Today we interviewed Richard Thijssen, who works as a taxi driver and drives 100% electric. We were curious to learn about the EV experience of an entrepreneur.
Could you briefly introduce yourself?
I have been a taxi driver for five years and have been driving an EV for four years now. I've turned my hobby into my work; driving, providing service, and everything that has to do with electric cars and automation.
What is the reason you made the switch to electric driving?
The Netherlands has millions of fuel cars polluting the country, of which the taxi-world takes a big part in. A few years ago I came into contact with Taxi Electric in Amsterdam, who already started driving EVs ten years ago. I took a ride in an EV and I was sold immediately. That's when I made the transition to electric driving, as this is a completely different automotive experience. In addition, I also find sustainability important; I left my previous employer because I wanted to be a sustainable entrepreneur.
Why is sustainability important to you?
I am 60 years old and have four children and three grandchildren and I want to take responsibility within my community to create a more sustainable living environment. This goes beyond mobility and also includes the way of living and what we consume.
Which car do you drive and have you driven?
I drive a Tesla. When I started, there were only EVs from Tesla and Kia. That's different now, every respected car brand has an EV on the market. For personal transport it is important that the car has a long-range. There was only one car, and that was the Tesla Model S long-range, which has a range of more than 600.
Compared to now and four years ago, the market has grown enormously, what do you see as the biggest differences?
The biggest difference is the number of charge points and especially the number of fast chargers. When I started four years ago and I had a night shift, I had to drive from Nijmegen to Zevenaar to fast charge. Now you can also fast charge in Nijmegen. Nowadays there are also chargers up to 350kW at various charging locations where you can also charge quickly. Brands are also getting better at fast charging. Look at the Kia with the EV6, which charges in 18 minutes. That's a big difference compared to four years ago.
Do you have different types of customers because you drive an EV?
Definitely! In recent years I have had many customers who used to travel by train and have now switched to taxis because we drive electric. Also hotels that used to call a taxi that ran on diesel, now call us as part of their sustainable development. Apart from the sustainable aspect, I have not increased my price in the last 3 years, this also makes me more attractive against the fuel taxi companies. It is cheaper to book an electric taxi than a fuel taxi. We are interesting to the public because we are more sustainable and cheaper than the competition.
And at last, what do you do while charging?
I charge one time a day at an ultra fast charging location. When I'm charging, I have plenty of work to do. I have my administration and my planning to do. And I often take my break while charging. It’s a total win-win situation!