Going electric…what is it really like for the driver?
As part of our efforts towards lowering CO2 emissions, ARIAN has started switching our sales team’s work vehicles to electrics cars. With customer visits, store reviews, on-site surveys and other business trips, our sales team are on the road quite a bit, so providing them with a more environmentally conscious option to get around was an important decision.
Considering electrics cars can still appear a bit mysterious, we wanted to know first-hand from our team about some of the biggest changes and differences they are experiencing with their electric cars. Here is what they told us:
What do they like most about their electric cars?
The answers were pretty similar across the board – the two biggest advantages felt by our team are the reduction in emissions and cost, especially considering the price increases of petrol and diesel over the last few months, as well as the comfort the car provides: there are no engine noises, the smart electronic set-up of these cars provides a lot of assisting features such as autonomous driving, and they are very spacious, as there is no room taken up by the engine, which can be used as an additional boot area. Especially on long drives these features make all the difference. Other advantages that were mentioned are the ease of pre-heating or cooling the car, eliminating the scramble to turn up the heating or air-conditioning, as well as a lot of fun features that make waiting for the car to charge up a little more entertaining – did you know you can now have a romantic “fireplace” in your car, all courtesy of the central digital screen?!
What do they like least?
The answer to this was unanimous: you spend a lot of time waiting at charging stations, especially if you don’t have a charging point at home. However, due to the general comfort and technological capabilities of most electric cars (the big central screen can basically function as a tablet while the car is parked, for example), using the time to get some office work done during work trips while waiting is now much easier. There is however always a little bit of “range anxiety”, that fear that the car will run out of power without being able to find a charging point, which are certainly not yet as well established as normal fuel stations.
How did the switch to electric cars change their normal working day?
The team said that they do spend more time planning ahead before visiting customers and other trips – depending on the distance, it is important to pre-plan the route, scope out charging points and plan in time for charging. Journey times are now definitely longer than before, so this needs to be kept in mind when arranging appointments.
An unexpected positive side effect is that these cars are proving to be a great ice breaker – while there are different opinions and attitudes towards electric cars, they always provide topics for discussion with customers.
What surprised them about their electric car?
Electric cars have a lot of technological features that are not yet as present in standard cars – as such they come with quite a few surprises! One of our colleagues found it very confusing at first, that other than the main display screen, which controls the full car, there are no other indicators. Another member of our sales team is still automatically searching for their non-existing ignition key – it seems some habits are just hard to forget. Someone else found out that they have become a small “celebrity” – or at least their car has. The sentry mode of the car, which checks for suspicious activities around the car when it’s locked and parked, has showed them that a lot of kids, and adults, often stand around curiously inspecting the unfamiliar car.
Change takes time, and there are still a lot of things that need to be adapted and improved for electric cars to become a viable alternative for everyone, but we believe that for ARIAN, this is a right step towards lowering emissions as a part of our sustainability strategy.
Sustainability is an important topic at ARIAN. Learn now about the new Sustainable Measure here in the blog post.
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