Patrick says that it was his own decision at the time to make the switch to electric driving. ‘It was not required by my employer. But there were a number of reasons for wanting to do it. On the one hand, the financial aspect: when I wanted to go electric, there was only a 4% additional tax liability, so that was very favourable. But it also appealed to me from an ideological perspective, because I think the fleet needs to change in order to leave the world a better place for generations to come.’
As an early adopter of electric driving, the road was not yet completely paved. But that was not a limitation, explains Patrick. ‘I was only the second person in our company who had expressed a desire to drive electric. So we then had to consider the implications together as a company. Of course you need a car, but you especially need to think about what options you will have for charging at home. My employer also had to look at how this could be set up. But that turned out to be very manageable. You have to find a party that can help you with this and offer you advice. We looked at what facilities would be necessary as well as at fees for electricity. We evaluated these things together.’
Never worried on the road
Patrick now does everything with his electric car. ‘There are really plenty of charging options along the way, so even if I have longer trips, it’s no problem getting there. In fact, cars today are already smart enough to tell you where you can charge in order to reach your destination. You are also increasingly seeing charging options at customers’ facilities, which can also be used by visitors. That is ideal!
I have also been on holiday with my car in Italy and the south of France. We only drive our EV. You can see that there are more and more charging points in Europe, including at campsites and hotels. There are an increasing number of facilities. I’ve never been worried on the road. The fear of being left on an empty battery is really unfounded.’
One disadvantage of EV could be that you have to plan ahead a bit more, Patrick admits. ‘You have to think about exactly where you are going the day before. So you have to plan better, but once you’ve done that, it is actually really nice. I find it much more relaxing to drive thanks to the extra planning. I also make quite a lot of long trips to Germany and Luxembourg. But I’m arriving there much more rested than in the past. And that simply has to do with the fact that you always leave on time, and you are actually forced to break up your ride into smaller parts. People who drive on fossil fuels tend to continue driving until they reach their destination. I have to stop every now and then to load. And that’s very nice, because in the end I’m much fresher when I arrive at a customer’s door.’
Patrick sees that, within the company where he works, there’s been a turnaround. More and more colleagues are making the switch to electric driving. In light of this, he hopes that the Dutch government will also continue thinking about greening the vehicle fleet in the Netherlands. ‘We must continue to think about how we can keep making the vehicle fleet more sustainable and, in particular, how to enable business drivers to increasingly switch to EV. Currently, everything related to electric driving is becoming more and more expensive. And I hope they will critically re-examine this trajectory in The Hague.’
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