Preferably quiet and with zero local emissions: out and about with electric propulsion pioneer Bruno Hänle. The former Daimler employee reports on his positive experiences with electromobility.

The idea of transitioning to an electric car had been growing within me for some time," is how Bruno Hänle described his personal journey to electromobility. The former Daimler employee blinks in the morning sun. There are two electric cars parked in front of his house in Sindelfingen: a black smart fortwo electric drive (power consumption: 16.6 kWh/100 km; combined CO₂ emissions: 0 g/km*) and a silver B-Class with the model designation B 250 e (power consumption: from 16.6 kWh/100 km; combined CO₂ emissions: 0 g/km*]).

Bruno Hänle

"I usually charge the batteries of both cars at home using my own photovoltaic facility on the roof of my house," Mr. Hänle explains. "To start with I found it unusual to charge my vehicles more frequently, but you quickly get the hang of it if you just "plug your car in" and can get into a fully charged car after a certain amount of time".

A full charge is also guaranteed elsewhere. "I use a prepaid card for the local power provider at the charging stations in the Stuttgart area." On our journey to the market square in Sindelfingen, Mr. Hänle enjoys the quiet inside the B 250 e: "I think it's great that you hear almost no engine noise at all." A smile flashes across his face as the traffic lights change from red to green – the silent sports tourer speeds forward thanks to its outstanding torque (340 Nm). This is how environmentally friendly driving enjoyment sounds and feels.

"Electric cars are more affordable for me than vehicles with conventional propulsion systems."

Bruno Hänle, smart fortwo ed and B 250 e driver

In addition to the environment, Bruno Hänle also has his eye on the economic aspect of electromobilty: "I did a lot of calculations, and despite the slightly higher purchase price, electric cars are more affordable for me to maintain than vehicles with conventional propulsion systems." One benefit that not only appeals to the money-conscious Swabians are the free parking spaces for electric cars in the Stuttgart area. Another incentive: Electric vehicles registered for the first time between 2016 and 2020 are exempt from road tax for five years.

"Since I also drive the B 250 e in addition to the smart fortwo electric drive, I stopped going to regular gas stations," says Mr. Hänle, describing an interesting change in his life as an electric pioneer. When he now wants to check the pressure in his tires he almost feels guilty toward the attendant because he doesn't need anything apart from a bit of air.

Bruno Hänle hopes that more people will make the switch in the future: "Electric cars are great. Signs saying "Please park forwards!" are no longer necessary when you're driving an electric vehicle, because no exhaust also means no residue on white walls." Bruno Hänle has his eye on the three new smart electric drive models – the fortwo coupé, fortwo cabrio and forfour – that were unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in September. "There's a good chance that we'll soon be driving a new electrically powered smart."

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