark the 150th special edition of GreenFleet, we reflect over 24 years of publishing to highlight how the brand has evolved to stay at the heart of the fleet decarbonisation agenda
GreenFleet was first published in 1999 by Abbey Publishing. Back then, environmental fleet management was a niche endeavour and the focus was on reducing emissions from diesel and petrol cars. The first generation Toyota Prius hybrid was only two years old, while the commercialisation of the lithium-ion battery had only begun at the start of the decade. As such, work on producing viable electric vehicles was in its infancy.
The very first GreenFleet Awards took place in London in 2000, again held by Abbey Publishing, and sought to celebrate the successes of those early trail blazers that were reducing the emissions of their fleets.
GreenFleet acquired by Public Sector Publishing
Fast forward to 2005 and Public Sector Publishing (PSI’s former name) acquired the GreenFleet brand and evolved it to what it is today; an insightful magazine, website and series of events, very much at the heart of the sustainable fleet management sector.
Public Sector Publishing held its first GreenFleet Awards at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London. Hosted by Southwark council, and with a Transport for London sponsored conference during the day, the awards continued to recognise those early adopters that were using cleaner vehicles in their fleets. Some of the first winners included John Webb, who was head of fleet at HM Revenue and Customs.
In 2006, GreenFleet launched its flagship event, Arrive ‘N’ Drive, at Silverstone race circuit and gave the magazine’s audience of fleet managers the chance to get behind the wheels of the latest low emission vehicles. The first event showcased vehicles such as the Toyota Prius, as well as supporting services in the indoor exhibition. Alongside this was a seminar programme of industry speakers, including government representatives who shared the latest policies on transport.
The GreenFleet Capital Fuel Challenge was also launched in 2006 on behalf of Transport for London. With Millbrook Proving Ground as the event’s testing partner, participants were tasked with driving in the most fuel efficient way on the roads of London. Zemo Partnership’s Andy Eastlake was group head of commercial and projects at Millbrook at the time and working with him initiated the camaraderie and friendship that still upholds today - with Andy being a regular columnist for the magazine and speaker at GreenFleets events.
In 2009 GreenFleet Scotland was launched at the Royal Highland Centre near Edinburgh, and combined an exhibition of the latest clean vehicles with a seminar programme and test drive opportunities. Still going strong today, the first event was opened by Stewart Stevenson, the then Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change.
In recognition of its highly innovative and successful events, in 2010, GreenFleet won ‘Brand Extension of the Year at the PPA Awards.
The emergence of EVs
Around this time, electric vehicles were beginning to emerge on the market. The Mitsubishi i MiEV was launched in 2009 and had a range of around 99 miles. The first Nissan Leaf came to the UK in 2011, as did the Peugeot iOn.
Public and private sector fleet operators were beginning to trial and adopt electric vehicles, as well as continue to improve the fuel efficiency of their ICE fleet.
And in recognition of these early adopters, who had an enthusiasm for EVs and willingness to share their experiences with others, in 2014, the EV Champions were established at the
GreenFleet Awards. The first to be crowned with this title was Judith Eadie from Automotive Leasing, Matt Trevaskis from Ecodrive, and Kate Armitage who was then at EDF Energy, and is now GreenFleet’s Ambassador and event host.
To mark GreenFleet’s 100th issue in January 2017, the GreenFleet 100 Most Influential was launched. Still going strong today, the GF100 is GreenFleet’s annual pick of the one hundred stand-out figures recognised for their role in decarbonising fleet and transport.
In 2019, an online event was launched to compliment the release of the list, which takes the form of a ‘top of the pops’ style countdown, with breaks to interview some of the key industry figures that have been announced.
Undergoing a rebrand
In 2019, GREENFLEET underwent a rebrand, with a new striking and contemporary logo designed to represent the exciting innovation going on in the clean vehicle sector. Commercial GREENFLEET was also established as a standalone magazine to focus on the heavy vehicle sector.
In 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic, the decision was made to switch from printed magazines to digital only. This was something that had been contemplated for some time to minimise the company’s impact on the environment by cutting down on paper, delivery emissions and the print process. The pandemic helped cement that decision. The transition has been hugely successful, with over 12,000 reads per issue.
During that time, GREENFLEET events went online too. This was a radical shift, given many of the events were hands-on, test drive events. However, the transition was successful, and some events have even stayed in an online format. In 2021, GREENFLEET cautiously and slowly transitioned back to live events.
Electric Vehicle rallies
In 2021, the EV Rally of Scotland (EVROS) was launched, to coincide with COP26. This involved teams driving over 1,200 miles through Scotland – often in rugged and rural terrain, with the aim of testing the capability of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure.
In 2022, the Great British EV Rally was launched. In a similar concept to EVROS, teams took to the roads in electric vehicles to drive the length of Britain from John O’Groats down to Land’s End, again to test the viability of electric vehicles and the supporting charging infrastructure.
The Great British EV Rally was awarded ‘Event of the Year’ at the 2022 Independent Publisher Awards. Judges thought the event sparked a “genuine interest with their attendees, and their approach helped secure widespread interest from national and local broadcast media.”
2023 saw the EV Rally change to encompass all capital cities of the UK and Ireland. Covering over 1,200 miles, the rally passed by Cardiff, London, Edinburgh, Belfast, and Dublin – with designated checkpoints at clean energy projects, iconic sites and charging hubs on route.
Next year sees the EV Rally evolve again, this time visiting towns and cities throughout England in order of A to Z.
In 2023, GREENFLEET was redesigned to improve readers’ experience of its digital format, making it easier to read and navigate, and to allow for more videos and images. It was also decided that Commercial GREENFLEET would be included within the main magazine, in acknowledgement that many fleets include vehicles of all sizes.
In looking back over the 24 years that GREENFLEET has been publishing, it is remarkable to see how much progress has been made in the decarbonisation of fleet and transport. Looking to the future, the focus will be on decarbonisation heavy and specialist vehicles – as well as ensuring the charging infrastructure is adequate for all vehicle sizes. New emerging technologies will also play a big role in getting to net zero, such as autonomous vehicles and AI.
We at GREENFLEET look forward to seeing more progress over the next twenty years.