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Franke VAT Specialists goes electric; even at longer distances!

Tax is not an industry with a high carbon footprint, but there is still pretty much CO2 emitted in offices and on the road. Franke VAT Specialists always try to minimize our carbon footprint. In the desire to operate CO2 neutral, Franke VAT Specialists have purchased a solar energy installation. It generates enough energy to not only provide the office, but also a (full) electric car used to visit our customers. Thus, these rides burden the environment as little as possible.

Nowadays, the popularity of electric driving is growing rapidly. However, the question is whether the current infrastructure for charging is already sufficient to be able to make longer distance travels in a reasonable manner and within a reasonable time. After all, our customers are located throughout the country, which means we sometimes have to travel larger distance and sometimes have our travel spread over several days. In those situations the car cannot be charged at the office.

We have taken the test by having a drive that started the office of Franke VAT Specialists and ended in one of the major financial centers of Europe; Frankfurt. The aim was to drive there and back without charge in Frankfurt itself. This is because there is not always a possibility to charge at a customer’s premises. During the test, we only used Tesla's Supercharger network. These chargers are fast (although the speed varies as we have found), and use only renewable energy, so the goal of minimizing the environmental footprint of Franke VAT Specialists is respected.

Before setting off, the car was fully charged at the office, using the solar energy from our own system. The distance the car should be able to travel over the highway is in practice about 400 kilometers. The actual distance depends on things like temperature, but above all the speed being driven. On motorways an electric car uses quite a lot of energy, especially at higher speeds. So the 400 km are fairly easy to reach at a speed of 100 to 110 km/h, but once 130 (or in Germany even faster) is reached, energy consumption is rising rapidly, and the range tumbles. We therefore chose to travel the distance to Frankfurt (about 550 km) into two leaps. The planned stop was made after some 280 km at a restaurant where we ate something. When we came back to the car, the battery was almost fully recharged. The second part of the ride we have driven faster than was wise in terms of consumption. This was also a chance to see what an unexpected setback (e.g. traffic jams) means for consumption. Being in a traffic jam itself (we were actually in one during the test) the consumption is not a problem. In contrast to a fuel car there is hardly more consumption during such situations because of the rather low speeds. However, when we were trying to win back lost time by driving faster (130 km per hour and often even higher where permitted) consumption rose rapidly.

Because we were not intending to charge in Frankfurt, but instead use a supercharger 30 km to charge for the return trip, it appeared that the higher consumption rate would mean that we would arrive in Frankfurt with only a small margin. With about 100km of range, you should be able to reach the supercharger 30 km away easily, but the so-called "range anxiety" roared its ugly head. After all, unexpected setbacks may lead to more distance to be driven (as we have experienced on the way back). In order to arrive with confidence at the customer we would make an extra stop. So during this test we did this too. A short stop of about 10 minutes at a supercharger not far from Frankfurt (sanitary stop and a water bottle refill) gave us plenty of extra energy in the battery (about 100 km extra) to drive into Frankfurt with peace of mind.

At this point it is good to make a remark about the loading speed. This speed can vary per supercharger. At the very busy supercharger in Amsterdam (not used during this test, but on other rides), the charging speed in our experience does only charge up to 350 km per hour when (nearly) all chargers are in use. For the average stop of about 20 minutes which is the norm set by Tesla, you would then load about 120 km. At quieter loading places (where we were alone or with one or two other cars loading at eight superchargers), the speed ran up to almost 600 km per hour. At the last stop for Frankfurt this was the case, so we had another 100 km extra charge at the 10 minute stop.

The way back from Frankfurt had more stops, especially because we did not start out with a full load in the battery. The intention was to stop at the first supercharger on our route, and load as much as possible. However, the location was not very inviting in terms of environment, so you quickly feel the urge to continue your travel. We decided to charge up to 350 km range, and then continue. Because the highway was pretty empty, the pace again was somewhat higher then anticipated. Therefore we decided at the same point as on the way in, to yet again do a quick extra charge while we made a toilet stop. Because of this we had at that point again that extra energy in the battery, that gave peace of mind to continue. We anticipated to make one more stop to eat, where the car could then be loaded completely full for the trip back to the office. However, due to a road being blocked, we had to leave the highway and came into the city, where we had to (at least, the satellite navigation had to) find a new route. Although the alternative was not that bad, and the energy left in the car should be sufficient to take us to the next stop, the “range anxiety" surfaced again. Just like you usually do not want to take the gamble with a fuel car to reach your destination with only 5 liters of fuel left in your tank, you don’t want to take too much chances in an electric car either. The navigation system indicated that a supercharger was not too far away. As a detour on a trip of about 1100 km we decided to go to that supercharger and enjoyed a cup of coffee until we had a 150km extra charge. After a last stop at a supercharger where we ate something again, we set off for the last leap on a full battery. We then went straight back to the office in Grootebroek, where we again were able to load up the car using our own solar panels.

The test was a success in our perspective. We had pre-planned the route, but had to change plans due to unforeseen circumstances. That, of course happens in practice too. Closed roads, wrong turns, mistakes of navigation system or driver and things like that, cause planned travel time and distance to change while you go. In order to arrive on time at the customer, improvising is necessary. The test has taught us that if you have sufficient margin of time (same as you would do with a fuel car) the supercharger network is so extensive and loads so quickly that it is perfect for long journeys. Incidentally it happened to us two weeks later during a real drive to three different customers, we had a route that had no superchargers on it. Because the public charging stations where you can load quite fast (up to 250 km per hour) on the route were occupied when we got there, we - as a result of our experience during the test drive – decided on a short detour (in this case back and forth back to take over the A2) and charged in Amsterdam. Busy as usual around lunchtime and therefore relatively slow (350 km/h) charging, but with a cup of coffee and good wifi so you can work. Tesla is working hard to expand the supercharger network in Europe, so traveling electric will only get easier in the future!

VAT - a complicated tax?

Even most tax professionals find VAT one of the most difficult taxes to handle. Franke VAT Specialists  can help you in acknowledging and understanding VAT issues in your organization, streamline the VAT processes and get you in control. Through advice, VAT scans, training, help on implementation projects and/or other forms of support, Franke VAT Specialists will help you to optimize your organization from a VAT perspective!


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  +31 (0) 2 28 75 39 73
  +31 (0) 6 46 08 18 76
Nijenburg 21, 1613 LB Grootebroek