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  • Interview EV driver

    Interview EV driver

    In theory, e-mobility sounds great, but how does it perform in real life? Are e-drivers able to demystify prejudices and offer some practical advice? To find out, Webasto has interviewed a driver of e-cars. Read about Stefan who became all “charged up” with e-mobility already as 19-year-old student of mechanical engineering, and helped getting it on the road…

  • Tesla Model S in the field Stefan has been driving an electric car since 1989 and is currently driving a Tesla Model.
  • Profile 

    • First name: Stefan
    • Country: Germany | Bavaria
    • Car model: all sorts of models in the past; currently a Tesla Model S
    • Number of km driven in an electric car: approx. 200,000 (roughly 124,000 miles)
    • Home charging station: yes, 22 kW
    • When did you start driving electric vehicles?: 1989
    • Do you lease or purchase electric cars?: Purchase
  • Webasto: When and how did you get into electro mobility?

    Stefan: After the end of the 80s, the automobile industry had presented first prototypes of electric cars, just to reverse it afterwards by claiming e-mobility would not work. This sparked my anger, but also my curiosity. As a 19-year-old student of mechanical engineering, back then, I build the first road-legal two-seated solar car in Upper Bavaria. That was the point I became all “charged up” about e-mobility…

    Webasto: Which negative preconceptions about electro mobility have you heard?

    Stefan: There is no preconception so unspeakable that I haven’t heard it before. But most of the time it’s a matter of a lack of knowledge. People are sceptical of new technology – that’s just the way it is. I think this phenomenon is normal and will not stop this technology from spreading. My ‘favourite’ preconception is: “The lack of sound takes the fun out of driving electric cars”. But only people who have not yet driven electric cars can say this

    Solar-powered Sun Trap The self-built Sun Trap is the first street legal solar car in Upper Bavaria
  • Tesla at a public Supercharger charging station Loading is no problem even on the road.



    Webasto: What sort of distances do you drive in your electric car?

    Stefan: I drive to Friuli-Venezia Giulia in Italy every other weekend (500 km (approx. 310 miles) each way) and of course to work every day. My annual mileage is roughly 35,000 km (21,700 miles).

    Webasto: How many kilometres can you drive on average? (range)

    Stefan: Approximately 450 km (approx. 280 miles) – more than you need in real life. If I were looking to purchase the same car again, I would go for the smaller, much cheaper battery because it’s all you really need.

    Webasto: How do you handle charging on longer journeys?

    Stefan: I charge in the same way that I used to refuel. It’s just that I can go to the toilet while the vehicle is charging, rather than after I’ve paid. ;-) It has to be said that Tesla’s extensive Supercharger network across Europe is a major advantage here, as other manufacturers are sadly unable to provide a network as extensive as this right now.

  • Webasto: What is the maximum charging capacity of your wallbox and how long does it take for your electric car to be fully charged?

    Stefan: The charging capacity of my home wallbox is 22 kW, but the vehicle can charge just 16 kW. In theory, it would therefore take 5.625 hours to charge the battery from 0 to 100% at 90 kWh. But this is just a purely theoretical value, as nobody ever arrives home with 0% battery and drives more than 400 km (approx. 250 miles) every day to drain the battery. In reality, I charge the car for less than 60 minutes a day at the wallbox. And I mostly do this at work, not at home.

    Webasto: How do you think the purchase and running costs of an electric car compare to a combustion car? What is your experience of the running costs of an electric car compared to a combustion car (electricity/petrol, maintenance, repairs, taxes)?

    Stefan: I have found that the purchase prices of electric cars are still significantly higher, while the costs for maintenance, repairs, taxes and energy are quite a lot less. It definitely pays off in the long run (> 5 years), even now. And the purchase costs are dropping further – they have also fallen considerably in the last year.

    Tesla stands in Carport and is charged by Wallbox At home the Tesla is charged with a Wallbox with 22 kW.
  • Tesla photographed from behind stands in the field The recuperation in electric cars is simply unique.  


    Webasto: Do you have any tips for electromobility newbies? 

    Stefan: The profile and planned use for an electric car is more important than ever. A Skoda Citigo-e, for example, is perfect for daily drives to work, and is my insider tip when it comes to value for money. For frequent drivers, on the other hand, or those wanting to drive to long-distance holiday destinations, cars like the Audi e-tron, Jaguar I-Pace or Tesla make sense. Even compact cars such as the Opel Ampera-e or Kia Soul have a range of almost 400 km (approx. 250 miles). Just test as many vehicles as possible as everyone has different requirements when it comes to range, space, comfort, etc.

    Webasto: What is your highlight to date as a driver of electric cars? 

    Stefan: When I drove down the Zirler Berg mountain in Austria in an electric car for the first time, without braking once. You end up with 30 km (almost 19 miles) more range on the way down than you do on the way up thanks to energy recovery through regenerative braking. Now that’s what I call energy efficiency!

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