Interview Electric cars

“Once you've had one, you won't want anything else”

Martine Menko is Investment Officer at the Pensioenfonds Beroepsvervoer, a Q-Park shareholder. She has been driving an electric BMW i3 since April 2014. “Fabulous! That's how I experience driving an electric car! And once you've driven one, you'll never want to go back,” she says. What is often cited as a disadvantage, Martine sees as a benefit: “You start driving more leisurely; you become more aware of your energy consumption, because the car battery isn't particularly big. You have to plan your journey, especially if you go further than your battery range. You soon notice that the infrastructure for fast charging in the Netherlands is not very good yet. Fastned is going to do something about it with fast recharging points along motorways. These can charge the battery to 80 per cent within twenty minutes. And in the meantime, you can have a cup of coffee.”

From A to B

Martine made a well-considered choice to drive an electric car. “It is my personal choice. We don't have a policy for this at the pension fund: you just get a lease car. But I consider it my responsibility to do my bit to reduce the CO2 emissions. Which is why I also travel by train, if I can. I'm lucky because I live close to the station. Only if it's not efficient to travel by public transport, do I take the car.”

Along with the trend towards more sustainable vehicles, Martine Menko also observes another surprising trend in mobility: “There is a shift in the market from owning to sharing. Perhaps lease companies will eventually join in sharing platforms. I suspect that a lot of men wouldn't dream of allowing anyone else to drive their car, but for me, my car is just a means of getting me from A to B.” Even though she considers the car mainly as a functional object, it should also be pleasing to the eye: “My car has a distinctive design, it is quite different, and that's why I chose a striking colour.”