Automotive > Powertrain, Body, Chassis & Safety Blog

Going Electric in Amsterdam

by Ian Riches | 6月 24, 2015

Yesterday I had my first trip to Schiphol airport in the Netherlands since the announcement last year that two of the taxi firms serving the airport were switching to Tesla Model S cars, with a total fleet size of 167 vehicles.

Disappointingly, my trip from the airport was in a VW Caravelle MPV - but my trip back was in a Model S.  My n=1 survey of Dutch taxi drivers using Teslas revealed the following insights:

  • Government incentives were by far the main reason behind the switch from Mercedes E-Class to Tesla.  These incentives are now being backed-off.
  • The driver's seat was not designed by someone intending to spend 8 hours+ a day sat in it.  This was my driver's biggest complaint.
  • There have been a few issues with reliability across the fleet - mainly minor door handle issues but also some electric motor problems
  • Poor panel fit has meant a number of vehicles have had to have immediate remedial work after delivery.
  • My driver had never failed to complete an 8-hour driving shift due to lack of range.  A day's work normally needed 300-400km of driving maximum.  With a top-up charge during the mandated 1 hour break this was no problem.  My driver had come on shift at 8am, topped up at lunchtime and when I got in his car at 3:45pm he still had a more-than-adequate 233km of indicated range left to get him through to his 5pm clock-off.  He trusted the range indicator, and had never felt left down by it.
Overall, (within the obvious limits of a sample size of one!) the report was very favorable, aside from my driver’s issue with seat comfort.

However - as my driver pointed out, the car had only done around 50,000km (31,000 miles) - and it was thus far too early to give a true report.  Although he enjoyed the Tesla driving experience, his benchmark was still regular 500,000 km+ (310,000 mile+) service life that the E-Class diesel offered him.

Time will tell...
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