Who are you?
I’m Erwin Tuin. I live in Bilthoven and work in Hoofddorp. Once a Northerner, I descended to Central Holland, but I never lost that sobriety we have in the North.
Your business and your profession?
At ALD Automotive, I’m responsible for Customer Care. This actually involves all communication with lease car drivers and customers after someone has begun driving. Via e-mail, phone and Whatsapp, we process rough 500 contact moments each day. As the captain of the team, I and my colleagues are constantly looking at possible improvements in our services. In addition, we provide the right information even before someone has to ask for it. Finally, of course, we’re constantly available to address all concerns surrounding mobility.
What kind of electric car did you start driving?
After my fine BMW 3 Series, I switched to a Polestar 2, and that was really a conscious decision. First of all, the car is green, of course. As in: sustainable, but also comfortable and safe!
How much are you driving?
35,000 km per year, of which about 12,000 km are private.
Why did you choose an EV?
I’m paying more and more attention to my footprint without overshooting. But when you consider what’s within your means to be ‘greener’, you quickly end up with driving. In which case, an EV represents the best choice. With my Polestar, I expect to be a bit more conscious about my driving. How much electricity am I using now and is that electricity generated with sustainable methods?
Besides business, it’s also the family car. And I’ve found that the Polestar works just fine for that. As a 5-door, it’s quite spacious and practical. At home, we found the choice quite exciting. We went from two cars back down to one and then immediately to a fully electric version. But this is going surprisingly well, even with our visits to family in the North. We can nearly drive there and back without charging. A 10-15 minute stop at a Fastned rapid charger is enough for us to complete the trip. Basically, just like when your tank is empty.
How do you like the first few kilometres?
Really super! On delivery, much was left to Polestar by ALD Automotive and, of course, they’re the experts. In addition, I had already read up a good amount. At Polestar’s Handover Centre, I received great customer assistance. The tour of the car and the explanation on all the features was comprehensive. But it took a little too long for my 4-year-old son 😉. After that, I already knew a great deal about the car and electric driving. And more than enough to have my initial experiences with the Polestar. You naturally learn all the intricacies of electric driving along the way. What I think is really cool is that, right away, everything is linked to your mobile phone and is voice-controlled. That really works super!
Charging, where do you do it?
We already had a charging station at home, as I drove a plug-in hybrid before this. You simply activate the charging station with your charging card, so the costs are declared to your employer. The process for claiming expenses through your charge card is beyond smooth. And setting it up on your charging station is so simple that everyone can understand how to do it.
I was a little worried beforehand about how and where would be best to charge the car. Fortunately, those worries are all gone now. With the available apps, you can easily see where you need to go for a charging station. And, if there isn’t a charging station close to your appointment, just visit a rapid charger.
Going on holiday with my Polestar was still a little too stressful for my taste. So, I swapped with a colleague, but I could just as easily have rented a car. In Italy, the decision to switch turned out to be justified. Surely the number of charging points there is a bit more limited than in the Netherlands. With Tesla’s Supercharger network, things are said to be improving. For now, the solution is a holiday car. But, of course, that will get much better when the rest of Europe is as well equipped with charging stations as the Netherlands.
I always thought driving a car in itself was just a necessity to get from a to b. Only driving this car is really a different experience, which makes it a lot more enjoyable!
The occasional software update over air is a new concept for me. With new cars and new technology, you forgive the occasional hiccups. For example, I forgive my Polestar that Google’s maps are not immediately up-to-date after an update. And ‘Hey Google’ very occasionally doesn’t work for a bit of time. Rather than preventing me from going out, these are but minor inconveniences. What is still strange is that I can’t do anything with ‘Vehicle to Grid’ yet. Surely, it would be nice if I could store the energy from my solar panels and use it for heating at night. That would really be the solution to our power grid’s limited capacity.
What do people say about your car?
Well, passersby have already approached
me severalme several times to ask questions about the car: ‘What make is that?’, ‘Nice, can I take a look?’, ‘Wow sir, is that a…?’
Do you have an anecdote about your EV or previous cars?
Erwin laughs loudly: ‘That “Hey Google” really works great! That is until my 4-year-old son discovered he could override my Spotify from the back seat with “Hey Google, play Pete Pirate.” The first time is fun, but after 100x…’ 😉
In the automotive field? Well … I think a Citroën DS Décapotable (convertible) has a great look! To me, that’s a pure work of art on wheels!
Are you inspired by Erwin’s story but still have doubts about whether you want to get into an electric car? 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 one month (or longer, of course) at the normal lease rate. Only then will you really discover how much electric driving suits you in practice. Would you like to know more? Then check out eFlex’s webpage.