Serv Slijpen on driving an electric vehicle
"Electric cars are the future. They are modern, new, and the driving experience is fantastic!"
For some time now, Serv Slijpen has seriously been planning to switch to an electric vehicle. Servatius, his employer, regularly offered him the opportunity to drive the electric company vehicles. ‘After each journey in an electric car, returning to my fuel-powered car feels like going a decade back in time. Electric cars are the future. They are modern, new, and the driving experience is fantastic!’
He set his sights on a BMWi3 and went for a few test drives at his car dealer. Ultimately, Serv bought a second-hand variant of his beloved model in June and said, ‘I managed to find a second-hand model with all the bells and whistles, but with a reasonable number of kilometres on the odometer, which was only a few months old, and was on sale for an interesting price.’
‘The car drives like a dream. One touch of the accelerator and you're off. It is multi-purpose, has a large range, is easy to manoeuvre in the city, and barely makes any noise! Hitting the accelerator in a fuel-powered car with the same horsepower makes quite the noise. Now, I zoom everywhere quiet as a mouse. At the moment, I usually drive without the radio on so that I can enjoy the quiet journey.’ Serv is also trying to inspire others, especially younger people, to drive electric cars. He explains, ‘I let them get behind the wheel to experience it for themselves. It is a whole new world to many of them. You really need to have driven one yourself for the experience.’
Serv works as a policy officer on sustainability at Servatius and says, ‘If you work on something on a daily basis, it inspires you to do something with it. The BMWi3 was built to be a sustainable electric car. They thought of everything. The entire car body is made of lightweight carbon, they used eucalyptus tree wood and bamboo for the interior, and the fabric of the upholstery in the car is made from recycled PET bottles. Eucalyptus trees grow faster, and less processing is needed to treat this wood. Bamboo is also a fast-growing plant meaning that newly planted bamboo plants quickly provide enough CO2. The factory that builds BMW's electric cars operates entirely on green electricity.’
€2,000 in savings per year
Serv uses the electric car for his commute between Landgraaf and Maastricht. ‘In a normal year, I drive around 20,000 kilometres. An electric car is much cheaper when it comes to maintenance. This means my maintenance costs are much lower, my road taxes are non-existent, and I do not pay for petrol anymore. I only pay for the electricity, which I partially source from the solar panels on the roof of my house. Ultimately, I save around €2,000 per year.’
From zero emissions to zero waste
Serv knows of a way to drive that is even more sustainable and explains, ‘The only perishable part of an electric car is its battery. If the battery remains the property of the manufacturer, they can take the battery back when it does not provide sufficient energy for the car. The battery could then be used in accommodation, for example to store energy from solar panels. Manufacturers of electric cars need to start thinking like “how can I build a car that I can later entirely deconstruct and reuse”. This is how we can make the step from zero emissions to zero waste, which would close the circle of recycling in a great way.’
What does science say about driving an electric car?
If you are curious about how sustainable electric cars are, then watch the video made by researcher Auke Hoekstra of the Eindhoven University of Technology. He calculated the true emissions of an electric car and a diesel car.
Want t o experience what it is like to drive an electric car?
If you would like to try an e-car for a week to see whether driving an electric car suits you, then visit https://www.ontdek-de-ecar.nl/en/ for more information. Are you interested in an electric vehicle, but still feeling unsure? Then read the following article: Switching to an electric car: are you sure which lists the advantages.