THE INDEPENDENT MAGAZINE FOR TESLA OWNERS AND ENTHUSIASTS OCTOBER 2016 / N°3
TESLA MODEL X The first electric SUV
JOACHIM DE VOS
the next step towards smart homes
“We are heading towards a totally changed mobility”
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WELCOME TO OUR WORLD
De meest extreme missies draaien rond uitzonderlijke mannen voor wie topprestaties dagelijkse kost zijn. Voor hun veiligheid vertrouwen zij alleen op de beste instrumenten. De meest extreme missies draaien rond de Avenger van Breitling. De modellen uit de collectie Avenger bundelen kracht, precisie en functionaliteit in één ultrarobuuste constructie die ook nog eens waterdicht is tot 100 en soms zelfs 3.000 m. Dit zijn authentieke instrumenten voor professionals, voorzien van een automatisch uurwerk met chronometercertificaat van het COSC – de enige referentie voor betrouwbaarheid en precisie die op een internationale norm gebaseerd is. Welkom in het universum van het extreme. Welkom in de wereld van Breitling.
B R E I T L I N G .C O M
edito SuperCharged 3 by Martin Gillet / colophon
DEAR READERS, DEAR TESLA OWNERS AND CLUB MEMBERS, DEAR SHAREHOLDERS, DEAR EV ENTHUSIASTS, Welcome to your third edition of SuperCharged, your independent Magazine for Tesla Owners, Club Members, Shareholders and EV enthusiasts. Not a Member yet? Free registration to be kept up to date, we don’t sell anything: www.TeslaClub.be/membership SuperCharged is available online, with past editions. www.superchargedmagazine.com We are delighted to present the third edition to you, your Community Magazine for TESLA Owners and enthusiasts. Why SuperCharged? As a metaphor to our amazing cars, we are SuperCharged, full of emotions, willingness to ‘be the change we would like to see in the World’, full of energy to nurture a stunning Community of Ambassadors, Entrepreneurs and peers and last but not least, boost the rEVolution towards a cleaner Future. We have redefined and raised the bar to the basic definition of ‘fans’. We are Community minded, Early Adopters and Influencers embracing the opportunity to change towards a more sustainable lifestyle.
Quite a few years ago, we started this journey, starting to build the Community, long before Stores or even Service Centers or Superchargers were deployed. We are aiming at gathering Owners, enthusiasts, shareholders and peers together. Our mission is to support the community in general regarding the rEVolution and the EVangelization while raising the awareness of the World regarding EV. Tesla Owners Club is officially established in January 2014 as a non profit organization, supported by its Board Members and its 2000+ members, all volunteers.
Thank You! SuperCharged continues its journey with a third edition Once again, thank you all for your outstanding support, from the warm welcome of Supercharged first edition to the second edition. From direct messages to Reposts and Retweet, not to mention ideas for articles and kind words on the Magazine format; we were overwhelmed by your adoption and enthusiasm. Supercharged is only ‘as good as the energy’ we are putting in along with qualitative content. We welcome as always your topics proposals and your invitation for collaborating with the editorial team. We look forward to hearing from you, contact us through our Club website. This edition’s Master Plan This third edition does not fail its reputation of providing a great line up of subjects. Starting in this edition, we will unveil our highlights on the much awaited Model X. We would also like to introduce PowerWall Belgium. Then we’ll head with Eric Hassenberg for a fantastic Human adventure. We’ll also come back to the Grand Opening of Living tomorrow Fast Charging Station, reviewing their strategy and goals for a sustainable future; we have interviewed their CEO Joachim De Vos. As the Tesla destination chargers are growing fast, we also took the time to gather information and pay a visit at the Sandton and Hotel Heritage destination chargers. Conclusion
We aim at providing a rich Magazine, full of insights and useful information, a regard towards the growing EV Market and Community, and some interviews, encounters of great Individuals or initiatives. Why have we started building the Community, what is it for you, for us? Our community is evolving constantly, growing and adding new peers and members. Thanks to its recurrent monthly activities and side events, the Club is leading networking events along with fun activities so that we can all share experiences, tips and tricks and raise the EV awareness among us and demoing our willingness to change towards a more sustainable lifestyle, reaching out for the ‘Blue Economy’ principles.
Once again, thank you for reading the edito until the end (you rock) and your ongoing support to the Community in this journey. We wish you an electrifying read, we hope you will have as much pleasure as we had to build this third edition. So buckle up and enjoy the ride! We look forward to your impressions, stories and feedback as well as welcoming you during our monthly events. Keep up the conversations online through social media, ‘share the Love’ using hashtag #TeslaClubBE On behalf of Tesla Owners Club Belgium vzw/asbl, Martin Gillet - Vice President Global Communications and Marketing Tesla Owners Club Belgium asbl/vzw.
VOLUME 3, Oktober 2016, ISSUE 3 | SUPERCHARGED – The independent magazine made by and for Tesla Owners & enthusiasts | CORRESPONDENT EDITOR: Martin Gillet | CIRCULATION: 20000 copies (excluding additional distribution) | FREQUENCY: Quarterly | Distribution: Tesla Owners Club Belgium members | EDITORS: Anja Van Der Borght, Ruud Van De Locht, Dimitri Van Moerkercke, Wim Vander Haegen, Jeroen Coteur, Niko D’hont | PUBLISHER: Erik De Ridder, LEO | DESIGN: LEO bvba – rue des Ixellois 1 – 4000 LIEGE | PRINTING: Drukkerij Lowyck, Oostende (this magazine uses 100% ecological paper) | SALES: Erik De Ridder – tel.: 0486 13 13 13, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org | ADMINISTRATIVE & TRAFFIC ADVERTISMENTS: Event&Expo Belgium – Hilde De Ridder – tel 09 228 22 84 – email: email@example.com | COPYRIGHT: No part of this publication may be used, reproduced or copied without express permission of the publisher | SUBSCRIPTION: May be ordered from Dominique – e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org for the cost of mailing (20 euros/year) Special thank you to Nicolas, Saul, Simon, Ulric and Tom for their review and support. DISCLAIMER: Disclaimer: Tesla Owners Club Belgium is an independent enthusiast non profit organization under Belgian laws and is not affiliated with Tesla Motors, Inc. or its subsidiaries. TESLA, MODEL S, MODEL X, MODEL 3, POWERWALL and the “TESLA”, “T” and “TESLA and T Flag” designs, and certain other marks, are trademarks or registered trademarks of Tesla Motors Inc. in the United States and other countries.
SAY FOURTY-FIVE … WHEN COMMUNITY GATHERS, WITH CHEERFUL CREATIVE IDEAS ... Wrap up from a memorable Community happening by Martin Gillet Waterloo, June 28th 2016. As you have noticed, this Supercharged edition’s cover is depicting a stunning setup: a 45 figure illustrated with a couple of stylish Model S (First Model X deliveries had not taken place at the time). ... On that one fine evening, led by Philippe Depuydt on behalf of the Tesla Mag Belgian forum members), Tesla Belgian Owners, Enthusiasts and some Tesla Owners Club Belgium members gathered for a cheerful meetup. As usual, in continuation to our online conversations, the idea was to meet in real life for a drink and a dinner. Thanks to the perfect organisation of Philippe, lots of owners arrived onsite. That day was Elon Musk’s birthday, discussing on the terraces and enjoying some beverages, this fact came up in the conversation. Some Owners were ‘aware’ (to quote our Belgian pride ‘Jean-Claude Van Damme) and did already sent their best regards and wishes through social media; some didn’t know. Conversation moved ahead with the crazy idea on ‘how to send a cheerful Happy Birthday Message’ to him, our, charismatic Leader? Brainstorming kicked off and creative ideas were raised when a creative idea made it to the top … The spark was initiated. Based on a original idea from Philippe: ‘Why don’t we use our super cars to deliver the message?’. We all agreed and started to think: how could we achieve that? Rapidly, led by Philippe sketches, we came to the draft pitch to align our super cars to depict a ‘45’ figure on the parking lot.
Like kids rushing to an Amusement Arcade, we rushed to our Model S and started to align the super cars. After a few attempts, the final result made it as we could see it through the aerial footage. Mission was successfully accomplished, not only we did have Fun but also experienced a True moment of Community minded euphoria deliverable, all in a cheerful mood. The saying ‘Horum omnium fortissimi sunt Belgae’ was once more confirmed with Honors. ... in a nutshell: We wish you all the Best Elon Musk, Happy Birthday! We wish you all the Best in all your Activities and we thank you once more for your Leadership. We are proud to be part of the rEVolution. With Love and playfulness from Belgium. A special thanks to all Tesla Enthusiasts and Owners, and namely to Philippe D., Didier N., Olivier P., Dr Kavi, Daniel De L., Laurent D., Christophe D., Ulric D., Martin J., Martin G. Cover Picture Credit under common creative (CC) Olivier Piraux. Video footage, courtesy of Olivier Piraux can be viewed here: http://tinyurl.com/2016HBDELON
Disclaimer: ‘No Tesla Owners, Enthusiast or Model S were harmed in this creative initiative.’
ON BEHALF OF TESLA OWNERS CLUB BELGIUM VZW/ASBL
Byron Soulopoulos President @soulopoulos
Gwenn Schoovaerts Managing Director @gwenn85
Martin Gillet VP Global Communication and Marketing @mgillet
Christophe Duponcheele Network Evangelist @duponcheele
Kelly Van Eekel Event Manager @KellyVanEekel
FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA twitter.com/teslaclubbe – www.facebook.com/TeslaClubBE WWW.TESLACLUB.BE – WWW.SUPERCHARGEDMAGAZINE.COM
CLUB EVENTS BY MARTIN GILLET TESLA OWNERS CLUB BELGIUM is quite proactive and organises meetups every first Tuesday of the month, to share insights, news and meet face to face with a growing community. We are very pleased to have you onboard for these events and we thank you for your positive feedback and participation. Thank you to all who make this happen. www.teslaclub.be/events This quarter has been rich in new experiences and encounters as described hereunder. Not a Member yet? Free registration to be kept up to date, we don’t sell anything: www.TeslaClub.be/membership © Kelly Van Eekel, Byron Soulopoulos, Gwenn Schoovaerts
ARLON. CAFÉ NUMÉRIQUE Café Numérique is a dynamic group of entrepreneurs and influencers gathering each month around a given topic. After a fruitful collaboration in Liège, we are pleased to join Café Numérique Arlon for a debate around Electric Vehicles and EMobility. Although based in Brussels, Tesla Owners Club Belgium is active in the whole Belgium, we are very happy to meet and greet in Wallonia. We look forward to a fruitful networking event, sharing the insights of the rEVolution and how to make a smooth transition to a more sustainable way of life. Thanks to Tesla, Test drives will also be scheduled onsite. More information http://www.cafenumerique.org/arlon/
itiation or just simply enjoy the course. We all enjoyed this fine evening and concluded with a tasty dinner. Congratulations to this year’s winners: Christof Ameye (Winner Putting Challenge) and Kurt Vandevelde (Winner Tesla Owners Club Belgium Golf Cup 2016). We are all looking forward to next edition to be scheduled in 2017. Should you have missed it and would like to organize a Golf practice in between, contact us.
This time of the year, in September, the second edition of the ‘Tesla Owners Club Belgium Golf Cup’ was held again at the Brabantse Golf in Melsbroek. This classy Golf course enabled a joyful evening, letting club Members discover the Golf through a dedicated in-
In July, Club Members and guests joined a new business recently opened. For quite a long time, we wanted to experience the thrill of the karting rides.. but it had to be of course electric to enjoy the same sensations we experience daily behind our stylish electric vehicles. Well our wish was granted as recently the eKart in Gent made their laps … We enjoyed very much every single lap during this electrifying meetup. We look forward to the next edition so that we can keep our driving learning curve up. More information www.ekart.be/
© Kelly Van Eekel, Byron Soulopoulos, Gwenn Schoovaerts
© Christophe Duponcheele, Byron Soulopoulos
‘TESLA OWNERS CLUB BELGIUM GOLF CUP’
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AIRSPACE SKY DIVE. In April, thanks to the Air Space facility and Tesla Owner P90D Steve aka ‘McFly’, club members were delighted to experience free fall simulation. This stunning facility was recently opened and many professionals are practicing daily, for the great eye pleasure as we can see their performance in the wind tunnel. Although sky diving would require a strong amount of guts and courage, the indoor sky diving is totally safe, not only thanks to the security gear worn but also thanks to the dedicated trainer and the control room. Club Members were able to enjoy this geeky performance, ditto Buzz Lightyear: ‘This isn’t flying, this is falling with style!’. In different groups, we all enjoyed free falling, from first timers to returning adventurers with more stylish figures. Thank you Air Space Team for having us and a memorable evening, no doubt we will be back. Not only to charge, by the way, Air Space also became a Tesla destination charger in-between, but also to have a family quality time. More information www.airspaceindoorskydive.be/en 11
In June, thanks to and in collaboration with our Partner, the Insurance Van Dessel, we were thrilled to have a ‘meet and greet’ with tennis Legend Sabine Applemans. Not only Sabine was very accessible to all guests to share her tennis career insights and advices, Sabine also answered questions from the public and played with Members on the Van Dessel court. We ended the evening with a food truck walking dinner. We had a very good time and were blessed as weather was on our side while the rest of Belgium was getting soaking wet.
© Martin Gillet
© Martin Gillet
TESLA MODEL X:
THE FIRST ELECTRIC SUV Four years after having opened out its Falcon rear doors for the first time, the Tesla Model X has finally arrived in Europe. Test driving of the first electric SUV (sport utility vehicle) in the market, the only 7-seater faster than a Porsche 911. TEXT & PHOTOS: NICOLAS JOANNÈS
The first public presentation of the Tesla Model X already dates back to 2012. Tesla had presented a first concept of an electric SUV that year before exhibiting it during the Detroit Motor Show, and the following year at Geneva. Following various concerns, Model X marketing suffered a significant delay but eventually made its début at the end of last year in the United States. And the first Model X will finally travel along European roads starting this summer.
EXPLOSIVE ACCELERATION Innovative in many ways, the Model X has numerous original features. Principal among them is that it is the first SUV in the market to call on a 100% electric engine. Based on the Model S platform, the Model X replicates many of its technical characteristics as well as its engines. It is available in Belgium in three all-wheel drive versions. The 75D will serve as the entry model and offer a theoretical range of 417 km. An entry-level model which all the same is priced at € 100,600 incl. VAT. The Model X will also be offered in a 90D version with a range of 489 km and increased performance. But for those who want maximum performance, the P90D and its “unbounded” mode will have to be chosen with a price tag attached of € 144,600. In a straight line, the Model X will then humiliate almost everything else on the road, from the German premium SUV to the true sports car. Absolutely amazing for a family vehicle available as a 7-seater. Despite its 2.5 ton weight, the SUV can pulverise acceleration as well going from 0 to 100 km/hr in only 3.4 seconds. Its recipe? A couple of immediately available 967 Nm torque which propels it like Disneyland’s Space Mountain.
Obviously, when cornering and braking, the Model X may not claim to do as well as a sports car given its impressive weight. Nevertheless, thanks to its extremely low centre of gravity, this large SUV offers rigorous behaviour which is close to that of the Model S as far as we could see in the very short overview provided by Tesla. The Model X makes flat cornering and offers rather good handling and traction. Comfort is fairly good but the suspension
will all the same show some firmness for passengers, in particular with the large optional 22-inch wheels. As regards the driver, the huge panoramic windshield will be greatly appreciated without any doubt, the largest offered on a mass-produced vehicle. Going back up above the headrests, it offers unparalleled visibility. The rear passengers will also enjoy this and will especially benefit from a feature which the Model X is alone in offering on the market.
5 ELECTRIC DOORS This large SUV does not offer either rear doors with side opening or sliding doors but â€œFalcon wingâ€? rear doors. Fully electric, they open according to a particular motion inspired by the wings of a bird. Thus, these gullwing doors offer complete access to the rear seats in order to sit down or to buckle in a child in an adapted seat. In addition, thanks to double articulation, they each open in a clearance space of only 30 cm. It will however be necessary to have a garage with a minimum height of 2.20 m in order to allow the doors to open. Otherwise, a series of sensors will avoid the doors knocking against walls or ceilings. However, they do not prevent the risk to children of being pinched by these electric doors. Just like the rear passengers, the driver and front-seat passenger will also benefit from electric doors. The driver only has to approach the Model X for the door to open automatically. Once inside, simple pressure on the brake pedal will close the door automatically on itself. You said assisted?
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Rather rare in a series-production vehicle, the five front seats can all be adjusted in two directions in an electrical and independent way. Seats in the second row are also mounted on axes that offer additional space under the seat. As for the third-row seats, they should be reserved for short trips or for passengers smaller than 1m 80 in height because height and knee space is rather limited. Finally, you will not be surprised to learn that the luggage compartment opens in a fully-electric manner. Thanks to a special configuration in architecture, it offers, as is also the case of the model S, an impressive load capacity. Tesla does not communicate however that the maximum volume of the 6-seat configu-
ration is: 2,180 litres. It is probably a volume obtained once the seats are folded down and pushed forward but even in a 5 or 7-seat configuration, there seems to be better boot capacity than the competition. As a bonus, an additional 187-litre load volume is offered under the bonnet.
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LOTS OF OTHER INNOVATIONS The Tesla Model X also brings with it other innovative features such as a 2.270 ton towing capacity, totally unheard of for an electric vehicle. It distinguishes itself even more with a truly functional bioweapon defence mode button according to Tesla. This protection allows the passenger compartment in particular to be protected against external pollution, allergens or other particulate contaminants through a HEPA filter. Other features have also been put forward by Tesla during this presentation, reflected in safety. Thanks to the absence of a large internal combustion engine, the Model X has a larger crumple zone at the front which would allow it to better absorb any shocks. Moreover, Tesla aims to achieve the EuroNCAP 5 stars with this model, as is the case with the Model S. Lastly, for those who would like to have a break from driving sometimes, the very efficient Autopilot system already offered on the Model S is also available here as an option.
TOP CHOCOLATIER DRIVES THE FIRST MODEL X IN BELGIUM After waiting for over two years, Herman Van Dender was the first person in Belgium to receive the keys of a Tesla Model X at the end of August, 2016. A month later, the top chocolatier and manager of the well-known Patisserie Van Dender is full of praise about the car, which fits in perfectly with his company’s business philosophy. TEXT: WIM VANDER HAEGEN - PHOTOS: TESLA
LOOKING FOR SPACE 24
Herman Van Dender first heard about the ‘Model X’ when an American friend, the owner of a Model S, told him back in April 2014, that he thought he would really like the new Tesla. “I was familiar with Tesla, of course, and had the opportunity to get to know the Model S that my friend in Seattle drives. Environmental friendliness is important to me both on a personal and professional level, so I was interested, but I was looking for a car that offered more space. We often take our dog with us on outings and I am a fervent golfer and, just like all golf players, I usually have quite a bit of equipment with me. I was driving a Mercedes GL at the time, which did provide me with enough space for everything I needed. When I heard that a much roomier Model X was going to be coming out, originally intended to come out in 2015, I got excited right away. A few days later, on 2 May 2014, to be exact, I paid a € 30,000 deposit on a Model X Signature.”
SUPER FEELING Ultimately it would take over two years, before Herman finally got the keys of his new car. But he was the first person in Belgium to get them. “Of course, I’m proud of that, but the main thing is that now that I’ve been driving the car for a month, I have a super feeling. At first you have to learn how to drive it, in the sense that it takes a bit of time and effort before you can perfectly control the amount of power. One example of that is my first big trip, when I drove towards Black Forest. On the way there I needed to charge four times; on the way back I only needed to look for a charging station twice. And the car has exactly the amount of space I was looking for. In short: the acquisition of the Model X Signature has been an overwhelming success.”
SAVE THE EARTH Herman Van Dender had been interested in electric cars before, and that had something, if not everything, to do with his environmentally-conscious lifestyle. A philosophy that carries through in his company – Herman Van Dender has a chocolate studio in Groot-Bijgaarden and is the purveyor and world champion of patisserie. ‘We buy our own cacao beans and keep the entire production process in our own hands. In my new studio, I have a sign that says ‘Save The Earth – It’s The Only Planet With Chocolate’, displayed prominently at the entrance. Only by being frugal with our energy sources we will be able to save our planet. That is why I was won over by electric cars right away and particularly Tesla Model X. It is 100% electric and environmentally responsible, has plenty of space and a very smooth ride: this car is exactly what I was looking for.”
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NEWS IN A NUTSHELL BY MARTIN GILLET BRUSSELS
Early July, the brand new Brussels SuperCharger located on premise at the VanderValk Hotel. The SuperCharger is ideally located near the ’Ring’, the Business Parcs and the Brussels Airport. It has 8 stalls available for Tesla Owners. Simply enter the parking and go around the hotel, the stalls are located at the left hand side when looking at the hotel from the street. Don’t forget your parking ticket as this is your free sesame to exit the parking.
Current Service Center in Zaventem welcomes now a brand new Service Manager: Fernand V. E., we wish him all the Best in his new role. Service Center is also migrating to a nearby bigger place later on in October. It is a logical follow up in the growing market, with always the main objective to ‘strive for excellence’ and please all Owners. We look forward to the kickoff of this new location and the Grand Opening.
© Martin Gillet © Martin Gillet
BRUSSELS Tesla official Grand Opening was held on September 1st, led by Tesla General Manager BELUX, An de Pauw who inaugurated the latest Belgian Supercharger with the cheerful presence of the Flemish VP Minister of energy, Finance and Budget: Bart Tommelein, along with some guests and owners along with quite an impressive line up of Model X. No less than four Model X were lined up. The curiosity was very high, regardless if you were already owning a Tesla or not. The Model X was demoed to all guests, including a few test drives. Coincidently, the same day the Belgian Red Devils were playing in Brussels. Law enforcement was onsite at the hotel to pick up the game referees. Law enforcement was interested in the stunning Model X and had a peep at the line up while discussing with Owners regarding the ‘daily EV experience’.
On September 9th, 2016, the long awaited but worth the wait, Tesla General Manager BELUX, An de Pauw has opened the Luxembourg Service Center in a stylish building. ‘Getting closer’ to the current customers and the growing local market of the electric vehicles. The Grand Opening was a success with the presence of deputy Prime Minister Etienne Schneider, Minister of the Economy, Internal Security and Defense; embracing the rEVolution and highlighting
© Martin Gillet
© Martin Gillet
FREMONT Unless you were away on well-deserved holidays on a desert island, most of us have noticed that Tesla has opened the first block of its Gigafactory complex in Nevada. Selected Guests and Owners were onsite to celebrate the Grand Opening and to spot the Model III. In the meantime, Tesla went also the extra mile by announcing the merging of Tesla Motors Inc with Solarcity as ‘it should have been done since the beginning as it makes sense’.
FREMONT Tesla has reported that a security flaw was discovered by car hackers. They demonstrated a potential opening for a wireless attack on cars. Although unlikely to impact lots of Tesla Owners, this potential security breach was not neglected. It was assessed and corrected. In less than 10 days (which IT professionals haved quoted as ‘extremely brave and efficient delivery’, a patch was rolled out over the air (the well adored OTA update notification experienced by the Owners. It was a bit ‘funny’ as most Users were awaiting the rollout of the Version 8, allowing new safety measures for the Auto Pilot and more, to be discovered soon. At the time of printing, the global roll out for the Version 8 was scheduled to start on Wednesday September 21st, 2016.
© Martin Gillet
how welcome EV’s are in Luxembourg. Not only this is great news for Luxembourg but this is also a positive news for Belgian Owners and prospects living in the vicinity, in the Belgian Luxembourg Province. Although no direct plans exist for now to extend the SuperCharger network in Luxembourg, Tesla General Manager BELUX, An de Pauw announced that close by SuperCharger in the making in Arlon will soon emerge. This will be very good news for all Commuters in the area or just the E411 travellers although a direct route from Brussels to Metz SuperCharger is already possible. Tesla Luxembourg,194 Route de Thionville, 2610 Luxembourg. www.tesla.com/findus/list/stores/Luxembourg
COMMUNITY You probably remember Bjørn Nyland from our Symposium ‘Tesla World’ last year, meeting him onsite or following him online. Bjørn is not only a proactive Owner and Community Leader, he is also one of the Best brand ambassadors. Thanks to the multiple referrals (1st in Europe to reach 10 referrals), Bjørn said farewell to his dearest Model S known as ‘Millenium Falcon’ by the Community. It was quite a disruption given all they had been through, including the numerous blog posts and adventures. Looking towards the future, Bjørn welcomed his brand new Model X in late July, who was named ‘Optimus Prime’. You can follow Bjørn and Optimus Prime whereabouts and adventures on social media https://m.facebook.com/BjornsTesla
Tesla has announced yet another milestone by providing a boost on the battery pack! The ongoing researches and willingness to ‘push the envelope’ reached another threshold as Tesla now offers a 100 kWh battery pack, available on both Model S and Model X! Tesla CEO, Elon Musk was thrilled to announce that ‘the fastest accelerating production car in the world is an electric car. I think this sends a great message to the public about the future of transportation’. Elon Musk himself on twitter claimed that this could ‘be it’ as his tweet says ‘…I think we’ll probably stop at 100 kWh on battery size’.
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Montblanc Heritage Chronométrie and Hugh Jackman Crafted for New Heights In homage to the European explorer and his need for utmost precision, Montblanc pays special tribute with the Montblanc Heritage Chronométrie Quantième Complet Vasco da Gama Special Edition featuring a full calendar and a blue lacquered constellation around the moon phase, which shows the exact same night sky above the Cape of Good Hope as Vasco da Gama observed it in 1497 on his ﬁrst journey to India. Visit and shop at Montblanc.com
TESLA POWERWALL THE NEXT STEP TOWARDS SMART HOMES At the end of last year, Eneco introduced the Tesla Powerwall in the Benelux. “The Tesla Powerwall is a revolutionary home battery, which is intended primarily to store self-generated energy from, for example, solar panels, for later use,” Christophe Degrez, CEO of Eneco Belgium tells us. TEXT: WIM VANDER HAEGEN - PHOTOS: TESLA / ENECO
When Tesla introduced the home battery, it immediately aroused interest at Eneco. Eneco made the informed decision to buy into the concept of a home battery. It fits in well with the global vision the sustainable energy supplier has of our energy supply in the future. Sustainable energy will be produced by the customers at home, i.e., it will be decentralised. We will need some kind of energy storage to be able to optimise this. The Tesla Powerwall is not only very functional, but the attractive design also signifies a true step forward from the kind of home batteries we have been used to so far. “With this home battery, you can make your home more self-sufficient. During the day you save energy, which you can then use in the evening. Do you have solar panels? Then there is a good chance that you consume most of your energy in the mornings and in the evenings, while you generate the most energy during the day. The Tesla Powerwall stores your solar energy so that you can use it whenever you want to. That is the way to treat energy efficiently and sustainably.”
FOUR REASONS Christophe Degrez sees four important reasons to use the Tesla Powerwall. “In the first place, it provides a certain amount of autonomy. The owner of the home battery becomes more self-sufficient and optimises the yield of the solar panel installation. In this way you can also use your energy more efficiently and more sustainably, because you will be able to store energy for later use. The second advantage is that the battery can function as an emergency measure during a power outage. If there is a sudden power outage in your street or region, you will still have electricity for your family. The third reason to buy the battery is the independence it will afford you; you will be less dependent on the power grid and its prosumer rates. The fourth reason teaches us that the Powerwall takes advantage of the evolution in the energy market, which is still in transition. Sustainability is important. More and more people want to generate their own energy and be able to store it. The battery is a logical step forward within this transition. Eneco is the partner that will enable you to make the best use of your Tesla Powerwall.”
BATTERY OF THE FUTURE Until recently, home batteries had a ‘reputation’ of being maintenance-sensitive, expensive and large. The Tesla Powerwall is putting an end to that. The battery has an energy storage capacity of 6.4 kWh and is a fully automated home battery, mounted on the wall. The Tesla Powerwall is very easy to install and does not require any maintenance. In homes with greater energy needs, multiple batteries could always be installed.
DOMESTIC PURPOSE Owners of a Tesla car may wonder, of course, if the car can also be charged with the home battery. “Initially, at least, this is not going to be possible. A lot depends on the required capacity and this can be looked at for individual models in the future. The Tesla Powerwall is calculated for the energy consumption of an average family and designed as such. The Tesla Powerwall has less capacity than the battery in your car. The absolute goal of the Tesla Powerwall is to return the required solar energy to your home.” However, your electric car has its own battery, of course. We are currently searching for solutions where you can also use your car battery to supply energy to your home. Eneco has already started a pilot project for this in The Netherlands, around smart charging, in collaboration with a number of Tesla owners.
WITH THANKS TO THE COMMUNITY How does Eneco want to bring the Tesla Powerwall to the market? “We are the dealer for the Benelux and the only energy producer and supplier that is doing this. The target groups are all families with a solar installation. The Tesla driver will, of course, be attracted to the innovation and sustainability factor, which Eneco and Tesla are both all about. However, there is much more to it than this. Anyone can buy a Tesla Powerwall through Eneco. You don’t necessarily have to be a Eneco customer. For the owners of solar panels, Eneco offers a discount rate: our Solar rate. That means night time rate, even during daytime hours. In addition to our website: eneco.be/nl/tesla-powerwall, we are aiming for word-of-mouth advertising and various PR actions to promote the battery. Over 1,000 people have already
expressed great interest. Now we have to achieve a fast roll-out, because we are seeing that the interest in home batteries is really gaining momentum. In Belgium there are as many as 230,000 private individuals that have solar panels on their roof. So there is enormous potential. We want to make all those people aware that with the Tesla Powerwall they can further optimise the use of their solar panels.”
PERFECT TARGET GROUP So isn’t Eneco shooting itself in the foot? People who produce and store their own energy will either be buying less electricity or none at all, won’t they? “We are evolving towards a model where the energy supplier will help you save energy in your home, as the director of services. You will be paying me for the savings I achieve. A smart home is a home where energy is managed smartly, in function of the users of the home and their lifestyle patterns. Eneco sees itself as the energy director that arranges the entire energy approach for the households of their customers. The new world is no ‘Home of the Future’, but today’s home. A customer may opt for solar panels, an electric car, a smart thermostat, a solar boiler and participate in the production of a windmill, through a co-op. But he expects someone to be there to put it all together. We want to take care of that entire household energy approach. The various energy innovations have now reached a point where the technology no longer requires subsidies. The entire installation pays for itself without support. Technology and innovation ensure that renewable energy is going to be within everyone’s reach.”
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TIME IS THE ESSENCE WE ARE MADE OF
ERIC HASSENBERG DRAWS PARALLELS BETWEEN TESLA AND THEVALUECHAIN NV After taking a test drive, Eric Hassenberg, Partner at TheValueChain, was, in his own words, ‘sold right away’. “My interest in electric cars dates back to when I was studying engineering at university in the nineties, but it didn’t gain momentum until Tesla became available on the Belgian market. In 2013 I bought a Tesla model S 85. Which, by the way, I have since exchanged for S 90D.” TEXT & PHOTOS: WIM VANDER HAEGEN
Before we talk about cars, Eric Hassenberg outlines what is most important at TheValueChain, the company in Kontich, where he is Partner. “We are part of Gumption, a dynamic group that supports young, independent companies on their way to sustainable growth. The Gumption group stands for ‘shared services and values’ with a view of financial and operational support in the areas of bookkeeping, administration, invoicing, etc. Thanks to Gumption, we are able to concentrate on our core competition and immerse ourselves in our vision, our go-to-market strategy and finding growth opportunities. Today, Gumption consists of seven companies, the largest of which is TheValueChain with 150 employees and is active in Belgium, Luxemburg, Switzerland and the Netherlands. We are located in Kontich, but have also opened a branch in the Walloon Region, in Louvain-La-Neuve.”
TheValueChain focusses on the implementation of integrated software (SAP) to optimise operational processes. “Our core is business consulting, in which our people take a consulting role with the customers to apply SAP, so that they can, in turn, work more efficiently at a lower cost. By creating lower costs and added value, they distinguish themselves from the competition and are able to grow faster, but in a sustainable way. Usually it concerns projects of six, nine or twelve months, but shorter or longer is possible too, of course. We also have a very international clientele that includes well-known names, such as Atlas Copco and Umicore, but there are a lot of KMOs in our portfolio. Our focus domains are wholesale distribution, manufacturing companies and real estate. We are also active in SAP software for utility companies, such as Fluxxys with a special group of people. I’m saying ‘special’, because this target groups requires specific expertise.”
ENVIRONMENTAL STANDPOINT The interest in electric cars, and more specifically Tesla is not new. “When I was in university, I was already very much interested in sustainable energy, such as solar energy and heat pumps, as well as electric mobility. The latter really only developed when I heard about Tesla, around 2010-2012 – I had been driving a BMW until then. In 2012 I had the opportunity to take one for a test drive and was so impressed that I wanted to get one right away and arranged for financial leasing. One year later I was able to order a model S 85 myself. Of course, it is a particularly stylish and excellent car, but I would like to emphasize that I opted for Tesla primarily from an environmental standpoint and not so much because of its performance. The purchase fit in well with my own philosophy about sustainable energy, which is also developing more at home. For example, we use two Tesla Powerwalls to store energy. We also use heat pumps to live in an energy-neutral way and to increase our environmental awareness without compromising comfort. In addition, the car is fiscally interesting for companies and independents. The energy cost is barely one third of that for petrol and diesel, the car requires very little maintenance and you can enjoy the low road
tax. The purchase is still expensive, that is true, but we did the calculations and when you take the whole package into consideration, you end up with a more luxurious car, that is just as expensive as other luxury cars, but a lot more environmentally friendly. And the car maintains its value. The best proof of that is that I traded in my S 85 for a model S 90 D, without any loss and I have been driving it since 30 September.”
PARALLELS Eric does not hide his admiration for Elon Musk. “I have a lot of respect for the risks he has taken and is still taking. I believe in his story and am prepared to go along with them. It creates a sort of community feeling and you can tell a positive and sustainable story. And I can draw a parallel with the IT world, where I am active in that with TheValueChain world. As a company we are also prepared to go the extra mile and co-innovation is a strong focus for us. That is why I opted for Tesla.”
”THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF CUSTOMER SATISFACTION IS A BASIC REQUIREMENT FOR US.” Villas with character and ‘Identity’ – that is why the designated contractor or renovator makes the right choice with Bouw-iD. “We take care of all of the worries of the customer,” explains managing director Guy Speltdooren. “Trying to achieve perfection is not an extra for us, but a basic requirement, and also one of our reasons for existing.” TEXT WIM VANDER HAEGEN – PHOTOS: BOUW-ID
AT A TURNING POINT In a former life, Guy Speltdooren was a worker at a construction company. “At a certain time the company I was working at became part of a larger organisation, and I went through with the transition, thinking I would just give it a chance. I came rather quickly to the conclusion that my new employer had different thought patterns than mine. Not that there was anything wrong with that, but after twenty years it did not seem ideal to me to shove my own ideas and principles about housing construction to the side. I decide to take a chance and build my own company from the ground up. I had no lack of experience and know-how, but I never had to concern myself with the management of a company and I personally considered that to be a weak point. Then I met Pascal Outters who had just left his company and was up to a new challenge. Pascal had in fact a wealth of experience in management. After our first discussion, we knew that we were able to complement one another: one person who can concern himself with everything having to do with construction, and the other whose strength lied in the areas of administration, personnel, bookkeeping, et cetera.”
CUSTOM CONSTRUCTION PROCESS Everything clicked rather quickly and both men agreed on a common vision. “In the construction world today there are basically two options: either you strive to be the cheapest, or you unconditionally pursue a very high level of satisfaction and very high standards of quality. We have consciously chosen the second option. When it comes to quality, we do not mean the usual Belgian standards – at Bouw-iD it goes much farther than that. If I were to express that in numbers, then we
attempt to attain a satisfaction level of over 95%. How do we achieve that? Every customer has different desires and differs in terms of taste, style and personality. For each customer, we develop a custom construction process. From the choice of the land to finishing the interior and garden, we guarantee perfect cooperation, follow-up and finishing touches. We take everything the customer wants and set it in concrete realisations. The only thing we don’t do is the moving. When it comes to building a villa, a construction project, expansions or converting an empty barn into a magnificent catering business, Bouw-iD has one goal in mind: both the end result as well as the construction process has to reflect exactly what the client expects from it.”
FAIR PRICES Bouw-iD goes a long way together with the customer. “As a result the confidence in us increases during and after the job. Customers come back with new projects or generate new business themselves. In today’s society, confidence and trust is rare. Nonetheless, we prove time and time again that trust can be given and received. An example? Our methodology begins with the internal price calculation in which we estimate a fair price. Because what do people hate? When they sign the contract and find out a whole lot more work needs to be done and the associated costs that go along with it. Over the course of my work career, I have learned that people really have to work hard to realise their dream project. Additional costs have to be kept to an absolute minimum. We would never consciously set a really low price then turn around and stack on a bunch of additional invoices. In fact, Bouw-iD hates these kind of practices. Maybe we lose potential clients that way
since we are in competition, but with the customers who build with us, we can look them in the eye until we reach the end. With renovations it is sometimes a little more difficult, but in those cases we also approach the proposals from the same frame of mind.”
TWO PROJECT MANAGERS Bouw-iD has set up a clear structure internally. “In addition to the project calculators, which we were just talking about, the customer is accompanied by two project managers: one person who is responsible for the construction shell and a second who is responsible for all techniques used and finishing work. The first one is an employee who is highly skilled in the areas of structural work and has ample experience, and the second with a very refined personal approach with a sharp eye for detail. For each part of the construction process, we have the right person in the right place. As a third pillar of support, Bouw-iD offers ‘service after delivery.’ In that regard we have very strong resources and make every effort to make sure customer satisfaction is on point, even after the work is done. All aspects of the work proposal are followed strictly until everything is 100% in order. And we do that in the shortest possible timespan. In that area too we are quite unique.”
JUST A BIT MORE Is is noteworthy that Bouw-iD does not spend huge sums of money on marketing. “less than 1% of our turnover, to be exact. The amount we allocate to that is spent in a well thought-out manner in the right channels such as our website, social media and print
media, emphasising our quality-oriented vision. We also invest in solving problems that we don’t have to solve. If something goes wrong – which occurs very seldom – and we are obliged to send a bill for extra work, then we try as much as possible not to do so. It is thus important to just do a bit more than is expected of us.”
NEAR ENERGY-NEUTRAL HOMES When we talk about contemporary trends, we cannot ignore the topic of low-energy construction. “EPB is of prime importance today and Bouw-iD is very strong in this area. We build almost exclusively Near Energy-Neutral (BEN) Homes. With a passive house, there are simply to many ‘musts,’ while in a near energy-neutral home that is much less the case, which also has an impact on budgetary considerations. A near energy-neutral home costs about 5% more, but with a passive house you immediately have additional costs raging from 15 to 20% more. With a passive house, the architectural possibilities are more limited, and with a near energy-neutral home they are much broader. In order to illustrate this, we have a show house in Munte. The customer can see a relatively small home on a small piece of property, but with the high degree of finishing that a large villa might have, including home automation, high-quality furnishings, beautiful lighting, et cetera. All such aspects of finesse that you would not expect are here. The fact that people tend to build smaller homes on smaller pieces of property does not mean the level of quality should decrease. At least not for those who work with Bouw-iD.”
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“WE ARE HEADING TOWARDS A TOTALLY CHANGED MOBILITY” Meanwhile, a significant number of people are convinced that electric mobility will be an inextricable part of the street scene within the foreseeable future. We can already see what that future may entail in Living Tomorrow, which develops ideas for the future, together with its partners, in vision groups. CEO Joachim De Vos was happy to share his vision with us about electric cars and mobility, among other things.
TEXT WIM VANDER HAEGEN – PHOTOS: LIVING TOMORROW
SOLAR FAST CHARGING STATION
STRONG THINK TANK
On 13 May, the first Belgian ‘Solar Fast Charging Station’ was officially put into use at Living Tomorrow in Vilvoorde. Electric cars can be charged by solar energy at this carport, while the drivers enjoy lunch or a cup of coffee (and free Wi-Fi). Solar energy has been part of Living Tomorrow for a long time, Joachim De Vos tells us. “We already installed solar panels in our first house in 1995, to provide a portion of our energy. That was done in collaboration with KU Leuven and it was a totally new thing at that time. By now solar panels have become mainstream and we have a strong sense that more and more attention will be going to alternative and particularly sustainable sources. Electric mobility is an integral part of that and we have integrated that prominently into the recent version of Living Tomorrow, in part by installing the first ‘Solar Fast Charging Station’. The charging station looks like a carport with a waterproof roof made of solar panels and provides space for two electric cars, whose batteries can both be charged at the same time, in half an hour. Depending on the capacity of the car, the panels provide approx. 25,000km of autonomy annually.”
Living Tomorrow collaborates closely with various partners to develop visions of the future. “These are often international companies and universities, but also local, specialised companies. Domestically, UGent, KU Leuven, IMEC and the Flanders digital research centre iMinds, permit us to gather information about the energy solutions of (sometimes far in) the future. But we also have regular consultations with national and international commercial enterprises, such as Eni, Willy Naessens Group and the Swedish-Swiss technology concern ABB. This is how we succeed in building a strong think tank with parties from various disciplines. The questions we ask ourselves include: ‘What do we have today?’, ‘What is coming at us?’ and ‘How can we link that to other parties’ solutions?’ We think fifteen to twenty years ahead and develop ‘test pilots’, using demos. A significant portion of these focusses on energy-saving and situates itself in the streetscape with city driving solutions, such as a bench where you can sit and charge your electric bike or smartphone or a street lamp that adapts its light intensity to the traffic.”
FEASIBILITY The common theme through the story of Living Tomorrow is sustainability. “And it’s not just about electricity, but just as much about water and other sources where we can save, in order to make our ecological footstep as small as possible. A second element that you can’t really separate from that is comfort. The solutions of the future must increase people’s comfort. There is no point in focussing on technologies that ultimately end up being unworkable. The interest in energy-efficient solutions has always been there, but until recently, it was unfeasible and not affordable to integrate that. Tesla is clearly playing a leading role in this,
but a number of initiatives by the government have also contributed to changing the mentality. Flemish Minister of Energy, Bart Tommelein, for example, is playing a considerable role in promoting the feasibility of new technologies. The cooperation with the government does not mean, incidentally, that Living Tomorrow is subsidised. Various government agencies, such as De Lijn, partner of Living Tomorrow or our TomorrowLab, which is profiled as a guide to the future. Whatever we learn from that is bundled into consultancy and advice to enable innovation together with companies.”
WHAT ABOUT PERSONAL POSSESSION? According to Joachim De Vos, we are moving towards a totally changed mobility. â€œAre we still going to be stuck in non-moving traffic in our cars on the highways? Will people continue to prefer personal possessions? Or are we going to be using an app to find the right car to take us from A to B? Personally, I believe that changes are coming that we are still grossly underestimating. Today we all have a car in the garage, which affords us mobile certainty. But what if you can change that with one click? I think personal possession will fall away and make way for communication and entertainment, because the question of what exactly we will be doing in that car by then, comes up. Will the disappearance of personal possession increase competition in public transport? That is another future development that we, at Living Tomorrow, think hard about today.â€? www.livingtomorrow.com
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DELHAIZE CONSISTENTLY EXPANDING NETWORK OF CHARGING STATIONS Supermarket parking lots are great places to install charging stations for electric cars. Delhaize was one of the first chains that offered its customers the option to (quickly) charge their electric cars, three years ago. “A network of charging stations linked to our supermarkets fits into the sustainability strategy that Delhaize has,” says Roel Dekelver, Head of External Communications at Delhaize.
TEXT & PHOTOS: WIM VANDER HAEGEN
IN FRONT OF AND BEHIND THE SCENES Supermarkets are usually easily accessible from the main roads and are generally located in strategic locations. Plus, you can shop while your car is charging. It is the ideal combination. But there is more. “Offering our customers a network of charging stations fits into Delhaize’s sustainability strategy,” Roel Dekelver states. “As a company, we are committed to innovation and want to actively participate in helping the market evolve and showing others what is possible today. We do this not only with technology that is visible to our customers, such as the charging stations, but also behind the scenes in our shops through, for example, our cold chain with CO2 refrigeration in our stores and storage places. In the logistics chain we use trailers with Cryotech technology.”
GESTURE TO THE CUSTOMERS Delhaize started with twelve charging stations and is constantly expanding this. “By the end of this year, 30 charging stations will be available. Additional roll-out of this network is linked to the structural renewal of our integrated store network. We are thinking of an increase at a rate of 15 extra charging stations per year. They are the European standard type 2.2 x 22 kW semi-fast charging station per store.” The charging stations are only ‘open’ during the store’s business hours. Why is that? Wouldn’t it be better if they were available 24/7? “Our customers can charge their cars with a RFID card during the business hours of the store. These cards are available at the customer service counter in the supermarket. Offering the option to charge their cars is a gesture to our customers, and currently, it is free. In the future, 24/7 availability could be considered, but then there were would be a fee attached to it. An additional element is that certain charging stations are not accessible outside business hours: the parking lots are locked for safety reasons.”
NO SPECIFIC PROMOTIONS Promotions, with or without a connection to the Delhaize Plus card, to stimulate the use of charging stations are not planned for the time being. “Using our charging stations to charge your car is a free service we offer our customers. Delhaize completely foots the bill for it. At this time, no further promotions are planned.”
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FOURTH ‘SUPERCHARGER’ AT VAN DER VALK HOTEL BRUSSELS AIRPORT At the beginning of July, Tesla installed a super-fast Supercharger at the Van der Valk Hotel Brussels Airport in Diegem. From now on, Tesla drivers can stop near the national airport and get a half a battery charge in just 20 minutes or an 80% in 40 minutes. In total the hotel now hosts eight Superchargers that are available 24/7 free of charge.
TEXT: WIM VANDER HAEGEN – PHOTOS: VAN DER VALK HOTEL BRUSSELS AIRPORT
OPERATING IN A SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE MANNER After Antwerp (Aartselaar), Nijvel and Ghent, Tesla now has a ‘Supercharger’ in Brussels too, which up until recently was a “blind spot” in its Belgian network. “The request came from Tesla itself, and as an environmentally conscious hotel chain, we were glad to take part,” explains Jurgen Saurens of Van der Valk. “For a long time, we were noticing more and more electric cars in our parking lot, and we firmly believe that the number will grow even larger in the
future. In the first place, we view this as an extra service for our guests, just like, among other things, free parking at the hotel, the budget-friendly underground parking garage, free wired and wireless Internet and our shuttle service. Moreover, the charging station aligns with our company philosophy, which is oriented towards innovation and places a high priority on sustainability. And we can safely say that being environmentally friendly is in the DNA of Van der Valk. We want to operate in a socially responsible manner and strive as much as possible to be CO2 neutral.”
BELIEF IN THE FUTURE For the time being, the people at Van der Valk are not able to immediately measure the impact the Superchargers will have on the business of the hotel itself. “We notice that a good number of cars come here to charge, but we get the impression that at this moment these are mainly people from outside the hotel. It goes without saying that we hope that in the future more and more Tesla drivers will make use of the hotel facilities. Of course, we are communicating this to our guests, including on social media like on Twitter and on our Facebook page.” Van der Valk Brussels Airport is the first hotel in the Brussels area that offers a Supercharger, although a number of other hotels that are part of chains offer the opportunity to charge the batteries of electric cars. “There are already quite a few now and that number is continually increasing,” concludes Jurgen Saurens. Van der Valk Hotel Brussels Airport is located at Culliganlaan 4, 1831 Machelen (Diegem)
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Ω GILSON JUWELIER BRUSSEL The Hotel Waterloolaan 38 - 1000 Brussel 02 512 86 99 www.gilsononline.be
GILSON JUWELIER BRUGGE Steenstraat 63-65 - 8000 Brugge 050 44 00 22 www.gilsononline.be
Ω GEORGE JOAILLIERS Rector de Somerplein 4 - 3000 Leuven 016 22 28 16 www.beGeorge.be
Ω CLEM VERCAMMEN Bergstraat 151 - 2220 Heist op den Berg 015 24 12 65 www.clemvercammen.be
Even more beautiful when it's dark.
Toplocatie In Brussel (Evere) de Europese hoofdstad. Centraal Wonen Alle voorzieningen op wandelafstand. Duurzame Nieuwbouw Passiefbouw met alle hedendaags comfort.
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tot dan bent u welkom in onze pop-up showroom
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RELAIS & CHÂTEAUX HOTEL HERITAGE EXPERIENCE A REAL PIECE OF ART The 3rd of June, we were expected in the heart of one of the most amazing cities in Belgium, Bruges. We were welcomed in style at the Relais & Châteaux Hotel Heritage, which is moreover elected as Belgium’s best Luxury boutique hotel. TEXT: KELLY VAN EEKEL – PHOTOS: BYRON SOULOPOULOS
When we arrived, we parked our Tesla Model S in front of the hotel. While checking in the valet service drove our car in the private parking area with Tesla Destination Charger for Tesla’s (and other electric cars). This is one of the green initiatives taken by the owners, Isabelle & Johan. Very efficient: that’s how we like it. We discovered that the hotel obtained the ‘Green Key Certificate’, as a result of their environmental responsibility. As the ladies at the reception remarked that we spoke Dutch they switched position in order to help us in our own language. While we were checking-in, our luggage was already taken to the room. We were guided to our room and got a personal explanation of all the equipment. All this in order to make sure that we would take the most out of our stay in this fabulous hotel. The first impression of the awesome reception area made us curious to check our own room. And yes, we can confirm: the room was magnificent! A personal note enhanced the welcome feeling! We liked especially the fresh fruit, the courtesy iPad and Nespresso machine! After unpacking our luggage we were welcomed in Restaurant Le Mystique, which is part of the hotel. Seated in a beautiful setting, we enjoyed a menu of top gastronomy! Again a very warm welcome at the table: a very promising start of an amazing diner... It was a journey along the best flavors in Belgium and the world! Also remarkable: a choice for an organic wine as well. Let’s take you through some of the pieces of art on the plate. The ‘amuse’
was made of salmon and cucumber. Very fresh to start with! After that we received a creative interpretation of a mini Caesar salad. Delicious! But one of the most surprising table experiences was the mini barbecue on the table to grill your own scampi! Later on we were enjoying haddock, peas broad beans and brandade. And if you think you had it all: the next dish was served: langoustine with glazed pork belly with micro carrot. After enjoying some delicious fish varieties, we were served a very tasteful meat: ‘la Rubia’ ripped for 21 days! Again: words can’t describe the deliciousness of the food. And last but not least: the dessert with a kiss from the chef (strawberry lips with cream of basil and pistachio ice cream). The coffee was the finishing touch! In order to enjoy even more the diner we had, we went for a, evening walk through the historical sites of Bruges (as they are just around the corner). The next morning, the breakfast buffet looked, smelled and tasted delicious. A special request for a coffee on the way was also no problem at all! Again: we can’t be lyric enough to describe the experience we had at the Relais & Châteaux Hotel Heritage! A real recommendation for all those who like to enjoy life at its best! Congratulations to Johan & Isabelle for this piece of art in the city of Bruges! We’ll come back with pleasure! All the best, Byron Soulopoulos & Kelly Van Eekel
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TWO TESLA CHARGING STATIONS AT THE SANDTON GRAND HOTEL REYLOF GHENT Since the spring of 2016, two individual Tesla connectors (up to 22 Kw) adorn the underground parking garage of the Sandton Grand Hotel Reylof in Ghent. “It’s not just about getting more and more Tesla drivers coming through here – adding to the number of charging stations is also a part of our company philosophy,” explains Nancy Vanden Berghe, Director of Sales & Marketing at Sandton Belgium. TEXT: KELLY VAN EEKEL – PHOTOS: BYRON SOULOPOULOS 63
The Sandton Grand Hotel Reylof was one of the first hotels in Ghent to install a charging station for electric cars. “It became a success pretty quickly,” recalls Vanden Berghe as she looks back on it. “In the meantime, we have noticed that demand for it is steadily increasing. We don’t just get more electric cars here, but especially the number of Teslas is increasing. Last year, we were approached by Tesla to see if we had any interest in a special promotion for Tesla charging stations in particular. We responded positively and in the spring, two Tesla charging stations were installed. Together with the existing charging station, they are located in a highly visible spot by the entrance to the underground parking garage.” Meanwhile, the charging stations are seeing a lot of use. “At the moment it has not yet become an issue, but we think that in time we may have to work with a reservation system.” A lot of Tesla drivers have been visiting the hotel, and not just to stay there or to grab a bite at the Lof gourmet restaurant and bar while they park and charge their car for free. “Tesla has already organised a few seminars here, and the workshop with the free test drives was an enormous success. Incidentally, the three charging stations fit perfectly with our business philosophy, which has a strong focus on sustainability. For instance, we have earned the Green key eco label for environmentally friendly tourism businesses.”
Loewe bild 7 OLED TV.
The art of perfection.
The Loewe bild 7 ushers in a new TV era. It offers true to life colour rendering and contrasts that are sharper than ever thought possible. Moreover, the screen is thinner than most smartphones thanks to OLED technology. The result is the most exceptional colour palette and the finest ranges of colour up until now. From OLED technology to perfect image composition Thanks to OLED technology, the Loewe bild 7 displays brilliant, high-contrast images (HDR) in UHD. This new visual experience and Loewe’s image optimisation make up VantaVision, based on the darkest substance on earth: VantaBlack®. That substance reflects practically no light; in fact it absorbs more than 99% of visible light.
6mm thin screen finished in rounded aluminum graphite grey.
Thanks to OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) technology, images are composed of self-illuminating pixels. Contrary to an LCD screen, this technology doesn’t require background lighting. When the screen is switched off, it’s black, without light reflections. The reaction time is less than one microsecond. From sparkling clarity to the blackest darkness. Each pixel can take on any colour, with particular precision and unequalled light intensity. The adjacent pixels are not outshone so the contrast is stronger than ever before. Thanks to OLED technology, the contrast range of the Loewe bild 7 runs up to five figures – from the darkest black to the lightest white. Impressive at first sight – design and technique Bild 7 was made from fine, high-quality materials that are suited to each other in pleasant colours and pure shapes. The minimalistic aluminium frame in graphite grey with rounded corners summons a certain detachment. Fabric conceals the technical connections on the rear of the TV.
Integrated Soundbar of 120 watts with 10 speakers.
When the Loewe bild 7 is turned on, the motorised display moves upwards revealing the slim yet enormously powerful soundbar. With an output of 120 watts, from six drivers and four passive bass diaphragms, the device produces room-filling sound with a strong bass, perfect film sounds and pure musical enjoyment. The TV has a frame-less design on all sides and looks superb, even in the middle of the room. Attach it to the wall or place it on the elegant stand in the middle of the room. The new user interface of the Loewe bild 7 is also a technical wonder. It easily guides users through the most important functions and is perfectly suited to consumer needs. Freedom in a new dimension – watching TV smartly Thanks to the Loewe bild 7, entertainment is detached from time and space. Delayed viewing, pausing programmes, automatically recording series, or rewinding a live broadcast: it’s all possible thanks to the smart DR+ recording system with an integrated 1 TB hard disk. Moreover, recordings can also be viewed on one’s smartphone. The handy streaming function makes watching TV more mobile than ever: bild 7 can stream live recordings and music to a tablet so that the consumer can watch his/her favourite programme in a different room. Consumers can choose from satellite, cable TV or an antenna: the Loewe bild 7 is suitable for all digital TV possibilities. Integrated entertainment apps like Amazon Video and Tidal enable consumers to welcome the biggest stars directly into their living rooms. Want to raise series, box-office hits and songs to a higher level? Use Bluetooth to transmit the sound to headphones. The Loewe bild 7 has no limits: from your TV to your headphones or from your smartphone to your screen. *
for free, non-coded transmitters
Please ask your Loewe dealer for more information or find out more at www.loewe.tv/be-nl.
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Menen Roeselare Sijsele Sint-Martens- Latem Beveren-Waas Boortmeerbeek Meer info op www.dekeyzer.be
CUSTOMER-ORIENTED APPROACH RESULTS IN HIGH-QUALITY CUSTOM KITCHENS Anyone who buys a kitchen or bathroom by Dekeyzer Kitchen Architecture is guaranteed to receive 100% custom work performed by skilled professionals. And it goes much further than that: the family business, which employs over 100 staff, thinks along with the customer and provides a customer-oriented process from the first contact in one of the showrooms all the way through service after the sale. STORY: WIM VANDER HAEGEN – PHOTOS: DEKEYZER
Dekeyzer Keukenarchitectuur (Dekeyzer Kitchen Architecture) is part of the De Keyzer Group, the company that was formed when Koen, Hans, Bart and Mieke De Keyzer started in their father Willy’s business around 25 years ago. Today, the company has grown into a stabile, healthy firm that has made a name for itself in designing building and selling high-quality kitchens. Bart De Keyzer opens the conversation. “We primarily specialise in natural wood kitchens and to that extent we oriented ourselves to more rustic-style settings. But also in modern settings, which often have a natural wood touch, we have built up a good reputation over the years by always combining skill and innovation. Dekeyzer Kitchen Architecture stands for pure custom work, in which we work with new designs and top technology coupled with artisanal production and thorough luxury. Our interior architects – we have a dozen working for us – strive for customer-oriented solutions that deliver clear added value and convenience. In addition, we are the right partner for when customers what more than just kitchens. For bathrooms and other interior furnishings, people can completely count on us.”
With its approach, Dekeyzer has the wind in its sails – and that shows in the numbers. “Earlier our sales were mainly through third parties, but twelve years ago, we opened our first store. Today, we have six locations that represent about 80% of our kitchen business. Working in a customer-oriented manner means doing custom work according to the wishes of the client. “We do not work with readymade models, but instead do a lot of listening to what the customer wants. In our six showrooms, we have a number of examples, but each kitchen that we turn out fits perfectly with the desired style, the available space and the budgeting that the client has laid out. These are our fixed parameters. Is our custom work expensive? It is a misconception that it is. Of course, craftsmanship has its price for us, but it is certainly not true that that De Keyzer only offers expensive solutions. We opt for high-quality materials, but offer a wide variety of kitchens that correspond to the budget that people are willing or able to spend. Regardless of the cost of the kitchen, we guarantee a very high level of finishing work. Those who choose us can be assured that they are getting a kitchen of the proper quality for a fair price.”
THE PROCESS The in-house designers focus on the customer and make good use of the enormous flexibility that a company offering custom work provides. “We always take into account the parameters that we just laid out and design a first draft that is introduced, discussed and adjusted as necessary. Once approved, we proceed with the survey and make detailed implementation plans. Our technical office works the technical details and sends it all to our production department. It takes roughly eight weeks to make a kitchen that is then installed and finished by our skilled professionals.”
SERVICE It goes without saying that a company like De Keyzer operates in the framework of a total concept and also supplies appliances. Is the customer bound to use specific brands? “No, the choice is in principle unlimited. We do have certain brands that we put forward since we have developed good working relationships with them and for which we know there is excellent service after the sale. But the customer always has the final word and chooses which brands he or she wants.”
De Keyzer also provides high-quality service after the sale. “That makes up an integral component of our package. Since we choose to provide a perfect solution we only seldom have to come back, but if any problems should ever arise, we will gladly solve them.”
DE KEYZER KITCHEN ARCHITECTURE SHOWROOMS • • • • • •
Menen: Industrielaan 55 Roeselare: Diksmuidsesteenweg 370c Sijsele: Dorpsstraat 175-A Sint-Martens-Latem: Kortrijksesteenweg 1 Beveren-Waas: Gentseweg 398-A Boortmeerbeek: Leuvensesteenweg 74
More info: www.dekeyzer.be
A FRACTION OF A SECOND CAN MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE.
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MEGUIAR’S SUPPORTS THE PASSIONATE CAR LOVER What started as a simple laboratory and a small factory for polishing products in the furniture sector in 1901 has by now grown into a world-wide respected player in the sector for maintenance products for airplanes, boats and cars. We are talking about ‘Meguiar’s’, which is represented in Belgium by Polish & Cleaning Products. TEXT: WIM VANDER HAEGEN – PHOTOS: POLISH & CLEANING PRODUCTS /MEGUIAR’S BELGIUM
EXCLUSIVE IMPORTER “We want to reach, support, teach and inform passionate people with our products,” is how Sven Verschaeren, manager of Polish & Cleaning Products, outlines Meguiar’s’ world renowned market approach. Sven is the son of Ernest Verschaeren, who founded Auto Paint Center Verschaeren in 1988. “When we started the company, the objective was to supply quality products to body shops in and around Mechelen. At that time, the focus was on repair products, from spraying booths over varnishes and sand
paper, to fillers and, of course, polishing products. Because right from the start we put the emphasis on high quality products, we opted for Meguiar’s. At that time, it was exclusively about professional products, but when the European importer at that time was taken over by Meguiar’s itself at the end of 2002, the consumer line and the marine line were added. Since then, Polish & Cleaning Products has been the exclusive importer of Meguiar’s and we go by the name Meguiar’s Belgium.”
THE MEGUIAR’S ‘FIVE-STEP PLAN’ 1. WASHING: remove loose surface dirt with shampoos, conditioners and washing accessories. 2. LACQUER PREPARATION: small defects are removed and the lacquer is prepared for further treatment. The basis for a perfect, deep shine. 3. POLISHING (IS NOT THE SAME AS WAXING): the key to a deep colourfast “wet look” gloss. Meguiar’s polishes are pure polishes and contain no abrasives.
FOR EVERY CAR LOVER Meguiar’s Belgium is a separate department within the group, but that obviously has no effect on the well-known formulas and the market approach. “To say it in the words of founder Frank Meguiar: ‘we only put a product on the market if we are 100% convinced that it is the best that can be offered.’ We do want to emphasize that despite the high quality, the products are sold at affordable prices. Everyone has to be able to buy them.” The Meguiar’s products are not sold directly to the private individual, but distributed through specialty auto shops, garages, polishing shops and hypermarkets. Further promotion is also done, particularly through a series of events where there are Polish & Cleaning Products. “I estimate that we participate in 25 to 30 events a year, such as the Motor Show and a series of events in the tuning, hot road-and classic car world and luxury events. In short: wherever there is a passionate auto lover, Maguiar’s should not be missing.”
4. PROTECTING: application of a durable coat of wax/sealant ensures long-term protection from contaminants, acid rain, etc., and prevents premature wear. 5. MAINTENANCE: removal of daily accumulation of surface cleaners, particularly if they have time to adhere to the lacquer. Regular maintenance is the most important step in keeping the car perfectly shiny.
INFORMATION AND ADVICE
FROM FOUR LEGS TO FOUR WHEELS Meguiar’s’ history goes back much further in time. The company was founded by Frank Meguiar in 1901. The company has stayed ‘in the family’ all this time and today is managed by Frank’s grandson, Barry Meguiar. “The transition from the furniture industry to the car industry happened under the influence of the famous Henry Ford, who was looking for a quality product that could give the famous black colour of the Ford cars a beautiful deep-glossy colour. Frank came up with the right solution and got the ball rolling. Frank’s three sons took over the company and they each picked a specialised task: ‘sales’, ‘production’ and the ‘composition of formulas’. Since 2008, Meguiar’s Inc. has been part of 3M and can call itself the world leader in surface cleaning and care with an extensive array of products, tools and accessories for washing, cleaning, polishing, protection and maintenance of cars.”
Meguiar’s Belgium doesn’t just sell products, but also always provides the needed support. “At events, we explain our products, accessories and techniques and we like to present the five-step plan. We provide training and workshops about how to best maintain the car. One example of this is the ‘Meguiar’s Detail Days’ for private individuals. How to wash a car, how to remove scratches, how to get your car shinier, how to protect your car, how to keep the interior in tip-top shape... we cover all of that. For the professional market we organise a similar event, which is called ‘Meguiar’s’ Car Care Clinics’. In addition, there is the annual catalogue with an overview of the products, accompanied by prices and the relevant information. We have a free phone number for advice (0800 25326), we have a social media presence and, of course, there is our website too (meguiars.be). In short: we use any possible means to inform car lovers about Meguiar’s.”
Lift it off.
CERTIFIED SERVICE APARTMENTS WITH SEA VIEWS.
An exclusive location, an exceptional investment! If you want to invest in real estate you need to take into account the ‘Holy Trinity’: location, location, location. And Duinenzee’s can hardly be better. The stylish service apartments have an idyllic location on the beach of De Panne. From mid 2018, active and less active 60+ year olds will be enjoying their panoramic view on the sea and the dunes every day.
UNIQUE LOCATION ON THE BEACH As a seaside resort, De Panne has a lot to offer. Apart from the sea as the number one attraction, De Panne also has the most nature reserves of the Flemish coast. Duinenzee is situated on the beach in De Panne and its exceptional service apartments look out over both. “Duinenzee is built perpendicular to the sea providing a sea view for all the residents. Next to the building there is the private domain ’t Vissersdorp and to the back of the building you will find the nature reserve ‘De Westhoek’, which encompasses 340 ha of pure nature. The panorama is phenomenal.”; says Bram Machtelinckx of Skyline Europe.
It is the first time that a project developer has realised a residential care housing project for service dwellings in such a unique location. Skyline Europe wants to continue this trend for future residential projects in order to have seniors experience their old age in a fantastic way.
OASIS OF TRANQUILLITY AT THE BELGIAN COAST All the Duinenzee service apartments are equipped with the latest technological facilities with just one aim in mind: increase the comfort and safety of all the residents. The large windows ensure the light floods in and draw the attention to the breath-taking and unique environment.
At Duinenzee it is all about nature, tranquillity and relaxation. Bram Machtelinckx
night. The residents also enjoy a range of additional services: cleaning assistance, handy man, ironing, grocery shopping, … Those who want can go to the restaurant with sea views to enjoy a nice dinner or to the bar to meet friends. There are also many wellness facilities for those who fancy it: hairdresser, manicures, sauna, fitness, …
living infrastructure is quite large and will only increase in years to come. Wouter Iliano: “Duinenzee only offers certified serviced dwellings and that offers a fiscal advantage. There is the reduced VAT rate of 12% instead of the normal 21%. Furthermore you are also exempt from paying the annual property tax.” In times where savings accounts do not yield much and stock market investments do not guarantee a positive return, investing in real estate has never been a smarter choice. The service apartments at Duinenzee will yield a safe return, immediately as well as in the future, on top of the added value of being situated in a top location. Wouter Iliano: “We notice that many investors are making the most of the double ageing of the population at the coast. They buy now so they can go and live in it later on, and in the meantime they pocket a nice rental income.”
OUR EXPERIENCE, YOUR ADVANTAGE
Bram Machtelinckx: “The large terraces increase the living area of the residents and reinforce the effect of the healthy sea air and the peaceful natural surroundings. At Duinenzee it is all about nature, tranquillity and relaxation.” The exploitation of Duinenzee is in the experienced hands of Vulpia. Their residential assistant is always at your disposal, even at
SERVICE APARTMENTS AS INVESTMENT By 2020, one in four Belgians will be older than 65. At the coast, that figure will be considerably higher. Not only will the ‘born and bred’ inhabitants of the coastal towns be living here, but many elderly from other regions are rediscovering the Belgian coast. As a consequence, the demand for adapted
With 40 years of experience, Skyline Europe is one of the market leaders for investment real estate in Belgium. This Belgian family business always works in prime locations, with famous architects, top materials and the best contractors. Bram Machtelinckx: “We design and draw together with the client until the moment their apartment feels like a real home.” This has remained unchanged in the 40 years Skyline has been in business. Always from a personal point of view. Always starting with your wishes. •
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THE FUTURE IS IN INVESTING IN URBAN REAL ESTATE Interest in urban living is constantly increasing and there is increasingly less available housing. An excellent starting position for Urbicoon, which specialises in selling real estate in city centres. “Our qualitatively highend apartments are an excellent way to invest,” Herman Vluymans, Managing Partner van Urbicoon tells us. TEXT: WIM VANDER HAEGEN - PHOTOS: URBICOON
THE RIGHT CHOICE
OWN RENTAL SERVICES
“People today focus on different things in life. Of course, housing is always important, but we also spend more time on travelling and leisure. The average family is smaller, which also increases the demand for smaller housing units. The city offers a solution for this. We have noticed that migration to an urban environment is increasing by leaps and bounds. A home in the city is expected to be (more) expensive though. “This is true in terms of the initial purchase price, but living in city centres also has enormous financial advantages. You can get always everywhere, including to work, with public transport, on foot, or by bicycle and save the money you would otherwise spend on a second car; you could even opt to not have a car at all. That applies to people who buy a condo from us to live in themselves, but for investors in real estate there are also many advantages. We always opt for real estate with an excellent location, which ensures a good return on the investment through rent. Currently, 1.15 million people live in Brussels and we expect that in the coming fifteen years that will increase by at least 200,000. Those people will all require housing, so investing in real estate in the city is undoubtedly the right choice. Antwerp is also experiencing that growth.”
In addition to project development and sales, Urbicoon also provides its own rental services. “That is focussed particularly on the world of expats. Brussels has been the capital of Europe for over a quarter of a century. So a lot of expats live here; just in Brussels alone there are 100,000 to 120,000 people that opt to rent a flat. They don’t live here long enough to buy a home and too long to stay in a hotel. Urbicoon builds adapted apartments with a very high finishing degree; exactly what expats are looking for. Our service is also on the same high level, because we want to offer our clients a worry-free investment, and we also want to optimise the tenant’s stay. Of course, not all apartments are purchased as rentals. Many clients themselves are the ‘end users” and appreciate being able to use the various à la carte services, such as, for example, cleaning the apartment, changing bed linens, etc., but there are even more advantages. Safety is also important to Urbicoon. We provide burglar-resistant front doors, install security cameras and work with a double key system: a badge, which registers all incoming and outgoing movement and a key to the individual unit.” Finally, we have integrated “smart mailboxes”, which can receive parcels that the residents order online.
ABOUT URBICOON Urbicoon is part of the family Group Machiels, which was started as a traditional building company in 1941. Meanwhile, the versatile company developed a wide range of sustainable actions, under the leadership of Louis Machiels, the current president of the Board of Directors and currently also the Managing Partner of Urbicoon. The group, active both domestically and abroad, primarily focusses on environmental and energy activities (solar arrays, windmill projects, valorisation of waste streams, etc.), industrial and residential real estate (Urbicoon) and timber frame construction (Machiels Building Solutions (MBS)). Not only Louis Machiels can rely on an impressive amount of experience related to real estate: Herman Vluymans and Wim Smeets, the third Managing Partner of Urbicoon, also have a proven track record of more than 20 years in the real estate sector.
THE HIGHEST STANDARDS AND MORE The finishing style of the apartments is characterised by a particular choice of materials, but Urbicoon also strives for the highest standards structurally. “Our residential units meet the most current requirements both acoustically and thermally and we even make a special effort to exceed the standards. Ventilation and insulation are optimum, but above and beyond that, we also opt for the better solutions, such as wood floors, handle-free kitchens and Miele kitchen appliances. Our tenants are high-end; we want our apartments to reach the same level.”
EXTENSIVE NETWORK Urbicoon also has its own rental service and has fifteen years of experience in rentals by now. The service is always staffed with employees who have all been active in the expat world themselves for ten years. Often, expats are people that work for government agencies, such as the EEG and the NAVO, but our network also expands out into the world of lobbyists and the many international companies that have their European headquarters in Brussels or Antwerp. We have a very good screening method for potential tenants, but we know from experience that there are seldom or never any problems with payment. Expats are generally well-off and reliable tenants. Furthermore, their rent is often paid by the company or agency they work for. That results in a high degree of certainty of payment.”
CO-HOUSING Urbicoon keeps the finger on the current pulse, but also looks towards the future. “The increasing rental prices in our city centres open the way for co-housing, a trend that has been popular in cities like New York, Londen and Paris for years already. Our apartments are therefore equipped with a separate bathroom for each bedroom. Apartments can be built anywhere in the city, but Urbicoon is very discriminating. “Because we do rentals ourselves, we think differently. We only build on triple-A locations in function of the added value and the possible rental. The lots are more expensive, that is true, but the good location guarantees quick rental and good rental fees.”
ENTRY-LEVEL PRICES That leaves the crucial question: what is all this going to cost? “The entry level price for a studio apartment is between € 180,000 and € 200,000. For a one-bedroom apartment it is between € 235.000 and € 280,000. Apartments with more bedrooms start at € 285,000. Of course, a lot depends on the location; that is really very important. Rental fees are between € 800 and € 2,500, depending on the type and also, again, the location. We rent out both furnished and unfurnished places. The rental period is generally between one and nine years.”
THE WAVE REIMAGINED. UNDENIABLY EBEL.
Ooststraat 64-66, 8800 ROESELARE Botermarkt 051 20 20 27 • www.goethalsjuweliers.be
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Parvis Saint PIerre 14, 1180 UCCLE 3 1 02 1 2343 4 852 34 • www.beGeorge.be
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