May 27, 2019

“I consciously engage with my car's consumption.”

Manager SME and Private Lease, Sofie, talks about her electric driving experience

Sofie Vandendriessche lives in the Groen Kwartier in Antwerp, a sustainable neighbourhood with environmentally-aware people. This has also made her more environmentally aware. “A green car fits a green neighbourhood perfectly. That's why I had zero doubts when LeasePlan asked me to switch to an electric company car.”

Sofie Vandendriessche (45) lives with her boyfriend in the centre of Antwerp, in the Groen Kwartier, a green, sustainable, car-free neighbourhood. She has worked for LeasePlan for 22 years now and primarily uses her BMW i3 for commutes. A year ago, Sofie made the switch to driving electrically. “I had zero doubts when LeasePlan asked me to switch to an electric company car. I live in a green neighbourhood. The people who live here are very environmentally aware. By living here, I adopted that same attitude. My green car fits this green lifestyle perfectly.”
The switch from a fuel car to an electric car was quite easy for Sofie. “The switch wasn't hard. In the beginning, I did have the urge to recharge way too soon, the 'empty battery' syndrome so to speak. But you'll soon get to know your car and its reach. I also had to get used to the fact that the brake pedal is almost unnecessary for an electric car. As soon as you release the gas, the car will slow down. But you get used to it fast. I even made it a challenge for myself to drive as economically as possible. Now I also challenge colleagues to consume as little power as possible with their car. For my commute, I try to remain below 15 kWh/100 km.”

Sofie charges the car at work or in her own closed garage. “There are no parking spots in the Groen Kwartier, because it is a car-free area. That is why we bought a closed garage in a subterranean car park. To charge my car, LeasePlan installed a charging station in my garage. It is super easy to use and makes charging cheap, as I can set it to only charge my car when the cheaper night rate of my green power supplier applies. Moreover, you only pay for what you consume.”

“I used to be a speed freak, now I prefer the right lane.”
One of the benefits of electric driving is the quiet and relaxed feeling it creates. Something Sofie noticed as well. She changed from a speed freak to a ‘right-laner’. “I used to be someone who drove in the left lane and tailgated. I was always in a rush. This changed completely with my BMW i3. I adjusted my speed, because I noticed my car consumes much more when I drive faster than 100 km/h. That's why I consciously started driving in the right lane. Moreover, the car itself also calms me down, as it is quiet as a mouse, which automatically makes you drive calmer. I don't come in to work as stressed out as I used to.”

“You can always drive faster, of course. My electric BMW in sport mode accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 7 seconds. But you do need to accept its higher consumption, and to me that's not worth it. On top of that, driving faster really doesn't save you that much time.”

50% cheaper in use
Thanks to her environmentally-aware driving style, Sofie saves almost half in consumption. “I use €53 a month or €636 a year in power. I save almost half compared to my previous car, which ran on petrol, as the same amount of kilometres used to cost me € 1,231.64. Driving electrically is 48% cheaper for me in consumption. And the maintenance for an electric car is lower than for combustion engines. I barely even have to visit a mechanic. Of course the car is more expensive to buy, but it earns itself back after a few years. And you're driving a car that emits 0g CO2. I can recommend it to anyone!”

“Eventually, I made it a challenge to drive as economically as possible.”

Sofie VandendriesscheAlready 22 years a proud LeasePlan employee

Also interested in driving electric like Sofie?

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