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OEM data, what uses? Three questions for Thomas Mercier

Vehicle data is becoming a valuable resource, with its own supply chain. That generates three major questions: Who is using the data? And what is it used for?  How are European and/or national data regulations impacting the sourcing and usage of vehicle data? (I.e. for better or for worse?) 

Ahead of Echoes’ participation at FLEET EUROPE SUMMIT in October 2024 in Milan, Thomas Mercier, VP Sales & International Accounts at Echoes, answers three questions about manufacturer data, how it is used and how the market is evolving. 

What are the largest actual or potential OEM data customers, and why? What are the main issues with vehicle data procurement?  

Thomas Mercier, Echoes’ VP sales & International accounts : In reality, all companies operating a fleet of vehicles have an interest in receiving and exploiting the data from their vehicles, whatever their size: rental companies, leasers, mobility operators, logisticians, car distribution groups, and any company using vehicles as part of its business.

Echoes understands this, and has developed a business and technical model that meets the needs of all fleets, whether they consist of 1 or 1 million vehicles. In total, Echoes can address a potential market of more than 45 million company vehicles across Europe.

We have not identified any objections from customers as regards quality or choice of data. The aim of Echoes is above all to meet the customer’s needs, which can vary depending on their activity. Each use case corresponds to a specific solution. For each use case, there is an Echoes product that uses the necessary data and displays it in an appropriate interface.


What is the OEM data used for? What are some popular current and future applications for vehicle data? How is this benefiting corporate fleets? Can this be quantified?

TM : The use of vehicle data can be divided into five categories:

  1. Securing the vehicle against theft and embezzlement. By locating the vehicle in real time, Echoes is able to secure 95% of stolen vehicles in less than 48 hours, thus avoiding a loss on the balance sheet of a rental or leasing company.
  2. The fight against fraud of all kinds, from the installation of mileage freezers to fuel card fraud. Echoes’ real-time feedback of mileage and consumption data enables outliers to be detected at the click of a button and further investigated if necessary. As far as mileage fraud is concerned, one rental company operating a fleet of 300 vehicles told us that it recovers €12,000 a year from offending customers. Fuel fraud, on the other hand, tends to affect companies’ operational fleets, particularly in the logistics sector. One customer in this sector estimated that 12,000 litres of fuel were diverted by his employees each year before he turned to Echoes.
  3. TCO optimisation and CSRD compliancy : The solutions offered by Echoes enable companies operating fleets to monitor and measure the consumption and emissions of their vehicles in order to meet CSRD obligations, but also to support them in their greening policy, in particular by promoting eco-driving. This can lead to fuel savings of up to 25%.By helping fleet managers to implement the transition to 100% EV fleets, Echoes not only guarantees compliance with legal constraints, but also economies of scale: savings on the TCO of an electric fleet can be as much as 24% compared with a conventional fleet.
  1. Rental or leasing contract management : In our days and with all new ways of using mobility and all evolving regulations, we cannot live with strict and unchangeable contract. Would that be for a rent or a lease. The rental must adapt and offer adjustable and flexible contracts. Monitoring real and accurate mileage directly from the vehicle is a key element of such evolution
  2. On a day-to-day basis, the real-time data makes it easier to coordinate the work of employees, ensure that their break times are respected and detect any incidents: a plus for safety. In addition, maintenance alerts transmitted in real time ensure that breakdowns are dealt with immediately and that maintenance schedules are adhered to, just as mileage monitoring guarantees compliance with the terms of leasing contracts.


At the same time, Echoes is deploying R&D efforts to use the data transmitted in real time for new uses, with the help of AI. These include :

  • building customer loyalty for distribution groups: with the consent of consumers, Echoes can detect important events in the life of the vehicle (maintenance, breakdown, mileage threshold, golden moment), and generate a lead enabling the dealership to make contact for an on-site appointment
  • determining the battery’s State of Health: this indicator of the residual capacity of the EV battery determines a large part of the vehicle’s residual value, and monitoring it helps leasing companies and fleet managers to maintain the vehicle’s battery life.
  • feedback and analysis of data from belt sensors opens up very interesting prospects for managing car occupancy rates and promoting car sharing


How do you see this market developing over the next five years? 

TM : We believe that most of the current use cases and needs will remain valid and relevant in the coming 5 years. However, over the next five years, the emphasis will be on the electrification of fleets, so that companies can adapt to increasingly stringent legislation and move towards 100% EV fleets by 2035.

In this context, vehicle data will be the fuel for this transition for companies:

  1. To understand the uses of the vehicles in their fleet, determine which are eligible for the transition to EV, and select the vehicles best suited to their needs
  2. To monitor the use of EVs, identify and correct poor driving and recharging behaviour, train drivers and document the transition as part of the extra-financial assessment required by the CSRD.
  3. To size the charging infrastructure to be installed at the company’s sites, optimise its use, and manage and control energy expenditure.  

At Echoes, we like to explain and argue that connecting the vehicles now especially at the beginning of their first days of life in fleet, will bring the fuel and required data to help addressing all new use cases and needs that will show up in the coming years


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