‘An EV as my company car? No, thanks’
With the proposal out of the political world to make all company cars EVs as of 2026, many reactions have been registered. One of them was about practical experiences in the matter from the last two years.
“A totally green, electric company car park in 2026? I like to hear it, but it seems unrealistic to me,” says Sam Baro, CEO of the Planet Group (IT, HR, medical staffing), employing some 700 people.
Two years ago, the company ordered 50 electric BMW i3 cars for its personnel and suddenly had the largest electric fleet in the business. “We wanted to be an example. As a company, we have a green image, and we thought we had to reinforce this.”
The decision cost a lot of money. Two years ago, an electric car was still very expensive. The company wanted to include the charging infrastructure as well, at the office, and at the home of the employees (if possible).
The Planet group had big ambitions. “We wanted to make our total car park green as of 2024,” Baro adds. In practice, the initial 50 are still there, but not one more. “We bumped on a lot of obstacles; we were struggling with the range of our electric cars and the lack of charging infrastructure.” Some of the employees drive a lot, and their EV caused them unnecessary stress. Fifteen of the small BMWs are stuck on the company’s parking lot, unemployed.
Slowly but surely
“And it will stay like this for the moment, unfortunately,” adds Baro. ‘I’m still absolutely convinced that electric driving is the future, but we’ve been confronted with some very nasty obstacles.”
You have to give consumers the time to adapt,” says Danny Smagghe from the mobility club Touring. “There are a lot of people who have difficulties charging their car. Because they live in an apartment. Because there are no charging points in the neighborhood. Because the employer has no parking spaces with charging points.
Perhaps Planet Group was too early. Two years ago the EV offer was restricted, the cars were more expensive, and infrastructure was almost inexistent. Now, things are changing, but people have to be readied for it, slowly but surely.
“In the beginning, changes are always a little bit feared,” says Erik Swerts, CEO of the leasing company Alphabet. “But from now we are mobility providers. Everything is changing faster and faster now, we already have thousands of (e-)bikes in leasing, nobody would have thought this three years ago. The same will happen with the EV.”