Pieter Bool recently became one of 40 LeasePlan staff who can park his e-Golf in a reserved EV (electric vehicle) parking space. “Practical because there’s always room!” After an adjustment period he is now a committed e-driver - and a much calmer motorist.
For 30 years, Pieter has worked for LeasePlan as a technical manager. When he had to pick a new company car the electric Volkswagen Golf was at the top of his list. “It was a very attractive proposition. LeasePlan financed my charging installation at home and my personal contribution is much lower than with a conventional company car. But I mainly did it out of curiosity. LeasePlan is evolving towards a fully electric vehicle fleet so a bit of personal experience with an EV comes in handy. Until recently I had no idea what it was like to drive electric.”
Concretely this means that Pieter has to plan more before he hits the road. “The app makes it easy. It tells you where you to find charge points along the way. And that’s no luxury because the autonomy promised on paper is not realistic in actual use. Still, if you drive in eco mode it’s actually not bad at all. In eco mode several functionalities are deactivated, such as the airco, and there’s a lower motor output. But at 57 I no longer feel the need to floor the gas pedal between two traffic lights (laughs). I don’t mind giving other drivers a head start because I’ll be seeing them at the next traffic lights anyway.”
More sedate driving
Pieter lives some 40 km from work. On Sunday he fully charges his e-Golf, enough for three days of home to work travel. He calculated that on a yearly basis (20,000 km) he pays around one thousand euros in electricity. “This economy is obviously a major asset. But what strikes me most is how quiet my car is. You really can’t hear the engine at all. You don’t have to shift gears anymore so you start to pay attention to other things. Such as music. Result: less stress and calmer driving. As an F1 fan I never thought I’d fall for an engine as quiet as this one!”
After driving his e-Golf for a full month, would he make the same choice again? “Definitely. Apart from the more limited range and the fact that you need a bit more time to charge the battery this is an excellent car. In fact, I call it a city car. Perfect for the commute to and from work. But I wouldn’t even hesitate to take it on holiday. Just to give it a go.”