An airline pilot at Air France, Alexis is a passionate person who does not take his major decisions lightly. In any case when it comes to making the big leap to electricity. In order to ensure the merits of his approach, he rented a Peugeot e-208 several times before going to the act of purchase which would definitely bury the thermal at home.
Better energy consumption
Alexis, 38, is an avid reader of Automobile Propre: ” I go to your site up to 4-5 times a day. Automobile Propre really helped me in my purchase of an electric car “. This enthusiasm has decided our reader to take part in the interview game, so that his example can serve motorists who are currently wondering about their transition to electromobility.
Today, the long-haul Airbus A350 pilot makes round trips of 70 km to reach his base in Roissy from his Parisian home: “ I traveled before with a 2010 Mini Cooper which ended up overheating by overconsuming in traffic jams. It was contrary to my wish to make the best use of energy. Conversely, energy consumption is minimal in slowdowns with an electric car. And what silence! ».
Assuming a slightly geeky side, he also admits ” wanting to get on the new mobility train early enough, in search of efficiency ».
Between doubts and certainties
Certainties about electromobility, our reader has had for a few years: “ I see a virtuous circle taking shape with the electric car, especially during slowdowns where the regeneration system makes it possible to recover energy. While using the brake pads to a minimum ».
However, he hesitated for 2 or 3 years, before giving up thermals: “ Today, I feel really reassured about my choice of electric. Like many motorists, however, I had doubts before making a big leap in mobility. I was afraid of regretting my decision. I had questions, for example concerning the organization of the recharge ».
Concerns were quickly erased: “ I wondered how I was going to do for long trips. I reassured myself by remembering that already, when I had the Mini Cooper, I took the train 9 times out of 10 for my trips further afield. ».
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Why not an electric Mini?
The cost of new electric cars has also been an obstacle for Alexis: “ I had possibly thought of an LOA. But I preferred to buy a second-hand one, telling myself that if things weren’t going well, I could sell my car after 2 or 3 years without losing any money. But in 2020, the Peugeot e-208s were still too recent to fit into my budget. ».
Since all the planets were not yet well aligned in the sky of the pilot, why not proceed cautiously. How ? By renting electric cars while waiting for the right moment to make the purchase. To try on as many models as possible? No, because the Ile-de-France motorist has already made his choice. An electric Mini perhaps, to successfully transition from an already known car?
Oh no! a Peugeot e-208: “ The Mini is very expensive and does not have sufficient autonomy in my eyes. On the other hand, I felt a real crush on the e-208. I wanted a French brand car, and push Peugeot a bit. It is therefore this model that I have rented on several occasions ».
Further and further
The first experience of renting a Peugeot e-208 was mixed for Alexis: ” I went through the Free2Move platform. But this episode didn’t live up to what I expected. In question, the entry-level version that the operator offers in Paris, without charging cable or i-cockpit ».
This did not prevent him from persevering: I then went through Drivy, which has since become Getaround. With the e-208 thus made available by an individual, I went as far as Rennes to see a friend, and it went very well. It was in the middle of winter. I used the ABRP scheduler, and I reloaded along the way ».
Each new rental has been an opportunity for our reader to make longer and longer journeys, just to reassure themselves: ” I then went back to Free2Move, but in the provinces. We are then faced with dealers who provide better equipped and more convincing models to switch to electric “. During family visits, he rented an e-208 3 or 4 times at the La Teste-de-Buch dealership: “ The first time was for 4 days with a 1,000 km pass. Equipped with my own T2-T2 cable because never provided by the garage, and my badge ChargemapI went as far as Biarritz and Saint-Jean-de-Luz ».
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“I recommend the e-208”
This passage through rental, prior to purchase, our reader strongly recommends. It’s about taming electromobility before embarking on it without looking back: ” It is good, in my opinion, to proceed in this way and not to go there with a flower in the gun. Since then, I bought a Peugeot e-208 from June 2020 in the GT Line finish. She had arrived at the end of LOA. I went to pick her up in July 2022 in Saint-Dizier. It had a total of 30,000 km. Its odometer now shows around 36,000 km. ».
After a first winter, Alexis is satisfied with his electric car: “ I do not regret my purchase. The Peugeot e-208 is a car that I really recommend. When it was cold a few weeks ago, the loss of autonomy never exceeded 20%. Consumption approached a maximum of 18 kWh/100 km. I drive in Eco mode all the time and in a very zen way, almost like a grandpa. I thus obtain relatively correct values, but I expected better, better efficiency ».
The pilot appreciates the presentation of this model for one reason in particular: “ The e-208 blends into the mass, it is not too distinguishable from the thermal versions. This car is very pleasant to drive and its maintenance is minimal. ».
Today, Alexis has a personal means of recharging his car: ” I was able to buy a parking space in another condominium than the one where I live. There was already a partnership with Zeplug, but none of the 52 seats had yet been equipped. I had to wait a long time, about 5 months. It’s only since last November that I can use my 3.7 kW terminal ».
Why such a wait? ” The length of the delay depends a lot on Enedis. For his part, Zeplug quickly did the job behind. It is a young trainee, in engineering school, who took care of the installation. He was absolutely awesome ».
Our reader is happy with the pricing: “ I took the subscription at 21.90 euros per month for around 80 kWh, smoothed over the year. It’s practical, because if one month I consume above 80 kWh, I just have to drive less the following months to stay within the nails of the annual megawatt. “. Using our calculator, we arrive at a cost per kilowatt hour of 0.26 euros: “ I could benefit from a unit reduction of 5 cents if we were at least 5 subscribers in the parking lot ».
Public and roaming charging
Before having his own terminal, Alexis recharged his Peugeot e-208 on the Belib’ network: ” I took advantage of the terminal which is at the exit of my car park. I then recharged at off-peak hours at 7 kW. In 4 hours, the level rose in the battery from 30 to 80%. I plugged in at 8:00 p.m. and came down at midnight to stop the operation and park the car at the parking lot ».
At that time, our reader noticed small gaps in the Peugeot smartphone application: “ It allows you to control the charging remotely, but not to program it to stop at a certain time or depending on the level in the battery. Sometimes I had to use an alarm clock ».
His electric Peugeot has already experienced the motorway: ” I was able to recharge at high-power terminals, including Tesla superchargers. Beforehand, I use Chargemap and activate the ‘Community’ tab to ensure the availability of chargers and sort “. By employing a planner, the airline pilot feels comfortable: ” I often plan a plan B for safety, like when I’m at the controls of an airplane. Of course, it takes a minimum of interest in this practice. Going from thermal to electric is not copy/paste ».
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More and more users of electric vehicles are bringing family, friends and acquaintances in their wake: “ My father always rides in thermals. He saw me getting by with a route planner and the charging badges. I now feel that he is more positively aware of electricity “. It moves around him: The transition is starting to take place. My girlfriend is getting used to my electric car very well. Friends are thinking about electromobility ».
And for airplanes? ” Aeronautics is one of the last mobility sectors to be decarbonized. And it could be very difficult. Airbus has embarked on the subject. Weight is the enemy of efficiency. We therefore burn fuel that is used to transport fuel. It represents tons a year just for that. We have instructions for riding in the most economical way possible. For example, at the beginning of the descents, we will let the plane hover a little ».
Could hydrogen be a solution? ” Storage is likely to be a problem, and not just security. It should occupy the rear third or half of the plane. Today, the fuel is contained in the wings and in the central part. The motors would also have to be adapted. Lyon airport is a pilot for the development of hydrogen in aviation ».
Automobile Propre and I thank Alexis very much for his responsiveness, his excellent welcome, his trust and the time taken to answer our questions. These meetings are most often very pleasant moments of exchange.