Harald Stock heads the Central Services department at ista in Germany and, together with his team, is therefore also responsible for fleet management. In the interview, he tells us how they are mastering the challenge of transforming the fleet in a sustainable manner and the importance of digitalisation in this work.

We want to switch ista’s entire fleet of vehicles to e-mobility by 2028. Can that actually be done?

Harald Stock: The goal is certainly ambitious – after all, we currently have 364 field service vehicles in use in Germany alone. In recent years, we also faced some obstacles that were beyond our control, like long delivery times, but now the situation has more or less returned to normal. So I would say we’re on the right track. Whenever the lease for a diesel or petrol vehicle runs out, the next lease is for an e-vehicle. 

How have you managed to get all employees on board? Not everyone likes going electric.

Harald Stock: We see ourselves as in-house service providers – the employees at ista are our customers and we want to offer them the highest level of service possible. That’s why we accommodate personal preferences as to model or equipment wherever we can. We offer a whole range of attractive EV models as service vehicles. We replace manufacturers who are not in demand with interesting alternatives. At the beginning, there were certainly reservations and prejudices about electric vehicles, but now they are part of our everyday lives and our colleagues have much fewer concerns about e-mobility. 

What importance does sustainability have in fleet management?

Harald Stock: Naturally, the focus is on a complete switch to e-vehicles. We also try to avoid empty runs, if at all possible. When I know a vehicle has to go to a colleague in Bonn, I sometimes drive it there myself if I have an appointment somewhere nearby. I then take the train back or drive the old vehicle that has to be returned to the leasing company. At the same time, we coordinate our German fleet of vehicles so no car is just ‘standing around’ unused. 


What role does digitalisation play?

Harald Stock: When it comes to data management, transparency and clarity have long since played a major role in fleet management. For years now, we have received and managed all invoices electronically. We also prepare our quarterly CO2 balance and cost reports in digital form. In future, we also want to completely digitalise driving licence checks. 



Zero CO2 on the road as well

ista already identified its own fleet of vehicles very early on as one of the key levers to achieving zero CO2. The goal is clear and at the same time ambitious: we want to convert our entire fleet to 100% electrically powered vehicles by 2028 and so cut the CO2 emissions of our fleet to net zero. This applies both to our service vehicles, which our field service uses, for example to call on customers, and to our customer service vehicles, which our installers and technicians use. 


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