Disclaimer: In this event I was supposed to be in Kubajsovo +1, enjoy the buffet and ride the beautiful electric cars. Unfortunately, Jakub had to go to work, so I didn’t even have lunch. On the other hand, I drove several good and not so good electric cars and exchanged a few words with the CEO of Arval CZ.
The rental company Arval organized the third annual Arval Electromobility Day, during which customers and selected journalists can test the latest cars and electric vehicles. As the world’s largest rental company, Arval is aware of the importance of the events that customers can experience why they should consider electric vehicles for their fleet.
The day started with a welcome at the parking lot in Velká Chuchla, where after a short organizational talk, most of the participants got into the cars in pairs and started the journey to the Slapská dam. For this first part of the trip, I “installed” the Audi Q8 e-tron, basically the top electric car of the Ingolstadt car company. “Kvé-osma” is very comfortable even on broken roads, it has enough power in all conditions, very comfortable seats and a well-made interior – everything that can be expected from the top of the Audi range. However, the digital mirrors were a little disappointing for me – the display is very low and out of the field of view, and although I’m sure I would get used to it after a while, it feels like a poor solution to an already solved problem.
After a short break and a change of drivers, during which the participants were able to enjoy themselves with, for example, the fruit line, whose production was driven by the V2D system from the Hyundai Ioniq 5, I entered the Volkswagen ID.4 . I recently spent a few days with the Enyaq, a car in the same category and on the same platform, and I couldn’t avoid comparing these cars. ID.4 is smaller in appearance and material design. The interior is not very pleasant to spend time on, pleasant to the touch materials are cheap to look at and instead of a rear blind in the trunk, only a wavy line awaits the driver. Not to mention the lack of buttons to control the windows at the back (they are controlled after pressing Back and the same buttons as the front), a lot of useless intelligence (even with a warning light) and the absence of weapons. .
I improved my taste at the end of the trip, at the Max Cars polygon near Příbram, where several practice tracks and a handling section awaited us. I completed the first part of the skid in a Mercedes EQS SUV. Although it is not quite easy to break such a big mastodon on low tires on a slippery surface, at least I enjoyed a great massage with hot lava stones. After turning off the ESP, the car could even be thrown slightly to the side when trying to avoid an obstacle, and I would not have expected how easy it would be to control a large and heavy electric car.
On the next slippery corner, I didn’t have time to make any recovery and the Peugeot e-Rifter overtook me. Thanks to the backlight, I enjoyed a bit of surfing here too, but I was quietly envious of the others, especially those in the Ioniq 6 match, whose passes seemed a little confusing.
At the last stop, the handling track, I was ready to wisely go to the Mustang Mach-E GT, which had been taken by the rest of the crew in front of my nose, so I sat in the Mercedes EQE. I did not have high expectations of the EQE in terms of handling and rather enjoyed the comfort and peace of mind on board, but I was very surprised by the lightness of this car (which did not have rear axle steering, it should be. he noted). Extreme slalom was no problem for EQE. The second slalom, which we did in reverse, was no problem either, and with the help of the big mirrors I ran it with my finger on my nose.
After the practical driving tests, lunch was waiting for the participants. However, I wanted to get someone from management and find out why the company deals with electricity at such a high rate. I managed to find the CEO of the Czech Republic, Mr. Aleš Polák, a sympathetic lover of electricity and everything new in general.
Arval now offers electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in its portfolio, which are the most popular to date. It can offer its customers a complete solution designed – car and charging in the form of its charging card, thanks to which you can charge from home anywhere in the Czech Republic and at selected international chargers, including. Ionity network. As Aleš Polák says: “The most popular pure electric car in the range is expected to be the Škoda Enyaq, but most of the fleet is also occupied by Hyundai Ioniq or Kona cars.” I was more interested in what customer interest in EVs is expected in the future. Only time will tell,” I learned.
Arval offers an interesting opportunity for those customers who are considering the purchase of an electric car, but still don’t know if it will be right for them. A medium-term rental (1-24 months) is a good opportunity to test whether an electric drive with all its specifications is suitable for me. Arval also offers its free charging card, so the customer can try charging on the go and preferably at home if they have a wall box or socket.
During the day, I also had the opportunity to discuss the situation around electric vehicles with several fleet managers. As you might expect, opinions differ. Some are very much in favor of adding a share of EVs or PHEVs to their fleet, others can’t think too much. In some cases, it doesn’t make sense, especially for business travelers. However, most consumers do not drive enough kilometers per day to pay for a diesel or petrol car. The advantages of electric cars, such as peace, stability, comfort and acceleration, are therefore likely to prevail in the end and their popularity will continue to grow.