We interviewed Jourian Bax, who is the owner of Bax Opleidingen. Bax Opleidingen is a driving school that offers driving lessons in an EV. We were curious to learn about the EV experience of a driving school entrepreneur.
Can you briefly introduce yourself?I am Jourian Bax, from Bax Opleidingen, which is a family business. I have a background in marketing and I am always interested in innovation. What is currently very relevant in the automotive industry is electrification. That is why we started talking to our regular car dealer Van Mossel to see what we could do together to promote electric driving.
What is the reason you made the switch to electric driving?Because you can only get an automatic driving license with electric driving, the market remains very limited. That is why we collaborated with Van Mossel, with the idea of providing training to people who buy an electric car. In this way, they become more familiar with the characteristics of electric driving and they get more pleasure from their EV.
How did this idea originate? Was it market demand or did you see a gap in the market yourself?In the world of driving schools, you are always trying to make a difference because there are many competitors. We noticed that many people were negative about electric driving, they call it "range anxiety". They think an electric car won't suit them. That's when we thought, we can play a role in the process of buying a new EV. We are also moving towards a situation in the future where you are no longer learning for just one driving license, but are moving towards a continuous process where you have to deal with a driving school several times in your life. And we would like to be ahead of that.
Apart from offering lessons for people who buy a new car, you can also get your driving license in an electric car. Do you notice any difference in the types of customers?We have two types of automatic customers, those who have difficulty shifting gears or those who do it for comfort. The group that does it for comfort is growing fast. In general, the sentiment on automatic driving is also changing positively. We do not experience any difference between regular automatic customers and electric driving customers.
You also offer a combination, half electric half manual gearbox, what does that mean?For the first 10 lessons, you learn to drive in an EV and after that, you switch to a car with a gearshift. In this way, you learn to drive with the comfort of an automatic car , but you still get a driving license for a manual gearbox. That is a good solution for many people. We drive the ID3s and they include some autonomous driving. This way, they also experience when a car can reduce speed by itself and assess the road ahead. This way, they can participate in traffic more quickly because they are not shifting gears.
Do students also learn more about how it works to drive electrically?Yes, we also explain how to charge and the different charging methods. We have developed a lesson material for this with Icharge on how we can get someone from 0 to 100 in 2 hours in terms of EV knowledge.
How do you like the range of the car as a driving school?
This is something we have to take into account. On average we drive 30/35 km per hour, the range is effectively 300 km. So after 10 hours of lessons, it is a challenge. Thus, we’d say an average day of eight hours can be easily driven. We have a charging station at the office, so during the break, we always charge the cars. You have to take it into account, but we don't see it as a problem.