The best electric car is a loss of investment if you turn on the car’s computer and get the incorruptible figures after 6 months of use — like I did today with my Mercedes 250 Electric Drive (aka Mercedes B250e). To tell you the truth: If you buy a car where Tesla and Daimler tried a cooperation, you would think it would be a champion e-mobility product. Indeed, it’s a great car — it’s a great outcome of such a teamwork — but it could be better.
After 6 months, my wife and I are really happy with this wonderful car. In its everyday performance, the car seems to be the result of two top-quality parties, but it also seems they tried to hold back some important elements. Like fast charging, for sure.
We did show that we can live without fast charging, but fast charging would have made long-distance and even regional transport much easier and more practical.
Back to the usage report from the computer. Within the period of six months that we used the car, we drove for 106 hours and 24 minutes. Surprising: That means we drove for just 4 days and 10 hours. That means that the nice and pollution-free car, often charged with electricity from the sun, has been parked useless for 175 days. These are shocking figures. Fossil-fuel-free mobility is good for the environment, but it’s also important to share important resources — like, in our case, with ten or so other families with a similar usage profile. You can imagine that we would sell the car as soon as possible if we could order autonomous car services here in Carinthia, the part of Austria where we live.
To be fair: We needed another 5 days for charging the distance of 5,212 kilometres (3,238 miles) that we drove. That is worth remembering even though it’s sure the car was of no use for us on 170 days of the 180 we owned it if you simply add up the minutes.
Journalist like to write about how fast a car speeds up. By far, this one does fast enough, I can tell you. The surprising average speed was 49 km/h (30 mph). Of course one reason for this is that we prefer to drive more kilometres per charge than to reach speed limits wherever possible. Yes, e-mobility for many users makes sense as a more relaxing form of mobility. Including the last winter, our average energy demand over 100 kilometres reached 25.2 kWh thanks to our “eco plus” mode.
Tomorrow, we start on a trip to Slovenia and Croatia to enjoy holidays there and test charging possibilities. I already received a charging card for Croatia by Croatian Telecom (which is actually for free at the moment) and for the first time we are traveling for three days to Orebic, our destination 700 kilometres away.
My wife Ireeny likes the idea. First, we are going to a conference on tourism in the alps put on by CIPRA in the picturesque town of Bled in Slovenia. The next day, we are driving for 250 kilometres to Baska on the island of Krk, where we are invited to meet my Austrian writer friend Viktor Ziegler, who owns an apartment there.
On a final note (for now), we see that e-mobility cultivates friendships. My friend already sent me a photo from a charging station. The news is spreading!
After that, we will continue to Orebic, south from Split, where the ferry and sunny holidays by the sea are waiting. And the best news to top all of this off: The Aminess Grand Azur hotel not only offers 4 stars and excellent hospitality, it crowns the service with a charging station!
Things are developing great. I’ll let you know soon about the slow-motion ride to Croatia and the charging experience in that beautiful country, which is famous for its hospitality and beauty.
By Reinhard Bimashofer | Reinhard Bimashofer is a journalist from Austria with core interests in sustainability, e-mobility, and spiritual living. He is working for the empowerment of conscientious people, his loving kids, and living in a plus-energy log home at Lake Millstätter See in Carinthia, Austria. After 8 years driving a CNG-powered car, he has been driving an electric car for 18 months — a Mercedes B250e.