E-cars at Midas Pharma: A first field report
In spring 2021 and as part of our HSE (Health, Safety and Environment) activities we took the decision to have a first full electric car in our carpool. The step was considered as a test if a battery car could be suitable as company car.
Marcus Stumpf, Managing Director, has had the pleasure of testing this car since June 2021 and has now summarized his impressions for us:
“The car is a Volkswagen ID.4 with a 77 kWh batterie and a 150 kW/204 PS 1-gear-e-motor. VW claims a range of more than 500 km with this car, but in daily use the actual range is 340-360 km.
The car accelerates quickly (8.5 seconds to 100 km/h) and gives a feeling to drive a car with even more power. It goes up to a top speed of 165 km/h. The e-motor is very silent. Therefore, the car makes some artificial motor noise up to a speed of 30 km/h to “warn” pedestrians. It sounds then more like a tram rather than a car.
Depending on the type of electricity and its strength, charging times range from less than 1 hour with DC (direct current) to several hours with AC (alternating current). Households in Europe have 230 V AC power supply. This is not sufficient for charging an e-car! Using a so-called wall box, which can be installed in the garage for example, a full charge takes about 6 hours.
When using the car for national business trips the distance quickly adds up to about a few 100 km - even over 500. This requires a little more planning for charging stops, but never was a problem. However, for longer trips with more than one charging stop, it will make the entire trip longer than what we are used to by a fuel car. These limitations in the use make it necessary to carefully consider the individual requirements.
However, daily travel from home to work and back is no problem at all. Cars usually stay a lot of time in their parking lots and this provides enough time for charging. Here you even save time because there is no need to stop at fuel stations anymore.
An interesting aspect is the cost of an e-car. Apart from the investment for the acquisition of the car itself, it is interesting to look at items like service cost, fuel (charging cost) and taxation. In Germany, e-cars enjoy a strong support of 3000 Euro by the manufacturer + 6000 Euro governmental support. The cars are tax free and there is no requirement for regular service. An e-car is cheaper regarding service and maintenance compared to a fuel car and also the costs for charging the battery.
What about the environmental aspects of an e-car?
An e-car does not produce carbon dioxide or nitrogen oxides when it is running. However, the production, especially of the batteries, creates CO2 emissions. This footprint may be bigger for an e-car compared to a classical fuel car today. Recycling of batteries, further technological development in batteries (energy density) and better production technologies will help to improve the environmental footprint of battery cars in the future. It may still take some time until the e-car provides the desired environmental advantage and becomes even CO2 neutral, but one thing is sure:
A fuel car will never become CO2 neutral!
After this test phase, we at Midas have concluded that e-cars can be suitable as company cars depending on the requirements to be fulfilled in the individual job. It will therefore always be an individual decision if an e-car is the right choice or not. But e-cars will be considered in our car park from now on.
For Midas Pharma this is another step in our HSE program to contribute to a better future for all of us.”