Since the end of 2021, our LeasePlan Austria employee fleet has been fully electric. Find out all about our e-pioneers’ experience of taking to the roads of Europe using battery power!
Actions speak louder than words: that’s our belief at LeasePlan. And nowhere does action mean more than in the sustainable mobility revolution. That’s why we made sure that all our employee company vehicles in Austria had been converted to electric by the end of last year. Since then, electric vehicles (EVs) have become part of the everyday lives of many of our employees
Powering up in Austria and beyond
LeasePlan’s EVs have already been clocking up the miles. In addition to our sales staff making their usual trips throughout Austria, some of our employees have also used their EVs to go on holiday – to prime destinations like Italy, France, Hungary and Croatia.
Here are some of their key takeaways from life on the zero-emission road:
Preparation is key
With EVs, spontaneous road trips can quickly turn to disappointment. For long distances in particular, you need to take time to plan your route – and, crucially, your charging stops – before setting off. Our LeasePlan Austria employees rely on the ABRP (A Better Routeplanner) app and, of course, on their vehicle’s own navigation system. This approach makes reliable route planning throughout Europe simple and intuitive. Another top tip is to use your charging card provider’s app to access up-to-date information on the availability and prices of charging stations.
"When planning, I always aim to make charging stops in places with multiple charging stations. Then, if one doesn't work, I have a back-up!"
Markus Mittermann, Key Account Manager
Travel times might be shorter than you think
Today’s top EVs have realistic ranges of around 300–400 km – so, if you want to drive from Vienna to Innsbruck (476 km), you can get there with a single charging stop. Ultra-fast chargers (with up to 350 kW charging power) are often found on motorways and allow you to charge your vehicle to 80% in just 20–60 minutes. On slower roads, ultra-fast chargers are less common, so you’ll need to plan for longer charging times.
"Summer offers the optimal conditions for EVs, even with air conditioning running in the car. In winter, however, an EV’s range can suffer significantly from the cold temperatures, meaning more charging stops are required."
Robert Schillhansl, Sales Manager
Remember to build in a buffer
How long you have to wait at a charging station makes a real difference when it comes to acceptable travel times. Our employees have rarely found waiting to be a problem – but many have come across charging stations that are out of order, especially in countries with less developed charging infrastructures. It goes to show the importance of always giving yourself a buffer of 50–100 km when planning where to charge your EV …
"In many European countries, the existing charging infrastructure covers the demand. However, with EV numbers growing, short waiting times at charging stations could start to grow, too. It’s good to see that many countries are investing strongly in the further expansion of their charging infrastructure."
Hessel Kaastra, Managing Director
Fast-charging infrastructure in Europe
The availability of fast chargers and ultra-fast chargers varies widely among countries in Europe. While the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Austria, and Denmark have a very dense network (more than seven fast charging points per 100 km), Spain, Italy, Portugal, Poland, Hungary, Greece, Croatia, and Lithuania still lag behind.
In the image below, ultra-fast chargers are marked in red; fast chargers (usually with 50 kW charging power) in blue. Key transit routes such as the north-–south motorways in Germany, France and Italy, are clearly visible.
Source: Transport & Environment, Plugsurfing, Open Charge Map
A different driving experience
High speeds have a significant impact on an EV’s range. The bottom line is that driving fast will save you virtually no time, because you stop more frequently to charge your battery. A more moderate driving style makes much more sense – and not only because it means less stopping, but also because it simply makes driving safer and more relaxed. Another benefit reported by our employees? Numerous friendly conversations with other EV drivers at charging stations – and a sense of community that you can only experience as an e-pioneer!
"I love getting to talk to other EV drivers at charging stations; people are always open to sharing their experiences and advice. It’s a completely new experience for me, and one I really appreciate."
Wilhelm Hemersam, Head of Order & Delivery