On the road with the future: our experience with the EQV from Mercedes-Benz
Energy mobility has become a topic on which everyone has an opinion. Some are skeptical, others praise it as THE sustainable solution for the future, and still others dismiss the topic as a fad. But what is it really like to have an "electric car" as a company vehicle? How does it perform? What are its strengths and does it have any weaknesses?
Mercedes-Benz meets Saalfelden Leogang
Why does a tourism office need its own company car? A legitimate question. At our organization, a vehicle is actually always needed. The range goes from transports with printed matter, hiking poles and bikes to professional appointments in half of Austria to big events like Jazzfestival Saalfelden and UCI Bike Double World Cups. There is always something or someone who needs to get from A to B quickly and efficiently.
But it should not be the classic vehicle (sprinter, station wagon, etc.) with combustion engine. In our region we deal with the many topics that are summarized under the label sustainability. Be it trail building, support for direct marketers, hiking or Green Events. Among other things, we are a pilot destination of the Austrian Ecolabel. Thus, it was clear to us that we would like to have an e-car in the area of mobility. For this, we have approached various providers and found the perfect partner in Mercedes-Benz Austria.
Is the range sufficient?
Six years ago, we already had an e-car as a company car. It managed a range of 130 km under perfect conditions. A lot has happened in this area since then. In the case of the Mercedes-Benz EQV, for example, the range increased to an impressive 348 kilometers. If the outside conditions (route and weather) and driving style are suitable, the range even increases to around 420 kilometers. With a full electric charge, the distance Saalfelden-Vienna without stopping at a charging station is no longer a utopia.
The vehicle should be variable. One day it could transport eight people, the next day it could carry e-bikes. In other words, it had to be a "jack-of-all-trades". As corny as it may sound, the Mercedes-Benz EQV fulfills exactly this point. Thanks to the removable seats, it can be used as a patient beast of burden just as much as a comfortable shuttle or for a slightly longer trip. This flexibility was to prove a big plus right from the first week of its time with us. We got our vehicle right on time during the week of the UCI Bike Double World Cup. Thus, there was not much time for banter, but the vehicle had to prove itself right away.
Distance does not equal consumption
In a conventional car, the fuel used for the kilometers is simply gone. In an electric car like the EQV, energy is actually generated with the help of the "engine brake". As a result, a trip from Saalfelden to Salzburg does not consume around 70 kilometers, but only around 50 kilometers in the end. Thanks to the hilly route. This video explains exactly how this works in detail (a development from Formula 1, by the way):
Show me the way to the next.... Power Station
Admittedly, the search for charging stations belongs to such a vehicle like cheese to Kaspressknödel or like biking to Saalfelden Leogang. As a company, it makes sense to take a wallet from Mercedes. On the way the car can be recharged at any e-pump. The built-in navigation system shows the charging stations right nearby. The necessary cable for connecting is included with the EQV. There is a wide choice of charging stations. If you want it fast, you should pay attention to the kilowatt (kW) output.
At the home socket you charge with about 3.7 kW. The perfect place to charge when no trips are planned, because here you need about 48 hours charging time for a full charge. The common charging stations have between 11 and 22 kW and you have to calculate about half a day for a full charge. Anything above 45 to 55 kW then manages to charge the car during a short coffee break. The higher the kW the faster it goes. Good to know: Depending on the available kW supply of the charging stations, the price per recharge varies.
Why we like the EQV so much
The space miracle from Stuttgart has convinced us. The batteries are accommodated in the vehicle floor. The perfect place not to restrict driving comfort and to provide enough space for all possibilities. The acceleration, i.e. the power transfer to the wheels, is enormous, as with every "electric car", and it sometimes makes you smile mischievously. Nevertheless, the ambition to be as resource-efficient as possible soon sets in. Here and there, the remaining available kilometers are increased with a forward-looking driving style. Every speed limit and every little hill is exploited. In addition, the EQV is an eye-catcher. No matter where you go, you'll be approached about it at outside appointments. An electric vehicle is no longer exotic, but many people still don't quite understand it.
The EQV fulfills the basic wishes you have for a company car. Whether as a beast of burden at an event or on the way to a meeting in Salzburg or Innsbruck. And the best thing about it: Being on the road with it is also simply an incredible amount of fun!
Note: Mercedes-Benz is the exclusive car partner of Saalfelden Leogang. For this reason, we have been provided with two EQV models for one year. One is used by the Leoganger Bergbahnen and the one we are talking about here is used by Saalfelden Leogang Touristik.
Pictures: Saalfelden Leogang Touristik, Michael Geißler, Kristina Seer, Foto Flausen