Who are you?
I’m Alex van der Harst, married with two sons. I live in Pijnacker, but am originally a true Hagenees. I’ve worked in the leasing world for almost thirty years and have been working for Hedin Lease for fifteen years.
Your business and your profession?
As Partner Manager at Hedin Lease, I’m responsible for the largest cluster within Hedin’s dealer group, the Ford dealerships. My operating area covers the large Randstad area between Amsterdam and Dordrecht. In addition to visiting the very active Hedin Ford dealerships, I and the other dealers manage the customers that emerge from this relationship with the dealer. I enjoy alternating between the dealers, customers and my own colleagues in the office the most. Every day can be different and the regional differences in humour, or own chagrin of course, is what makes it so appealing.
With which kind of electric car did you begin driving?
Because of my position, I owe it to my standing to drive a Ford, of course. That’s why I recently traded in my Ford Kuga for a Mustang Mach-e. When it was introduced, I immediately thought it was quite a beautiful car. Given that I’ve driven just about every Ford by now, I wanted the very latest model.
How much are you driving?
When everything is completely back to normal, I drive about 30,000 km per year.
Why did you decide to go with an EV?
The way the car looks was the deciding factor for me. But also because we advise our clients on how to establish a more sustainable and cleaner fleet, I felt that I myself had to take the plunge and drive an electric vehicle. I haven’t regretted that for a single day! I did wonder for a while if the range of around 350 km would be enough. Funny really, because with that range, I can go anywhere in the Netherlands. The only point I’ve had to consciously consider involves holidays. We like to go to Spain, and that’s still a challenge. Fortunately, we have a good arrangement for that at Hedin Lease. I can temporarily switch to a ‘normal’ fuel car as part of my lease budget for holidays.
In addition to my work, and of course being a father and husband, I’m also an avid football coach. I’m the head coach with the 1st of DSVP in Pijnacker, as well as the assistant coach for the women’s Eredivisie team of ADO Den Haag. A lot of my time goes into being a coach, every weekday evenings and often weekends as well. But I’m a former professional football player myself. And I really enjoy transferring my experience to those guys and gals. By the way, this did not play any role in my choosing this car. We travel by player bus to the games. And it may be said; When I ride for DSVP, those guys are only too happy to ride with me 😉.
How do you like the first few kilometres?
They’re very pleasant. The dealer and ALD Automotive gave me excellent support and guidance. Upon delivery, but also afterwards, the dealer took a lot of time to provide me with explanations and to answer my questions. It’s also the first truly electric car for Ford, and you can tell that the dealership has done a lot to make the EV its own. Internally, we do a lot to familiarise and help our riders with ‘green driving’. Now I could experience that for myself, and it turns out to work extremely well in practice.
Charging, where do you do it?
I do not have a charging station at home, nor have I missed it for a single moment. Close to my house, there are several public charging stations that always have space available. And if things are really bad, there will be space further down the block. If you have ever lived in the city, then you’re used to your car not being at your front door. On the road, I usually charge my car at the Hoofddorp office or on my visit to the dealer. I really only had to use a rapid charger once. You can charge adequately anytime, anywhere.
There’s really no downside to mention. It does what I need, it drives super and I really do not miss refueling one bit.
What do people say about your car?
Most people think the Mustang Mach-e is a very nice car. Of course, you always have ‘petrol heads’ who think the Mustang should not have an electric version.
Do you have an anecdote, involving your EV or previous cars?
With the Mustang, you have the option of setting up your mobile phone as a key to the vehicle. I did that right away, of course. It’s wonderful! Then you no longer need the regular key, and your mobile is always with you. That is until, one time, when I was working in the Hoofddorp office and got a notification on my phone that the car, due to an ‘over air’ update, had experienced a complete reset. Well, you guessed it. The key connection to the phone was also erased. You’re standing there … the key’s at home, the mobile phone no longer provides access. So, I could call my oldest son and ask if he could just bring the key from Pijnacker to Hoofddorp to help out his father. Tip of the week: always keep your key somewhere handy.
In terms of cars, I don’t really have any dreams. I like a great deal and, above all, one should just go ahead and do it! But in football, I still have a dream. I’d love one day to work full-time as an assistant coach in professional football. This could be in the Netherlands, but also abroad. That would be too bad for my Hedin Lease colleagues, but I’m sure they wouldn’t begrudge me turning this dream into a reality.
Are you inspired by Alex’s story, but you still have doubts about whether you want to get into an electric car yet? ALD Automotive makes your choice a lot easier with ALD eFlex. To avoid having to choose right away, ALD eFlex is offering a trial period of at least 1 month (or longer, of course) at a normal lease rate. Only then will you discover how electric driving actually suits you in practice. Would you like to know more? Then check out eFlex’s webpage.