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Michael Raunigg - Fronius e-mobility expert

E-mobility

9/9/2020
Michael Raunigg is an e-mobility expert at Fronius and has owned electric vehicles since 2013. He is already living the e-mobility future and has a few tips that he’s ready to share.

Michael, what is it that you find so stimulating about e-mobility?

I’ve been fascinated by e-mobility ever since I went tearing through the town as a student on my home-made 12-volt scooter. For me, it’s a fabulous way of getting around that’s a huge benefit to our environment.

I built the scooter because I thought to myself that ’moving 4 wheels is much easier’. My sole intention was “just” to generate motion – and the simplest system is an electric motor and a source of energy.

» I’ve now driven more than 110,000 km in my electric car without paying once for charging. «

electric car refuel

How have things been since you got rid of the scooter?

I swapped my scooter for my first car – a used Renault Zoe – back in 2015. Like now, I was living in a flat and had no charging facilities. You might think that would have been a problem, but to my surprise everything worked out just fine. Even back then, it was a simple matter to use an app to find a free public charging station wherever I was. A big thank you to a generous community that shared this information. To date, I’ve not paid a cent for charging.

You’re having a laugh, aren’t you?

No, I’m totally serious. I’ve now driven more than 110,000 km in my electric car without paying once for charging.

You’re now driving a BMWi3...

Correct. I made the switch in 2018. The only problem with my Zoe was its small battery, which I had to charge twice on longer journeys. With the i3 I can easily do longer trips and don’t have to do any charging on the go.

» It’s important to me that I’m able to charge using renewable energy. This is something we really need to focus on. Renewable energy is available at 95% of public charging stations. «

How do you charge your car?

I still use public charging stations, primarily in shopping centres and supermarkets, places that I have to visit in any case. If I use rapid charging, then an empty battery will be fully charged by the time I’ve done my shopping. When I’m in the office, I charge the car in the company’s car park using energy from its own photovoltaic system. It’s important to me that I’m able to charge using renewable energy. This is something we really need to focus on. Renewable energy is available at 95% of public charging stations.

How practical is your electric car for really long journeys?
Do you use it when you go on holiday?

Of course! The charging infrastructure in Europe is really extensive, even in countries that one wouldn’t necessarily expect. Route planning using apps is dead easy. When I enter my entire route, the app shows me exactly where I can charge and how far I can travel. You can drive from Norway to Croatia and won’t have any problems finding somewhere to recharge. And you save a load of money. The fact that you’ll drastically reduce your ecological footprint without sacrificing anything is something we haven’t even touched on yet…

What tips would you give someone considering switching to an electric vehicle?

Do the sums. How far are you going, what would that cost you today? Where are the charging stations in the area? An electric car makes good economic sense for most drivers, so go ahead and book a test drive. Any prejudices you might have will quickly vanish!

Michael’s tips:

App (Android): Wattfinder

The totally independent app will point you towards more than 60,000 charging stations in 45 countries, and contains plenty of helpful comments from the community.

 

App (iOs): chargeEV

 

Forum: GoingElectric.de

Budding e-drivers will find plenty of useful information at GoingElectric.de, a great platform for anyone new to the subject.


electric car Michael Raunigg

Would you ever consider reverting to a non-electric car?

Well, I’ve never heard of anyone switching from an electrically powered vehicle to one with an internal combustion engine. Why’s that? You save money, it’s fun and you’re doing something for the climate. For me, e-mobility is not something for the future, it’s clearly with us right now.

What happens next?

The final step will be the ability to charge the car using my own solar power. At present, I’m still living in a flat and don’t have my own photovoltaic system. However, I can well imagine that in a couple of years I’ll be charging my vehicle with self-generated solar power.