Going electric with diesel in the bloodstream
They had used Škoda cars for a part of the company car fleet before. However, the past few months have been the very first time in the Avesco Group’s history that they worked with Škoda for the entire fleet of company cars and have chosen one car brand exclusively.
Avesco Group expects lower running costs from its switch to fully electric vehicles.
“There were two camps early on: pro and contra electric. The diesel engine is at the heart of what we do. Being the exclusive dealer for Caterpillar construction machinery in Switzerland since 1931 without interruption, it’s clear that we literally have diesel or petrol in our blood. We love the throaty sound of a nice eight-cylinder engine. Our society also owes part of our current prosperity to the internal combustion engine. So we interpret the fact that almost every second employee has opted for the electric variant as confirmation that it was the right process. We chose Škoda because we achieved the best total cost of ownership with the Enyaq iV and the Kodiaq. In addition, the interior layout and design of the vehicles are very appealing,” says Stefan Sutter, CEO of the Avesco Group.
CEO of the Avesco Group
Škoda cars being handed over to Avesco Group, here with Avesco Rent CEO Vincent Albasini (left).
Avesco AG is a Swiss family-owned trading and service company whose roots go back more than 150 years. It focuses on trading and servicing construction machinery, construction equipment and systems for decentralised power and heat generation and operates a rental business. The development of customer- and project-specific solutions is also part of its services. The company is headquartered in Langenthal in the canton of Bern.
With around 1,100 employees, 630 of whom are in Switzerland, Avesco is the largest construction machinery trading company in Switzerland and a commercial agent for brands such as Cat, Ammann, Sandvik, Terex, Bauer, Schwing-Stetter, Fliegl, Kaeser and Endress. The group includes subsidiaries in Switzerland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Finland and a branch office in Austria, from where it is also serving the Slovenian market.
The company has an investment cycle of five years for passenger cars. The employees drive an average of about 40,000 km a year, which means that over the entire five-year service life they drive about 200,000 km. Hence, the interior design of the vehicles plays an important role because the employee spends a lot of time in this environment. Avesco’s employees can choose among the all-electric Enyaq iV and the Kodiaq and Octavia models with combustion engines. The vehicles are used in field service by sales consultants of Avesco as well as field service employees, branch managers and management of Avesco Rent.
Avesco’s fleet also includes several cars that employees can reserve and use whenever they need them.
Charging during lunch
“For procurements like this, we always take a total cost of ownership approach, which means we consider all factors that play a role over the entire service: return price at the end of the service life, fuel consumption, and maintenance costs. We are concerned with the economical use of resources. In addition, there are aspects such as safety, comfort and design features. As for the costs, the electric car scores best. In the case of the Enyaq iV, which was ultimately chosen, the generous amount of space, as well as safety features and design, were the deciding factors,” explains the company’s fleet manager Tonia Vogt.
The company considered twelve brands before choosing Škoda.
Avesco maintains a vehicle pool with several cars that can be reserved and used by all employees for assignments as needed. They intend to switch to electric cars for these pool vehicles in 1–2 years. As for the service vehicles, which the company changes every seven years, they’re also looking into the use of electric vehicles.
The company’s CEO didn’t miss the chance to drive the all-electric Škoda: “I tested the Enyaq iV for three weeks. I wanted to see the handling, driving behaviour and range, and I noticed that the driving experience is really convincing. The ride is comfortable, there is plenty of space inside and the range is more than sufficient. A trick I turned into a habit during testing: for long daily mileages around 400 km, I go to lunch where there is a charging station,” he smiles.
A connection that makes sense
Avesco operates around 40 charging stations at company locations, and 37 charging stations are installed at employees’ private residences. This means that all employees with a chance to install a charging station have done so. Employees can also use a card to charge their batteries at a large number of charging stations in Switzerland and across Europe. The company’s partner for the charging solutions is Shell Recharge – during the evaluation, Shell was the only supplier that offered charging stations at Avesco’s locations and at home and could offer both in one settlement.
The company had used Škoda cars before, but now the entire fleet of company cars will come from the Czech carmaker.
The ultimate goal of going all-electric is obvious: “We expect lower operating costs, which more than compensates for the higher acquisition costs, so that the bottom line is a noticeable saving compared to the use of vehicles with combustion engines,” says Vogt.
“We perceive Škoda as a brand that stands for reliability, safety, solidity, lasting value and innovation among other things. These are attributes that we also strive for in our own products and services. Therefore, the connection between our companies fits very well,” Sutter wraps up.
Avesco has around 40 charging stations at its offices.
Relaxed driving, roominess, environmental friendliness
We’ve asked two of Avesco’s employees who drive the Enyaq 80 iV about their experience with the car. How does their everyday life look?
“I drive the Enyaq 80 iV. At the moment I cover about 4,000 km per month, but the distance varies depending on the regions I travel to. My workplace is in Bern and occasionally, when I have appointments in the eastern part of Switzerland, it can be more. What I love about the car is the relaxed driving experience and the large legroom and luggage compartment. One major advantage is certainly the low operating cost. In that respect, the e-car is unbeatable compared to the combustion engine. Then there are also a number of details: for example, the heating is very effective, even in cold temperatures you quickly reach pleasant warmth in the vehicle. I usually charge the car at home. Before a long distance, I often charge briefly at one of our branches or at a charging station on the way.” Roland Mäusli, sales supervisor who takes care of all of Avesco’s sales representatives in German-speaking Switzerland.
Roland Mäusli, sales supervisor who takes care of all of Avesco’s sales representatives in German-speaking Switzerland.
“I drive the Enyaq 80 iV and I travel well around 4,000 km per month. The comfort is certainly one of the most positive points for me. The options and driving aids also suit my needs perfectly. Apart from the lack of noise from the engine, there is of course the environmental aspect with no CO2 emissions. Driving, especially braking and recuperating, is very different from that of a combustion engine car. You also plan your journeys somewhat more in detail, having in mind the charging. At home I always charge my car overnight.’
Etienne Anderegg, project manager in the construction water-treatment department at Avesco Rent whose job is to bring solutions to customers’ construction sites with regard to the treatment of rainwater and tool wash water.