THE INDEPENDENT MAGAZINE FOR TESLA OWNERS AND ENTHUSIASTS FEBRUARY 2018 / NÂ°7
Ladies in Red
Photo Credit Steven Peeters
SeaBubbles a solution for the smart cities of tomorrow
Saul Lopez championing Tesla in Spain and speaker at TeslaCon
RE: Erik De Ridder
UW VERNIEUWDE DROOMTHUIS, VAN TOEN NAAR MORGEN, VAN A TOT Z.
Rehomers is een unieke verbouwspecialist dat oudere appartementen en huizen nieuw leven inblaast tot een sprankelende thuis. We staan in voor de totale renovatie, van ontwerp tot eindresultaat, en zonder zorgen. Via onze eigen projecten of voor uw pand dat we met plezier een facelift geven. Kwaliteit staat centraal en details zijn belangrijk. Rehomers verzorgt het volledige plaatje, tot de borden in de kast toe. Ontdek onze projecten op: www.rehomers.be
RooftopMay I BIV 503762 T. +32 (0)475 85 91 28 I email@example.com
REHOMERS LAUNCHES A UNIQUE, TIMELESS AND AFFORDABLE READY-MADE REAL ESTATE CONCEPT As the name ‘Rehomers’ suggests, the project developed by that name, focuses on the renovation of apartments. But there is more: Rehomers consciously opts for a thorough upgrading of buildings, which are all situated at top locations. In addition, the company offers an exclusive service. For their own projects, the renovated apartments are furnished from A to Z, right down to the dinner plates in the kitchen cupboard. At Rehomers, ‘ready to move in’ can be taken literally. UNIQUE CONCEPT Rehomers Signature, which is their full name, consists of an experience team of construction professionals who have more than proven themselves in terms of project coordination, infrastructure and interior design, as well as real estate in general. The synergy between the project approach and design, coupled with years of experience with the various parties, ensures that Rehomers Signature really knows the ropes in all aspects. But what is it that makes the concept so unique? “First of all, because we choose top locations, such as the Belgian coast,” says Bart Nollet, interior architect at Rehomers. “We all know that the coast is virtually completely urbanised and that good new locations are increasingly rare. In addition, this urbanisation generally consists of flats with a limited surface. We deliberately focus on spacious, older apartments from the 1960s, 70s and 80s, which we infuse with new life. We do this by completely stripping the building and then equipping it with sustainable, contemporary materials. The renovation is done not only with an eye to detail and timeless design, but we also use the most up-to-date technologies.
FROM A TO Z Most renovations are the work of a contractor and have a somewhat rigid look. This is not the case with renovations done by Rehomers. Pieter-Jan Vanschamelhout, project leader at Rehomer: “We guarantee a genuine total renovation with fair and high-quality materials at affordable prices. Everything is done with sustainability in mind and also timelessness, thanks to a thoughtful design with a lot of attention to a peaceful atmosphere and homey feel. A sense of spaciousness, light and ambiance are key concepts. Comfort is a word that takes on its full meaning with us; we take it as far as we possibly can. We are committed to design and realization and we interpret the needs to the buyer with great care. The entire trajectory is followed down the smallest detail. Fully furnished? Pots and pans in the cupboards? The bed made? Cutlery in the drawer? Everything is there; we take care of everything from A to Z for every project. All the buyer has to do is
sign on the dotted line at the notary public, pack his or her clothes and move into the flat. Painting, wallpapering, towels next to the sink, literally everything is done for the client. You can compare it to a luxury hotel room with the difference that this room actually belongs to you. We really like to create a wow-feeling and obvious added value.” Another important thing to mention is that it is a ‘resale’, which means that there are also advantages in terms of taxes.
SHORT-TERM RENOVATIONS Rehomers’ current top locations are all on the Belgian coast at this time, in municipalities like Koksijde, Oostduinkerke or Nieuwpoort. But further great opportunities outside of that region will undoubtedly come up in the future. In addition, Rehomers also makes the concept available to third parties. “People who have inherited an old apartment, for example and are interested in making changes to it, can also come to us. We have the know-how due to our own experience and we guarantee high-speed execution. The client will have just one contact person and won’t have to worry about anything else. The need for guidance with a thorough renovation is high and Rehomers is the perfect company to entrust that to. Before we start, we completely figure out what the requirements are. Are the premises intended for living in permanently, or as a vacation spot? Is it for a family with children, is it for a single person or will a couple be living there? We take all these things into consideration. The advantage is not only the total picture, but there are also financial benefits; the clients get to take advantage of the agreements we have made with our suppliers,” Pieter-Jan points out. A recent renovation shows how fast it can all be done. “We finished an entire project in five weeks. From stripping to decorating, everything was done within an exceptionally short timeframe. So, this is really about quick renovations. And that is great for the other residents
MA MER RESIDENCE, A UNIQUE STORY IN OOSTDUINKERKE An excellent example of the unique total concept of Rehomers Signature can be found at a top location in Oostduinkerke. A building from the 1980s is not only getting a complete overhaul, an expansion is also part of the prestigious project that has been named Ma Mer.
MY PLACE ON THE SEA The solid foundational structure of the four-storey low-rise building allowed for two levels to be added to the Ma Mer Residence. The project, whose name means ‘My place on the sea’, consists of sixteen very spacious apartments. There is one penthouse with a surface 200 m², with a large patio of the same size above it. The next block will be completely stripped and renovated, which will give the entire building a strong added value. The whole space will be integrated from top to bottom in a new coat. In accordance with the concept of Rehomers Signature, this will be done with an impeccable sense of design and choice of materials. The renovation, which will be carried out both internally and externally, exudes style and spaciousness and makes Ma Mer look like a clean, new construction with a unique, contemporary façade.
QUALITY OF LIVING The sense of comfort the future residents, who will find a real ‘home on the sea’ there will feel, is very much taken into consideration. At the request of the buyers, the apartments can have one, two or three bedrooms and can also be made available fully furnished. Rehomers Signature is also very proud to be able to respond to the clients’ wishes with flexibility, while providing a tasteful, spatial experience. Quality of living has high priority for the company and is expressed in the many details with which a project like Residentie Ma Mer clearly distinguishes itself from other real estate projects.
UNIQUE STORY Not only do the apartments exude class, the location is absolutely tops. Ma Mer is located in the heart of Oostduinkerke, which is currently undergoing a complete facelift, and this will undoubtedly have a positive effect on the value of the investment. The complex is situated in the city centre, but is also close to the sea. Oostduinkerke is a relatively small community; everything is within walking distance. One important feature is that the flats’ patios are all on the sunny side. That is also an extra benefit of Ma Mer, a unique project, that is creating just as unique a story in Oostduinkerke by Rehomers Signature. www.mamer.be
PERFECT MATCH WITH ROOFTOPMAY Rehomers Signature is profiled as a renovation company that makes the difference with design and choice of materials. The client doesn’t buy bricks but a sense of home. The commercialization of the projects, which includes Residentie Ma Mer, is not part of Rehomers’ core functions. “Within the classic Immo story, we fell short,” Pieter-Jan Vanschamelhout tells us. “We do that on purpose. We don’t just sell surface; we guarantee a total experience. In RooftopMay, which strives for exactly the same vision as a real estate marketing and selling agency, we have found a partner who endorses an integrated story, just like we do. For RooftopMay, the resident is also the focus and everything is done to guide the client in a perfect and very pleasant way. That, combined with the continuous attention to marketing and sales, offers us a great deal of added value. They emphasize the unique advantages of the premises, listen to the wishes of the candidate-buyers and contribute ideas to the client as well as to us.”
“We are absolutely convinced that real estate marketing is not about selling bricks,” Kris Sierens, managing director of RooftopMay confirms. “It is about fulfilling a dream. It is about a fantastic place where people can be happy, living or working. That is why, just like Rehomers Signature, we create the best-possible client experience.”
De nieuwe generatie robotmaaiers maait volautomatisch, zowel alleen als in team! Wanneer u altijd en zonder moeite van een perfect onderhouden gazon wil genieten, en uw kostbare vrije tijd liever aan iets anders besteedt dan aan gras maaien, dan is de VIKING iMow robotmaaier uw ideale partner. Hij is bijzonder Tijd is kostbaar. Metenname de tijd De om„C“ leuke dingenkunnen te doen of om via uit de te iMow rusten. hoeft zich nergens druk om stil, wendbaar betrouwbaar. modellen eenvoudig appUworden geprogrammeerd te maken, want uwHandig, gazontoch? wordt nu elk verzorgd door iemand iMow robotmaaier vanvan VIKING. De uiterst en bewaakt. Voor gazonoppervlak hebbenanders: we eende gepast model. Zelfs gazons meer dan 4.000tem²programmeren kunnen eenvoudig gemaaid worden nieuweautomatisch, iMow TeaM. Hierbij kunnen tweenaar tot en tien eenvoudig iMow maait het dankzij gazonhet volledig stil en geheel uwmet wensen. Na MI 632 M robotmaaiers volautomatisch samenwerken – een wereldprimeur! Via de intuïtieve gebruikersinterface op het maaien of als de accu bijna leeg is, keert hij zelfstandig terug naar het dockingstation. Zo heeft u altijd een uw smartphone of tablet communiceert u met uw eigen TeaM.
perfect onderhouden gazon. Bovendien werkt hij op een verzekerd storingsvrij signaal. De MI 4-reeks is prima geschikt voor kleine middelgrote tuinen, terwijl van dehuis MI met 6-reeks moeiteloos Wat u zelf nog en moet doen? Bezoek een dealer in de uw machines buurt, en ga naar uw eigen iMow. grote gazons van 4.000 m² de baas kunnen. Wat u zelf nog moet doen? Bezoek een vakhandelaar in uw buurt, en ga naar huis met uw eigen iMow. U vindt meer info op viking-tuinmachines.be VIKING is een onderneming van de STIHL groep.
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Edito SuperCharged header 7 by Martin Gillet
DEAR DEAR DEAR DEAR DEAR
READERS, TESLA OWNERS AND CLUB MEMBERS, RESERVATION HOLDERS, SHAREHOLDERS, EV ENTHUSIASTS,
Welcome to your seventh edition of SuperCharged, your independent Magazine for Tesla Owners, Club Members, Shareholders and EV enthusiasts.
SuperCharged is available online, with past and current editions: www.superchargedmagazine.com/
Best Wishes for 2018!
On behalf of the Board, I would like to wish you an amazing New Year to you and your Family. We are hoping for many positive outcomes this year, perhaps more Superchargers openings in Belgium, first encounter in Europe with Model 3 .. but for sure, Club will have quality time moments organised for you, to share insights, tips and tricks along with networking. But most important, to have fun and enjoy the rEVolution we have all embraced.
Supercharged is only ‘as good as the energy’ we are putting in along with qualitative content. We welcome as always your topic proposals and your invitation for collaborating with the editorial team. We look forward to hearing from you, contact us through our Club website. Thank you for your ongoing support and trust.
VOLUME 7, FEBRUARY 2018, ISSUE 7 | 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: AMG Group p/a Event Expo België – Cieskensstraat 2 – 9772 WANNEGEM LEDE | DESIGN: LEO bvba – rue des Ixellois 1 – 4000 LIEGE | PRINTING: Drukkerij Hendrix, Peer (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)
Edito SuperCharged 7 by Martin Gillet
For this seventh edition, we have once more aimed for insightful topics. We started off with the insights of Steven Peeters, ‘special reporter’ headed to Uncle Sam to witness live the unveiling of the semi truck along with bonuses such as -excuse us- demo of new Roadster and a courtesy visit at Space X HQ. Club is about People, we have sat down with two lady owners: Sol Jensen and Mara Callaert; we debriefed their Tesla Experience. We also came back to the Belgian pitstop from the COP23 Tesla convoy that left Marokko from the COP22. Many Belgian Owners and members took an active participation. We are also seeing the rEVolution taking place across the mobility means. We would like to introduce you to Seabubble, a clean EV boat to extend the emobility on water. It would be amazing to use Seabubble in our cities surrounded by rivers. We also talked to Saul Lopez.
We look forward to your impressions, stories, article ideas 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: Best pictures are featured in our Instagram feed.
On behalf of Tesla Owners Club of Belgium vzw/asbl, Martin Gillet Vice President Global Communications and Marketing Tesla Owners Club Belgium asbl/vzw. Thank you to all parties involved in the making of this edition and to our proof readers, namely Steven Peeters, Simon Smidt and Saul Lopez.
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
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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.
Text credit: Martin Gillet
CLUB EVENTS Club is always looking for great venues and ideas to organise cheerful events and memories. Feel free to submit ideas and locations, Community at work, the more ideas, the more creative, the merrier. All our events are listed under eventbrite, join us and plan ahead as places might be limited: http://TeslaClub.eventbrite.com
© CHRISTOPHE DUPONCHEELE
2018 BRUSSELS AUTO SHOW Brussels Auto Show kicked off with the Press day on wednesday January 10th 2018 with the usual Press Day. At night, the Grand Opening Gala Took place with the stylish smoking and bowtie dress code. Tesla stand had a great turnout. Auto Show also features a eMobility zone clearly showing EV’s are in the pipeline. Many ‘competitors’ have revealed or shown their EV ‘strategy’ with mostly prototypes and very rarely model ready for production. Board and Club members enjoyed the fine envoying on site before Auto Show opened to the Grand Public on January 12th 2018. You can find more pictures and impressions by following hashtag #BrusselsMotorShow - More insights in next edition.
Text credit: Martin Gillet
DECEMBER 2017 IMPROMPTU DINNER AT MARTIN’S HOTEL DESTINATION CHARGER Owning a Tesla and embracing the rEVolution has a perk, great new friends and network. We were discussing online and a handful of Owners decided to Celebrate Holidays Season in a cheerful way. Over 25 Members took Leadership to meetup at the Martin’s Hotel Destination charger for a delightful dinner. For a couple of hours, we shared our insights and how we see the rEVolution, among other topics like sharing tips and tricks. It was also a pleasure to listen to Pierre van Tiggelen who achieved a major threshold over 250 000 kilometers with his Model S.
More pictures: https://tinyurl.com/201712Dinner
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 COLMAN ANTWERPEN Eiermarkt 7 2000 Antwerpen 03 231 11 11 www.colman.be
COLMAN KNOKKE Elizabetlaan 17 8300 Knokke 050 96 96 44 www.colman.be
VANHOUTTEGHEM GHENT Dampoortstraat 1- 3 9000 Gent 09 225 50 45 www.vanhoutteghem.com
Text credit: Martin Gillet
© K. VAN EEKEL
© B. SOULOPOULOS
NOVEMBER - CLUB DINNER Always enjoying these pauses in our busy lives, we had the opportunity to meet for another fine evening. We met at the Bistro Vintage in Kontich where we were welcomed by the team of Best Sommelier 2012, Steven Wullaert in a very stylish place. We enjoyed the delicious food and the wide wines selection (don’t drink and drive!) that matched perfectly the different courses. Menu was amazing, including choices such as Redfish, cucumber, dill and cauliflower; Pulpo a la gallega, harissa and potato; Marinated farm chicken, kale, potato; Cheesecake & plums, ice cream from yoghurt.
OCTOBER 2017 - COP CONVOY - BELGIAN PITSTOP They left Marrakech (COP22) for Bonn (COP23) with lots of hopes and ambition. All powered by dreams and Leadership, driving an EV Convoy! Many Belgian Owners joined them. Club was pleased to support and join this Amazing Crew during their Brussels Pitstop. Many EV’s joined us to welcome these pioneers. We even had a ‘record’ for these pitstops with Brussels counting 24 Tesla on site! Detailed insights and feedback is reported in this edition. Social media hashtags #LightUs #COP23 More Pictures: https://tinyurl.com/COP23Belgium
Text credit @mgillet
NEWS IN A NUTSHELL BELGIUM - SUPERCHARGERS Superchargers network is extending around the globe. Regarding Belgium, Ghent Supercharger has been permanently closed due to Hotel Extensions plans. Alternative local charging stations network can be used. We also saw a new opening: Antwerp which is located 6 Luithagen Haven 2030 Antwerp. Very handy when headed to the Netherlands and bypass Aartselaar Supercharger. We always look forward to the new Superchargers (although primarily meant for long distances and not daily charging) in Belgium and more precisely in Wallonia as high demand from Owners exists for the E411 Freeway to Luxembourg for example.. https://www.tesla.com/fr_BE/findus/list/superchargers/Belgium?redirect=no
© DENNIS PASCAL
MODEL 3 DELIVERIES IN THE US Time does fly and the wait is now over for many Owners in the US who are receiving their Model 3. Watch out on social media for footage and first impressions. Congratulations to all new Owners. More information to come in next edition. In the meantime you can read the detailed insights from Electrek ‘Tesla Model 3 Early Impressions- it’s a good as we hoped it would be’. https://tinyurl.com/M3impressions
Text credit @mgillet
SIRI INTEGRATION In November, Tesla added the native Siri integration to their iOS App, in order to enable remote control. Read detailed information illustrated by Electreck https://electrek.co/2017/11/06/tesla-native-siri-integration-ios-app/
PRE HEATING COLD BATTERY Tesla is constantly updating their software. With the recently released 2017.50 vehicle software update and mobile app update, Tesla Owners can now enable a “battery preheating” feature. It does requires the car to be plugged in. Read detailed information illustrated by Electrek https:// electrek.co/2017/12/19/tesla-battery-pre-heating-feature-maximize-efficiency-cold-climates/
© PATRICK MOLDEREZ
© PETER VERCAEMST
LIDL CHARGING NETWORK It is with great pleasure that we were notified that Lidl has added more charging stations to their stores. Stations were added in Auvelais and Brecht. This is a nice move to boost the rEVolution and extend local networks. If you remember we introduced earlier the same initiative by Delhaize in an article. Similar initiative have taken place by Decathlon and other retailers. If not yet available at your local store, make yourself known to local management, make a request by mail and copy the club (email@example.com) so that we can leverage the request.
Diksmuidsesteenweg 394 8800 ROESELARE T 051 22 20 15 www.vanraes.be
Kumetco Tuinmachines NV Brusselsesteenweg 127 9090 MELLE 09 231 92 00 www.kumetco.be
Van de Poel Tuinmachines Oostmalsesteenweg 69 2520 EMBLEM 03 480 14 24 www.vandepoelbvba.be
Source and credit Martin Gillet
AGENDA: RUNNING UNTIL APRIL 15TH, 2018: ‘GOLDEN AGE OF THE ELECTRIC CAR’ This adventure and ‘Belle époque’ of the electric car, you can witness it by visiting the exhibition featuring Camille Jenatzy and the ‘Jamais Contente’ car. Runs until April 18th, 2018. Location: Maison Autrique (Art Nouveau House designed by Victor Horta) Chaussée de Haecht 266 - 1030 Schaerbeek (Brussels). Open Wednesday-Sunday noon-6pm. More infos https://tinyurl.com/EXPOEVBXL
Join the daily only conversations and news on twitter with the Community and over 7500 peers, join us https://twitter.com/teslaclubbe Hashtag #TeslaClubBE
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Semi truck unveiling EVent
THE BIG EVENT IN CALIFORNIA THE UNVEILING OF THE TESLA SEMI AND ROADSTER The latest big event for Tesla was the unveiling of not one, but two new vehicles during a much anticipated event on November 16, held at the SpaceX headquarters in California. Snippets of details about the new Semi truck had been released over previous months, but Elon Musk sent Tesla fans into a frenzy with the surprise launch of the brand new Tesla Roadster on the same day. Steven Peeters, member of Tesla Owners Club Belgium, was lucky enough to get hold of an invitation for the event. TEXT: JOANNA PAYS - PHOTOS: STEVEN PEETERS
Semi truck unveiling EVent
Steven Peeters is a project team and processes manager in the field of IT and business applications. Passionate about Teslas, he has been successful in referring a number of buyers under Tesla’s referral system. In 2016, he also set up a business for “… installing dashcams, specialised in Tesla vehicles, which is seeing plenty of demand (see his link www.tesladashcam.be for more information). Steven Peeters travelled to California for the event and told us about his experience first-hand. “I have been to a couple of Tesla club events in Belgium, but this was the first Tesla-run event I had been to” says Steven. “Under Tesla’s referral system, if you persuade 5 other customers to purchase a Tesla, you receive a pair of invitations to the next Tesla event, so that is how I got hold of my tickets. As I had a spare ticket, I offered it to Robert Rosenbloom, one of the hosts of the Talking Tesla podcast. Robert picked me up from the airport in LA and we went to dinner. It was great to meet him and thanks to Robert my visit was even more exciting, as I got to test drive the new Roadster and take a tour of the SpaceX headquarters.” The unveiling of the Semi began with the arrival of two of the trucks on stage. Elon Musk emerged from the cab of the first truck to massive cheers from the audience. “The atmosphere at the event was really one of hero worship for Elon” says Steven. “Everyone at the event was very enthusiastic. For many of his American fans he really has an almost god-like status. Here in Europe we are a little more reserved but I met a lot of nice of people, including members of the Tesla owners club in LA. Several of them had already met Martin Gillet at the Model 3 launch and apparently our club made a very good impression. It’s true that Tesla really brings like-minded people together.”
SEMI TO REVOLUTIONISE ROAD CARGO TRANSPORT Tesla estimates that the Semi will have a range of up to 805 km when fully charged. An 80% charge, enabling a range of 644 km, will be possible in just 30 minutes – thanks to a new global network of solar-powered “megachargers” that Tesla plans to deploy. The Semi has been designed with the purpose of rEVolutionising the road cargo industry with electric-powered, self-driving trucks. “This is a heavy duty, long range, semi-truck” said Elon Musk during the event. Tesla is positioning the Semi as the safest truck ever. Heading towards a totally new future of how road cargo will be delivered, with driverless trucks, an enhanced autopilot system will be delivered as standard. For now the trucks will be able to operate in a ‘road train’ convoy of three vehicles, with only the first one requiring a driver. As at the end of December, over 1,200 Tesla Semi trucks had already been pre-ordered by major companies including Pepsi, Walmart and DHL. Parcel delivery firm UPS has so far placed the largest order, for 125 trucks.
BETTER DRAG COEFFICIENT THAN THE BUGATTI CHIRON The Semi’s powertrain comprises four independent motors on the rear axles, to provide maximum power at the lowest energy cost. Track demonstrations of the truck show a truly impressive acceleration and it boosts an even better drag coefficient than the Bugatti Chiron supercar. It can also reach 104 km/h when driving on a five percent uphill gradient, compared to a diesel that would only reach 72 km/h. “With the Tesla Semi we want to show that an electric
Semi truck unveiling EVent
truck actually can out-torque any diesel semi and if you had a tugof-war competition, the Tesla Semi will tug the diesel Semi uphill” said Elon Musk. See Steven Peeters’ video at http://www.youtube. com/c/ StevenPeeters
SEMI SPECS • Drag coefficient - 0.36 (compared to Bugatti Chiron 0.38) • Acceleration – 0-97 km/h in 5 seconds when unloaded, 20 seconds when fully loaded • Range – 805 km when fully charged • Expected price 480 km range version – 150,000 USD • Expected range 800 km range version – 180,000 USD • Expected price limited edition Founder’s Series – 200,000 uSD The surprise we were waiting for - the new Tesla Roadster – the fastest production car on earth! Musk had already hinted that there might be a launch of a second new car at the Semi truck event, and he didn’t disappoint. At the end of his presentation of the Semi, a sleek new Tesla Roadster was driven out from the Semi’s container and onto the stage. The Roadster is set to become, no less, the fastest production car on earth.
The second generation Tesla Roadster will be an all-wheel drive, powered by three electric motors – one in front and two at the rear. It has been designed by Franz von Holzhausen, formerly of Mazda. Similar to the Model 3, it has a tapered nose and no front grill, but in contrast it has a 2+2 seating arrangement, with smaller rear seats for two passengers. It also features a removable glass roof. “The first Tesla roadster, launched in 2008, was based around a Lotus design” says Steven. “This new model is ‘all original Tesla’ and I think it will deal a real blow to gasoline cars. When the car was unveiled, a conservative estimate of 0-100 km/h in 2.1 seconds was given – but we were made to understand that it could eventually be faster. I am currently driving the Model S P 100D, which goes from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.6 seconds in Ludicrous+, so they are shaving off more than half a second.”
TEST DRIVING THE NEW ROADSTER After Elon’s hour-long presentation, the event continued with a DJ party in one of the hangers of the airfield next to SpaceX’s headquarters. Guests also had the opportunity to have test drives in the Semi truck or the Roadster - if they immediately paid the down payment for purchasing one.
Semi truck unveiling EVent
“It’s best if I don’t reveal how I got to test drive the car – let’s say I was lucky” says Steven. “Inside it is very clean looking and feels more like the interior of a spaceship. The dashboard is carbon fibre with a slanted glass display panel in the middle. There are no buttons and I had trouble finding out how to open the doors! There is also plenty of room inside, even for tall drivers. As to performance, I am used to driving the P100D, but this is in a class of its own. It is expected to have a range of around 1,000 kilometres on a full charge, so if that is the case, it will bring all discussions on the range to an end. I think they must have found a new type of battery. On the other hand, Tesla claims it will go faster than 400 km. I wonder what that will mean in terms of energy consumption? After all, the Bugatti Chiron can empty its 100 litre fuel tank in 9 minutes.” “Frankly, I am thinking about purchasing the new Roadster. With every Tesla referral you gain a 2% reduction on a new model. Right now I already have 11 referrals and I am hoping to get a least 4 more, so we will see…”
ROADSTER SPECS • • • •
Battery - 200kWh Range – 1,000km Torque – 10,000 Nm Acceleration - 0–97 km/h in 1.9 seconds; 0–161 km/h in 4.2 seconds • Top speed - 400 km/h + • Expected price base model - US $200,000 • Expected price Founder’s Series (first 1,000) - $250,000
© SPACE X
A SPACEX VISIT – THE ICING ON THE CAKE Steven Peeters trip to California included a privileged tour around the SpaceX premises. “As Robert Rosenbloom knew people at SpaceX, he was also able to get me in for a visit at their headquarters” says Steven. “That was amazing to see, but as I had to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement as long as my arm, so unfortunately I’m not allowed to say much about it! All I can say is that I got to see the first re-landed booster of the Falcon 9, but I had to stand at least three metres away from it. It is pretty impressive. It’s also amazing that everything is actually made here, so you have the big engines and nose cones, but also very small pipes and hoses. I don’t think I can say more than that!” Visit Steven Peeters’ website at: http://www.silver-lining.be
During his presentation, Musk said that Tesla was aiming for 2019 and 2020 releases respectively, for the truck and the roadster. Both will also be available in all-option Founders Editions.
Video of the Semi and Roadster unveiling: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RRmepp7i5g
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“LIGHT US RELAY” ELECTRIC CONVOY TRAVELS 3500 KM TO COP23 IN BONN As all SuperCharged readers will be aware, the 23rd edition of COP, the annual climate change conference, recently took place in Bonn, in Germany. The COP is the perfect opportunity for promoting sustainable mobility – and that is exactly what the organisers of the “Light Us Relay” did, by leading a convoy of electric vehicles on a marathon journey across Europe to the conference. SuperCharged Magazine interviewed some of the particpants …. TEXT: JOANNA PAYS
A LOBBYING AND PUBLIC RELATIONS EVENT TO PROMOTE SUSTAINABLE MOBILITY The over-reaching mission of the two week long COP 23 conference was to hammer out the details of how the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, signed by nearly 200 countries in 2015, will be implemented. Carbon emission reduction targets may well be agreed, but each country needs to decide what concrete actions need to be initiated to achieve these targets. Clearly, sustainable transport will have a huge role to play here. Governments and organisations need to take more actions to accelerate the rEvolution, such as financial incentives for electric vehicles and greater deployment of EV charging stations. Hesitant EV drivers need to be informed about the benefits and ease of use – and have their concerns eased over range autonomy. DRIVELECTRIC and the MIPAI Association (the Moroccan Intelligence and Public Affairs Institute) stepped up to the task, by organising the “Light Us Relay” as both a lobbying event for government organisations and a public relations tool for the general public. DRIVELECTRIC is the leading all-electric-vehicle car hire and premium limousine service. Its fleet comprises exclusively Tesla Model S and Model Xs. The MIPAI institute is a Moroccan-based association for the promotion of innovative solutions for a sustainable world and was responsible for launching the Light Us Relay during the COP22 in 2016.
GREEN STOP OVERS At each stage of the relay, the convoy was welcomed by European partners and sponsors of the initiative. “The various stop overs along the route gave us the opportunity to reach out to a wide audience and explain the environmental challenges we are facing” said Richard Raphaël-Dubos, co-founder of the DRIVELECTRIC group. Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts hosted the convoy in some of its hotels, which were all equipped with EV charging stations. The Swiss hospitality firm prides itself on its sustainable tourism values and practices and was last year awarded the honour of the most ‘Green Globe certified hotel company in the world’. Besides playing a key role in hosting drivers, spectators, media and other guests taking part in the relay, the group also staged events to mark the start and finish of the green mobility drive. These events included an opening party at the Mövenpick Hotel Mansour Eddahbi Marrakech and a spectacular gala dinner, at the Mövenpick Hotel Frankfurt City, to officially close the relay on November 6.
“With this high-profile relay making several pit-stops, many in locations where Mövenpick operates properties, it provided the ideal opportunity to reach out to multiple audiences and raise awareness about the importance of preserving the environment for generations to come” said Olivier Chavy, President & CEO, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts.
ACROSS SIX COUNTRIES The convoy set out from Marrakesh, in Morocco, on 30 October 2017. As in the style of the Olympic Games, the marathon journey was to carry a ‘torch’ to link last year’s COP host city of Marrakesh, with the new one in Bonn. Hence the name of the “Light Us Relay”, as it intends to ensure the continuation of the progress achieved from one COP to the next. Over its 11 days, the convoy travelled through Morocco, Spain, France, Switzerland, Belgium and Germany, to reach its final destination of Bonn on 6 November. By travelling 3,500 km across six different countries, the convoy successfully demonstrated that it is now possible to travel long distances in electrical vehicles. It is hoped that this will encourage more people to reconsider the way they travel and how they can reduce their environmental footprint. “In total we estimate that the journey we made saved 11,789 kilos of CO2 emissions compared to if we had been using petrol cars” said Caroline Mugniery, communications manager for DRIVELECTRIC. “To summarise the trip in just a few words - loading and organising the cars, stress, unexpected encounters, sleepless nights, laughter, friendship, and the unforeseen! – were all part of the big adventure.” For more information visit: www.drivelectric.fr, http://light-us.org/en/, https://www.cop23.de/en/
© CHRISTOPHE GILLAIN
Philippe Depuydt, a pro-active member of the Tesla Owners Club Belgium, was one of the Belgian participants in the Light Us Relay. He joined the convoy in his Model S P85D, along the route from Geneva.
“I am passionate about innovation and have created various different start-up companies in the past” says Philippe. “One of these is ‘chatcar’, an app which gives drivers the opportunity to contact another person using their licence plate or username as identification. The site already has 1,000 members – see www.chatcar.net.
KHALIL AMAR – FOUNDER OF TESLA CLUB MOROCCO
“I am particularly interested in electric vehicles due to ecological reasons and I organise events for Tesla owners every three or four months, mainly in Wallonia. At the time of the Light Us Relay, I was staying with a Tesla-owner friend in Switzerland and decided to journey back to Belgium with the rest of the convoy. I joined during its stopover in Geneva. I really enjoyed meeting the other Tesla owners and one of them was Bertrand Piccard, the co-developer and co-pilot of the Solar Impluse plane. It was a very enjoyable event.”
“In Morocco the charging infrastructure is only just getting underway, but hotels such as the Mövenpick helped by putting into place three phase red plugs and Tesla Wall Chargers” says Khalil. “The trip went well up to Tangiers but once in South of Spain, it was difficult to reach the Granada Supercharger. There are many hotels offering free charging, but you need to spend a few hours there and there were not enough plugs. We were trying our best to stay together and reach the infrastructure of Tesla SuCs. Once in Granada, all went well across France and Switzerland.”
The international convoy included Khalil Amar, founder of the Tesla Club Morocco.
© CHRISTOPHE GILLAIN
GÜNTHER HERMANT – PROUD OWNER OF MODEL S AND PARTICIPANT IN THE LIGHT US RELAY
© GUNTHER HERMANT
Günther Hermant is the owner of travel-autos, a company which provides chauffeur driven ground transportation services, particularly to airports. Earlier in 2017, he welcomed a Tesla Model S to his fleet, which he used to participate in the COP23 electric convoy.
What motivated you to purchase your first Tesla? “In Brussels we were greeted by a number of EV owners, including members of the Tesla Owners Club Belgium. Being all together, with owners from Morocco, France and Belgium, meant a lot. It showed how Tesla owners are one group that can think beyond nations, borders, language barriers and cultural differences. The journey bound our friendships and we are planning other meetings and trips together. Many thanks to DRIVELECTRIC for organising such a wonderful trip. It definitely changed perspectives for the better.” Tesla Club Morocco also welcomes visitors to Morocco with EVs and can provide information on where to charge for free. Their Facebook page can be found at www.facebook.com/TeslaClubMA/
“For me, it’s very important to be up to date with – or even in advance of – the latest technological innovations” says Günther. “I run a limousine service and I was looking for a new car to join the fleet. I had made a shortlist of either a Mercedes or a Tesla. At lot of my clients are travelling to airports and so they need a lot of space for their luggage, but finally I chose the Model S 90D. It was delivered to us in March and has made a really big – but positive - change for the whole company. Initially there was some resistance from our mechanic and it was a major investment, but it’s great for our company image. Not only that, but it’s much simpler to drive. In comparison, I found the Mercedes complicated and heavy.”
What made you decide to join the COP23 Tesla Convoy from Marrakech? “Joining the rally was important for me, as it was an opportunity to prove that it is perfectly viable to make long journeys in electric vehicles. These kinds of events show people that Tesla is the present, as well as the future. I also got to know a great group of fellow Tesla drivers from other countries.”
What were the challenges? “Charging facilities have improved in Morocco, but it is still complicated to find somewhere to charge 17 EVs – or at least 8 of them at the same time! Once we arrived in the South of Spain, we no longer had this problem and it was much easier from thereon after. All of the Mövenpick Hotels that we stayed at also had charging points.”
Is it too early to see the first positive results from the convoy?
© CHRISTOPHE GILLAIN
“It’s only been a month, but I am already seeing the first positive effects of our trip to COP 23. The authorities in Madrid are installing more charging stations and it has given me the opportunity to lobby my local authorities here. Not only are they installing more charging stations in the area, but also the first 5 in my own town. This is great news.”
CHRISTOPHE GILLAIN – HIS EV FAMILY, TESLA FANS FRANCOPHONES AND JOINING THE LIGHT US RELAY
What are your key takeaways from this adventure? “Everything, including hotels and restaurants, was organised by DRIVELECTRIC and they did a great job. Some of my best souvenirs from this trip were from when we were recharging, so we would stop to eat or have a coffee. This gave us a lot of time to get to know each other, which wouldn’t have happened if we were just stopping for petrol. Even now, all of the participants from the trip are still in contact with each other and we have created a lot of good friendships. My wife, who was initially reluctant to join the trip, said it was really the best experience. We are already talking about doing other projects together next year – maybe around COP24 and perhaps others.” For more information visit www.travel-autos.be
Christophe Gillain is a graphic designer and the owner of a full services advertising company, Studio89 sprl. A fully-converted EV owner, he was actively involved in promoting the convoy, via his Facebook group Tesla Fans Francophones. He joined the convoy for three days, during the sections from Paris to Bonn.
How did your move to electric come about? “The reason I decided to finish with fossil fuels was first of all due to geopolitical reasons” says Christophe. “I wanted to stop the financial participation I was making to funding some of the troubles in the world, through my use of petrol.”
Move to Tesla and a growing family of EVs! “I started to look at electric cars and discovered a Facebook group called Twizy Fan Francophones. After a few months talking with all of these cool Twizy drivers, I decided to buy one - but
a 45 so that my 16 year old son can also drive it. We still had two combustion-engine cars at that time though, with a wonderful BMW 4 Series convertible for myself and a BMW X1 series for my wife. I took the plunge and decided to get rid of my BMW for a ZOE. This was a huge change for someone who has always loved beautiful cars… but ok it was my decision and I needed to be consistent with myself. My problem remained how to get rid of petrol and still have a car big enough to take my whole family on holiday.” “After the Model 3 was announced, I placed my order in April 2016. Finally a cheaper Tesla that I could afford! I was really excited about it… but maybe too much, because within a few weeks I could no longer wait to change my thermic car for an electric one. I started to calculate more seriously whether a Model S was possible in my budget and once I took a test drive in it, it was a revelation. Another Tesla driver had told me that “you will never drive another car like this one” and how true it was. So I signed for a Model S 90D, which I received in September 2016. I love it as I’ve never loved any other car since then!”
“In September 2017 we became a fully electric family! My wife now drives the Renault Zoe, but will soon be receiving the Tesla Model 3 that we have on order, while my son has the Renault Twizy. I still have a petrol-engine motorbike, but I drive it for less than 2 or 300 km/year ;-)”
Tesla Fans Francophones is born! “I started to talk about Teslas more and more on the Twizy group. As some of the other members were not too happy about that, I decided to create my own group to continue our discussions. That is how Tesla Fans Francophones was born. The forum is in French, as I had noticed that there are a lot of French speaking people who were not able to get Tesla and EV news as quickly as English speaking ones. I now spend every day on my Facebook group trying to convince everybody to drive electric ;-)”
What made you decide to join the COP23 Convoy from Marrakech? “I heard about the COP23 Tesla Convoy from someone on my Facebook group. I really wanted to do the whole trip but my renting contract is too short in terms of kilometres, so I took the Paris to Bonn leg. Nevertheless, these three days were a great opportunity to meet a lot of members from my Facebook group, in real person.” “There were 17 cars that took part in the whole convoy and a number of others that joined on various sections along the route. I joined for the Paris to Bonn run and several others from my Facebook group drove between Geneva and Bonn. For me, the best stop along the route was in Belgium – thanks to Martin Gillet!”
What were the challenges? “Due to some bureaucratic details that hadn’t been finalised, it took 2 to 3 hours of negotiations before we were able to finally meet the COP22 president and the COP23 main negotiator to give them the Light Us Relay torch. However, between us, the main challenge was to use as little energy as possible between Marrakech and Bonn – and the winner of that challenge was a Tesla Model X!”
What, for you, was the best part of this adventure? “The best thing about the convoy, for me, was meeting other EV enthusiasts. We share the feeling that together we are fighting for something that will change not only our mobility, but our world and our future. It is about accelerating the energy transition to renewables for the sake of health issues, climate change, geopolitics, enhanced safety and many other issues. Tesla and its customers are making all of this possible. Being able to meet with other EV drivers with the same vision for our future has really encouraged me in my own engagements.”
LIGHT US RELAY TORCH - © CHRISTOPHE GILLAIN
Follow the link to Christophe’s Facebook group at: www.facebook.com/groups/TeslaFanFr/
GEORGE JOAILLIERS PARVIS ST PIERRE 14 1180 UCCLE +32 2 343 52 34 GEORGE JOAILLIERS SHOPPING L’ESPLANADE PLACE DE L ACCUEIL 10 1348 LOUVAIN LA NEUVE +32 10 45 47 69 COLMAN JEWELERS EIERMARKT 7 2000 ANTWERPEN +32 32 31 11 11 GEORGE JUWELIERS RECTOR DE SOMERPLEIN 4 3000 LEUVEN +32 16 22 28 16 JUWELIER FRANSSEN DEMERSTRAAT 51 3500 HASSELT +32 11 22 42 58 BIJOUTERIE KUYPERS RUE DE LA RÉGENCE 1 4000 LIEGE +32 4 222 16 23 DELRUE 1904 RUE DU CYGNE 3 7500 TOURNAI +32 69 22 34 55 COLMAN JEWELERS ELISABETHLAAN 17/19 8300 KNOKKE-HEIST +32 50 969644 HEURSEL1745 LANGEMUNT 2 9000 GENT +32 9 264 29 29
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SOL AT THE WHEEL
LADIES IN RED Where are all the lady owners of Teslas? At SuperCharged Magazine, we asked two female members of Tesla Owners Club Belgium to share their Tesla stories with us, in the hope that it might encourage more women to take the Tesla journey. Let’s meet Mara Callaert and Sol Jensen… TEXT: JOANNA PAYS
SOL JENSEN Sol Jensen is from a melting pot of nationalities and international walks of life. Born in Amsterdam, her parents were Dutch and Danish/Canadian. Her father was a chemical engineer who travelled the world for his job, before the family finally settled in Belgium. Following her studies in International Business Management, she worked for the US Embassy in Brussels and then in the international tourism industry. Finally the “most important job yet” came along, when she decided to become a full time mother to Summer (now aged 17) and Lorenzo (15). “As a former career woman, when I took the step to become a full time mother, I was declared crazy by everyone that knows me. They thought that I would go mad at home, but they should have known better because I found new challenges” says Sol. “These included, among other things, getting involved in “think tanks”, the school board and the cultural board of Hoeilaart.
However this was still not enough for me, so I decided to also become a “Bobbette the builder”. I found a plot of land, sketched my dream house on a piece of paper and gave it to an architect. Within three years I had built two houses, both of which have been evaluated as 85% eco-friendly. A “clean” car was definitely the next step.”
How did you become a Tesla owner? “As a woman, first of all my car needs to meet the basic criteria of safety, ecology, a nice colour, four wheels, a steering wheel and a roof! My first three cars were Volvos, but, after a few years I became fed up with these practical family cars and I was craving to drive a normal sedan one day. For two years I watched Tesla evolve as a company. At first I followed them just with stocks, as the EV charging network was not yet in place as it is now. However, I knew it was just a question of time and in the meantime my brother, who lives in LA, became a Tesla owner and gave me plenty of positive feedback.” “As soon as I saw the Tesla S, it was love at first sight! Not only did it meet my basic criteria but it had enormous space in the trunk!”
Tell us about your first Tesla road trips “My model S, a 75D which I named “Joy!”, was delivered just before the Easter holidays in 2017. I decided to go on a road trip straight away with my son. Our journey took us from Brussels to Rotterdam, Breukelen, Volendam and Delft. In Breukelen I found an amazing hotel, Logement aan de vecht, which (surprise, surprise) was installing 3 Tesla chargers the day before my arrival. This hotel and its surroundings are an absolute must visit for Tesla owners. Link: http://logement.aandevecht.com/
“As driving became so much more fun, I then took a trip up to visit my family in Denmark. My new way of driving takes me from SuC to
SOL’S FIRST ROAD TRIP
SuC, which means I visit places that I would not necessarily go to. My absolute discovery was Bremmen. Not only is the SuC at a mall – what girl doesn’t love an excuse to go shopping – but Bremmen is a revelation and if it had not been for the SuC there, I probably never would have visited the city. This journey was full of adventures, including our Faulty Towers-like hotel by the sea in Kerteminde http:// tornoeshotel.dk/ and the amazing eco-friendly Manon Suites hotel, https://guldsmedenhotels.com/manon-les-suites/.
Enjoying the Tesla community “The first thing I would say to other women who thinking about getting a Tesla is that they don’t need to be worried about technology, maintenance and range issues. There is really a lot of support between owners with help desks, Facebook groups and the Tesla Owners Club Belgium. In addition, I took out the Tesla breakdown insurance which covers everything for three years, for 2,500 euros. The Tesla garage in Zaventem is really helpful too, although due to the success of Tesla, getting a quick appointment is harder these days.” “The Tesla Owners Club Belgium is a real community. The other Tesla drivers are a nice bunch of people and everyone is very happy to help you. I sometimes don’t know what the men are talking about on the Tesla Owners Club Belgium FB group, but whenever I have a question it’s answered within minutes...I love it! We have also done some very enjoyable trips with them, such as a tour of the Champagne region.”
“As to the range, to be honest I have often gone into the minus percentages in terms of energy left. My record was in fact minus 11 – although I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that. Somehow I think Tesla must be looking after us there.”
What has been the reaction of family and friends to your Tesla? “Like myself, my girlfriends are not really car fanatics – but all of them are in love with Joy! As Denmark is very environmentally conscious, my family there naturally love the Tessy. They also love the look of it, with its spacious limo feeling but sporty exterior. When I visited my cousin in Marslef, her 20 year old son just HAD to drive it. We choose some field roads so that he could test the acceleration. The expression on his face was pure joy!”
Why do you think there are not many lady Tesla owners yet? “It’s hard to say, but I do believe this will change quickly, as more women grow to understand that Teslas are very simple to drive, not much technical knowledge is needed and that charging infrastructures are now widely available. Perhaps the price is too high for personal purchases and women in management positions just choose from the standard company cars on offer? Saying this, I have seen quite a few women driving Teslas recently. Next time I see a lady at a Tesla SuC, I will ask her about it.”
MARA CALLAERT Mara Callaert, proud owner of two Tesla Model Xs, lives in Brussels. She owns a small company of consultants specialising in visual communications, change management …and sustainability.
Making ecological choices sexier “I am a product design engineer specialising in eco design” says Mara. “I had my first start up when I was very young. One of the other associates often used the story of Tesla as a good example of making ecological choices sexier than the mainstream solutions. His view – and mine – is that if you want people to change their behaviour, you need to create some kind of desire for them to do so. Seven years ago, my husband and I used one of the first Tesla Roadsters as our wedding car, so Tesla has been part of our story for a long time.”
MARA AND THE VISUALITY TEAM
MARA ARRIVES AT HER WEDDING IN A ROADSTER © DANIELLE PIERRE
MARA’S LINKED IN POST ON WHY THE COMPANY HAS A TESLA
How have people reacted to the Teslas? My first car ever – a Tesla “When I founded a new business a couple of years ago, more travelling was involved and I needed to buy a company car. For me, it had to be an electric car. My husband, who works with a bank, did all the calculations and worked out that if I looked at the total cost of ownership, then a Tesla was a possibility. It did seem expensive though and some of the people around me were saying it was crazy to put so much money into a car. Anyway, I didn’t see many other options as I there was no way I would make any compromises on my principles. At the end of 2016 I bought my first car ever – a Model X 75D and at the end of 2017 we added a Model X 100D. The 75D is the shared company car and the 100D is mainly driven by myself for work. The company also has a policy of using planes as little as possible, for the sake of the environment, and I am happy for colleagues to take my Tesla whenever they need to travel further. ” “It’s not about being materialistic and Tesla is not a status thing for me - in fact I take my bike wherever possible. With my husband we are a very ecological couple and it makes sense to have a Tesla. We are also moving to an ecological, energy-efficient house in three months’ time.”
“There have been differing reactions. In the beginning I was concerned that the NGOs and non-profit organisations we work with might eventually think that they are paying us too much. That is why have positioned our tagline as ‘Drivers of positive change’, as we believe that Tesla is a driver of positive change. We even make a point of saying no to projects that will not contribute a positive change to the world. Our clients have understood this and their reaction to the Tesla has been totally positive. I’ve also found that ‘Millennials’ (people in their 20s and 30s) and the younger generation really do love the car and it’s nice to see their reaction.” “On the other hand, our company is housed in a business incubator and I have found that some of the people from other companies in the building can be jealous. They have even made a few negative comments!”
Why do you think we see too few lady owners? I think it may be that ladies are probably more careful, whereas men are more comfortable with proving their status. For my part I love to get out of this car without looking particularly elegant, as I like trying to tackle the stereotypic view on wealthy Tesla owners and challenge the status quo a little.”
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Living Smart. Past. Overal. Loewe bild 3 En hij past zich zeker aan. Met de nieuwe bild 3-productfamilie in large, medium en small uitvoering (55, 49 en 43”) toont Loewe zich een overtuigde voorvechter van de nieuwe ‘downsizing’ trend. De producten worden teruggebracht tot de essentie met focus op de hoogste kwaliteit. Er is er één voor iedereen. De Loewe bild 3.55 oled is uitgerust met het extreem platte oled-scherm van amper 4,9 mm, dat dunner is dan de display van de meeste smartphones, en toch bijzonder licht en discreet is - ondanks de behoorlijke grootte van 55”. Loewe bild 3.49 en 3.43 worden dan weer met de recentste lcd-displays aangeboden. De extreem platte Ultra HD-displays beschikken over een vier keer hogere resolutie (3.840 x 2.160 pixel). Hierdoor zijn haarscherpe details, perfecte contrasten en een enorme kleurglans zichtbaar - zelfs bij snelle bewegingen. De geïntegreerde soundbar met een krachtig geluidsvermogen van 80W vult uw kamer met elke denkbare stemming. De Loewe 3.55 OLED is nu verkrijgbaar aan 3 299 € - 300 € prijsvoordeel = 2 999 €. Ontdek meer bij uw Loewe-verdeler of op loewe.tv/be-nl
SEABUBBLES A SOLUTION FOR THE SMART CITIES OF TOMORROW One of the major problems of cities today is traffic congestion and the associated pollution. Yet all cities are blessed with a natural solution for improving their traffic flows – waterways. Until now these rivers and bays have been underexploited as a means of transportation, but the founders of French company SeaBubbles intend to change this. They have created a new system of sustainably-powered boats designed for city transportation, with no negative impact on the environment and no burden on city infrastructures. Smart cities will start to deploy the first Bubble boats this year… TEXT: JOANNA PAYS - PHOTOS: SEABUBBLES 42
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SEABUBBLES’ CREATORS – NATURALLY TESLA OWNERS SeaBubble’s founders are Anders Bringdal and Alain Thébault – world speed record-holders in wind surfing and sailing. Anders, Swedish by nationality, is a four times world windsurfing champion and founder of a production facility in China for boats and windsurfers. The two friends and business partners are also both owners of Tesla Model S 100D’s. “We love the experience this car offers” says Anders. “It’s the new world. No way back! We choose the 100D for the autonomy. It really a great car!.”
EXPERIENCE FROM WORLD SPEED SAILING RECORD WITH THE HYDROPTÈRE The two founders met in 2008, when Anders had just arrived in France and Alain was working on the Hydroptère, the hydrofoil yacht which went on to break the world speed record. Anders joined the project and in the fall of 2009, the Hydroptère became the fastest sailing boat in the world, beating the absolute speed record with a peak of 55.5 knots and over 100km/h. See the adventure at (https://www.youtube.com/user/LHYDROPTERE) When the SeaBubbles project began to develop, it was natural progression for the duo to work together again and the company was born in 2016. “We decided to start this company as we realised we could combine our knowledge of boats with that of the future and create something that would be good for all” says Anders. SeaBubbles thus leverages the expertise of the two founders, in partnership with major actors from the aeronautic industry and French design such as Airbus, Rougerie Architecture, the design studio VPLP and the shipyard Decision.
ZERO EMISSIONS, ZERO NOISE, ZERO WAVE IMPACT
THE MODEL T TAXI BOAT
The Bubble boat has an ultra-light environmental footprint, producing zero noise, zero emissions and zero wave erosion on river banks. Its space age design is based on hydrofoils which lift the boat above the water to reduce drag and save energy.
SeaBubbles is currently working on several models and sizes of boat, but the first in production will be the Model T, a type of on-demand water taxi which seats one driver and four passengers. “We have already produced our first five Model T ( for Taxi) boats” says Anders. “At 4.6m long and 2.3m wide, the craft is roughly the same size as a car.”
City boats normally cause river bank erosion, as they are constantly creating waves. This can have dramatic consequences on cities such as Venice, where buildings are sinking due to impacts on their rivers. The Bubble boat’s hydrofoil design carries it about the water, meaning that no waves are created. It is propelled by two electrical engines, located in the hull, which allows it to rise over 40 centimetres above the water’s surface using “hydrodynamic lift”. Only the two foils of the Bubble (its wings) are in contact with the water.
“We are designing another five different models to complete our offer, ranging from the Model T to the largest, which will be 21m long” says Anders. “Fast-charging and autonomy are obviously key to our system, but battery technologies are improving. Depending on what distance the boats will have to travel, there will be different type of batteries and chargers.”
Elegance is an attitude Simon Baker
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FOUNDERS OF SEABUBBLES, ANDERS BRINGDAL AND ALAIN THÉBAULT
DOCKING STATIONS GENERATE ELECTRICITY The Bubbles will be accessible from specially designed mooring Docks, situated along the quays. These floating constructions will also be energy sources, which will provide the boats with solar, wind and hydrodynamic generated electricity. Turbines located under the water’s surface will be powered by natural marine currents. These rotations create endless energy because contrary to the sun or the wind, energy realised by the water is much more constant. Wind turbines will be placed on the Docks where the wind is strong enough to produce energy continuously, while solar energy will be provided via photovoltaic panels.
FIRST DEPLOYMENTS THIS YEAR Most major cities have historically been built around rivers, canals and shores, making waterways a natural transportation network. Based purely on current use of waterborne transport, SeaBubbles estimates that there is a potential for transporting 14 million passengers a year in Dubai, 8 million passengers per year in Amsterdam and 10 million passengers per year in London. The first city to adopt the Model T will be Geneva, this summer, closely followed by Paris. “It’s true that there are still a lot of regulatory and bureaucratic issues to be handled but we have a lot of goodwill from the Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, the French transport minister as well as all deciding parties, so it is now up to us to see how soon we will be able to roll on after Geneva” says Anders.
LOOKING AHEAD SeaBubbles aims to play its part in the smart cities of tomorrow, to help traffic congestion and reduce the environmental impact of urban transport. The company’s goal is to expand to 50 cities by 2024. “Our objective is to make cities flow again, in an eco-conscious way” says Anders. “That means no noise, no pollution and no waves to erode river banks. We see Seabubbles fitting into the cities of the future. They can be used for a ride share, or a taxi service. Through our app called ‘Catch a Bubble’, they can easily be booked and paid for, and travel time can be predicted. It is an eco-friendly system that will help cities and offer a real alternative to sitting stuck in traffic.” For more information visit http://seabubbles.fr/
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SAUL LOPEZ CHAMPIONING TESLA IN SPAIN AND SPEAKER AT TESLACON The very first edition of TeslaCon, the online conference for Tesla owners, took place on December 15 and 16. It brought together Tesla writers, community leaders and other experts, for lectures, workshops and Q & Aâ€™s on every aspect of Tesla and EV ownership. One of the presenters was Saul Lopez, a recognised Telsa thought leader with over 100,000 followers. He is also the VP of the Spanish Tesla Owners Club. TEXT: JOANNA PAYS - PHOTOS: SAUL LOPEZ
BECOMING A TESLA ENTHUSIAST Saul Lopez, a Spaniard by birth, is currently based in Paris. He has been championing the cause of Tesla and sustainable transport for several years. A Tesla blogger, vlogger and club leader, he became an EV enthusiast when he moved to Norway in 2013. It was not long after that he took delivery of his Model S. “I had never really heard much about EVs until I moved to Norway. The first few I saw, such as the Nissan Leaf and the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, did not impress me much because I found them ugly. Then I saw a Roadster - quite an impressive look that one! I wasn’t really interested in a two-seater sports car for me, but when I came across a Tesla Model S it was a different story...” “When I moved to Norway from Madrid, I brought my VW Golf TSI with me. As it was 6 years old, it was time for a change. The Model S was expensive but, at the time, I was driving 200 km a day. With the motorway tolls and high prices of petrol in Norway, it made economic sense to go electric. After test-driving a Model S in January 2014, I placed an order immediately. My ‘baby’ was delivered in May of the same year and I named her the “Electric Cruise Beast”. This is a name I picked up from Matthew Inman, a cartoonist that runs The Oatmeal (www.theoatmeal. com), an online comic and humouristic website. Matthew is the owner of a Model S and made a cartoon about it on his site.”
FROM OSLO TO MADRID – THE FIRST BIG TESLA ROAD TRIP Saul’s first major Tesla road trip was in 2015, when he travelled all the way from Oslo to Madrid. “At that time there were no Superchargers at all in Spain and that trip is a period of my life which provided me with some of my best anecdotes as a Tesla owner! I remember having to stop in Zaragoza for almost 5 hours, to charge at a rate of just 11 kW, so that we could get to Madrid. My wife, my 9 month old baby daughter and my dog were all in the car with me. It was July, there was a heatwave and the thermometer was showing 42 ºC... the wait seemed like an eternity. The temperature made things unbearable and my wife mentioned the word “divorce” a couple of times. But we made it, and yes, I am still married today, lol.”
THE SPANISH TESLA OWNERS CLUB - WWW.CLUBTESLA.ES Saul is the VP of Tesla Owners Club Spain. The club has just over 100 members. “We have a fairly modest number of members, as membership is restricted to ‘Tesla owners only’, so it’s not open to fans or reservation holders” explains Saul. “Tesla ownership began fairly slowly in Spain. There were only a dozen Teslas sold in 2015 and 55 in 2016. Sales only started to pick up in the second half of 2017, when the first Tesla stores opened in Barcelona and Madrid. There are now just under 600 cars registered in the country. We have already had club gatherings in Barcelona, Madrid and Cullera (near Valencia) and we’re having great fun. The club is an active community that shares lots of information and experiences online - and we help each other a lot. We also have good links with Tesla Spain and we often work together to sort out issues for owners and to help to improve the overall EV experience.”
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THE TESLACON CONFERENCE The aim of TeslaCon was to bring together Tesla and EV communities to share ideas. “As the conference was online it meant that anyone could join, without having to take a plane ticket to California. In addition to the lectures and presentations, there were community-driven Q&A sessions. The participants were able to vote on the questions they wanted to be asked and a private Facebook group was set up for people to connect.”
A MISSION TO INFORM AND ACCELERATE THE TRANSITION TO SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT Saul set up his YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/ SaulLopezTesla ) in October 2015 and has uploaded almost 600 videos. The channel has become very popular among EV enthusiasts in Spain and now has over 100,000 subscribers. He also recently launched a website (https://pasatealoelectrico.es ). “The aim of all of this is to accelerate the transition to sustainable transport” explains Saul. “We just can’t keep burning fossil fuels for transport. It doesn’t make economic sense and it poses serious health problems. Anyway, driving electric is much more fun! Most of the news and info that I upload and publish is about Tesla, but there are also test drives of other EVs and opinion pieces on subjects such as sustainable energy and transport.”
Saul’s lecture during the conference discussed the problem of smog and what can be done to address it. “I explained the consequences of breathing toxic air and how switching to electric mobility and sustainable transport would solve most of these problems. We then opened a debate on whether we need more EVs or more charging infrastructures first in order to accelerate the transition. This is a sort of a “chicken or the egg first?” discussion.” “As Teslacon was online, one of the cool features was that replays were immediately available after each session ended. All of the sessions are still available online and can be purchased at https:// teslacon.online/shop/a/saul/ The full agenda for Teslacon can be found at https://teslacon.online/agenda/
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NEVER MOW YOUR LAWN AGAIN! Always having a perfect-looking lawn without ever having to take the lawn mower out of the shed, without having to walk behind the mower, without having to rake up the grass clippings or empty the bag, is many gardeners’ ultimate dream. In this case, this is a dream than can come true, because robot mowers can do all of that! TEXT: WIM VANDER HAEGEN
NOTHING BUT BENEFITS The mower or garden robots that are on the market today are increasingly characterized by functions that make them very easy to use. If you have a high-quality robot mower in the garden, you can basically be care-free. The robot mows independently and ensures that the grass stays short by regularly mowing it. It returns to its charging station on its own and in some cases, it even knows when it’s raining. The better brands even ensure amazing mowing results under any weather conditions. The crucial parts are safely protected from rain, dust and grass clippings. The main advantage to you is that you don’t even need to be there. While you’re out or on vacation, the robot will diligently keep up its work. Another asset is that the grass clippings are very fine and are spread out between the blades of grass, where they will serve an important function as compost. This is because robot lawn mowers use a mulching system that cuts the grass clipping so fine that you can hardly even see them. Because those clippings provide natural compost, the grass will also look greener and healthier after a while. A robot lawn mower maintains the lawn by mowing often and this is good for the lawn. Robot mowers are also environmentally friendly. They hardly make any sound (generally only about 65dB) and don’t spread any (fuel) odour.
SYSTEMS Nearly all robot mowers work with a ‘perimeter wire’ around the area they need to stay within. This wire, which is under a small amount of current, is the virtual border for the robot. The charging station sends out a signal to the wire, which ensures that the mower mows the right lawn/grass and returns to the charging station. The border and the guide wires are attached in the lawn or are dug in just below the surface. An attached wire will disappear into the lawn within a few weeks. The grass is mowed with one or two big or several small, razor-sharp blades that are attached to a revolving disc, depending on the machine. The blades neatly cut off the grass, instead of ripping it, which makes the mower less noisy and consume less energy. Intelligent programs (which may or may not be adjustable by the owner) ensure that every part of the lawn is mowed, including in a complex garden, with trees, flowerbeds and narrow passages. The grass is mowed from several directions. The result is a lawn that always looks like a carpet.
EVERY BUSINESS HAS A STORY TO TELL, AND DESERVES ITS CORPORATE FILM. “With a good corporate film, you make the difference”, headlined newspaper De Tijd in times of crisis. Companies had to be more creative and they looked into corporate films. What about today?
TURN YOUR CORPORATE FILM INTO A HIT. Today, almost 10 years later, nothing much has changed. The crisis may be behind us, but the need for efficiency is still very much present. The possibilities, however, have changed: now, there’s HD or 4K video, 2D and 3D animations, 360° videos, product presentations, introductory videos, instruction films, drone recordings, animation films... Challenge us, and we will surprise you!
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How does a mowing robot manage not to run into trees or other obstacles? Simple: collision and lift sensors increase safety. When the mower senses an object, it reverses, turns and chooses another direction. The option for the mowing blades and the motor to be stopped immediately when the machine is lifted is a standard feature of most brands. When it’s time to charge, the mower will automatically find the charging station, either by picking up the signal from the charging stations’ antennae or by following the guide wire to the charging station, or by following the border until the charging station’s signal is picked up.
It goes without saying that a mower will need to be serviced periodically. Throughout the week, it is sufficient to clean the grass remnants off the lower deck once in a while. The blades are replaced on average once a year (for example, a winter service when the moving parts are also greased, and the machine is cleaned thoroughly), but even that, the owner does not have to do himself, in many cases. Some suppliers keep track of the purchase and maintenance data, so that you don’t miss appointments for planned maintenance. Or the robot mower itself alerts you when it’s time to be serviced. In the winter, the base station (where the mower is charged) can stay outside. The mower itself must be stored in a frost-free place.
APPLICATIONS Robot mowers keep up with the times and communicate with people. Remote operation via smartphone (app) or PC is a feature that most robot mowers have these days. In the past, a garden robot mower (which is easy to pick up) would sometimes get stolen. Today, that is no longer the case for the better models, because they have anti-theft security. If the mower is lifted past the perimeter wire, an alarm will sound. In addition, a safeguard is often provided via a pin code and a mower can be registered with the distributor as stolen. A thief will then not be able to operate the mower via his app, because he needs the legal owner’s login details for that. Another security option is for the owner to receive an alert in the event of theft and the position of the mower can be traced perfectly.
ROBOMOW Robomow uses 1 or 2 large, strong blades instead of several smaller razor blades. The advantage of this is that the mower is not bothered by pine cones, twigs and leaves. The blade only needs to be replaced once a year. In addition, most Robomows also have an edge-mowing mode, which allows the edges of the lawn to be mowed too. Thanks to the modular design, the client can replace most of the parts himself when necessary (click systems). The RX and RS also have a floating mowing deck. This ensure that the underside of the mower moves along with the bumps in the lawn, so that irregular terrain will also be mowed neatly. It also has child safety, rain sensor, remote control via smartphone, PC, etc. Robomow has a free App – and anti-theft security for all models (except for the starter model, the RX12u).
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HONDA Miimo HRM 310 and 520 robot mowers are fully automatic and can take care of your lawn without assistance. Miimo only works when it is convenient for you and because it is soundless and efficient, it can be set to work at night without disturbing the neighbours. Miimo automatically changes directions when it encounters an obstacle or pets and has sensors that ensure that the blades are stopped immediately when it detects that it is being lifted or is tipped over. Miimo mows on slopes of up to 25°, thanks to the high degree of traction and grip on the ground. Navigating between obstacles, it ensures a healthy and well-groomed lawn, mulching all the while. The machines have a brushless motor and a robust design, and they know when they have to return to the charging station to be charged. Miimo uses a unique digital signal that leads it through the garden, which prevents any interference of electronic tools in the vicinity. The HRM 3000 is the latest Honda robot mower.
Bluetooth™ connectivity is standard; no additional parts need to be installed. The app enables you to change the settings, the mowing height and start/stop. You can even operate the Miimo by remote control. The monthly schedule allows you to set the Miimo to stop mowing on a specific date. The machine is waterproof and can mow in all weather conditions and you can clean it with a garden hose. If a problem occurs, a report can be sent to a cloud support system via the app. The dealer can then check the problem or update the software.
Lift it off.
HUSQVARNA The Automower® X-Line is new in 2018 and brings robot mower up to the next level. With Automower® Connect, you can configure, regulate and trace the mower via smartphone. You can even locate the mower if it gets stolen. With GPS-supported navigation, complex lawns are mowed perfectly. The new X-line Automower® series has a unique design with LED headlights that improve visibility when there is not much light. When you let the Husqvarna Automower® mow your lawn, it is easy to forget that a robot is working for you. There is no noise, no fuss – just a great lawn. The Automower® ensures excellent mowing results under all weather conditions and will mow slopes up to 45% (24°), thanks to the optimized design
and smart operation. The robot is able to detect narrow passages and find its way through the narrowest passages. Big wheels, a cleverly designed chassis and optimum balance ensure perfect results, even on uneven lawns. The Husqvarna Automower® automatically varies the route back to the charger to prevent damage and ugly tracks. By mowing in a seemingly random pattern, the entire lawn always looks perfect.
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VIKING The iMow robot mower by Viking (Stihl) leaves nothing to chance, except its mowing route. But even in that aspect there is a method to it, because that ensures that the lawn is mowed evenly everywhere. You can choose the cutting height yourself, via the central cutting height settings. With the intuitive user interface, programming is child’s play and you can also easily make changes to the programming. The iMow expedites the programmed mowing schedule itself and determines the so-called active time within a set time window. If the mower is in a hurry, it re-charges faster. If it doesn’t have to work again right way, it charges more slowly – and therefore also more economically. While mowing, the robot mower flexibly adjusts its speed to the conditions, for example for high and dense grass. Thanks to the tipping sensor, the iMow can also work on hilly terrain. With the C-models, which have GPS sensors, you
can not only assign exact lawn contours to particular zones, but you can even prioritize the mowing within a particular timeframe. For clean mowing results on the edge of the lawn, you can choose from various edge variants. The iMow robot mower also has various sensors for preventing theft. For smaller and mid-sized gardens (up to 1,000 square metres), including those that are on a slope or have many lawn corners, there are the iMow robot mowers of the MI 4-series. The iMow robot mowers of the MI 6-series mow lawns up to 4,000 m² without any problems, thanks to the powerful batteries and a cutting width of 28 cm. The MI 6-series also has a convenient, removable actuator.
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OPTICIENS BODART (BODART OPTICIANS) PASSION, QUALITY AND SERVICE FOR OVER 60 YEARS Supported by over 60 years of expertise, Opticiens Bodart is proud of always providing the best possible service and quality as well as being a pioneer in the latest technologies. This can be seen, for example, in the recent renovation, which will soon be continued with the installation of new interactive display counters. The owner, Luigi Moioli, tells us more about this reputable Brussels business, which, incidentally also gets to use the title of supplier to the Court of Belgium. TEXT: JACQUES LEGROS - PHOTOS: OPTICIENS BODART
The history of Opticiens Bodart dates back to 1959. That is when Georges Bodart, passionate about glasses and also an excellent craftsman, founded the optical shop Opticiens Bodart. He moved into a beautiful building in the eclectic style of the late 18th century, located in the prestigious Koningsstraat in the heart of Brussels. At this address, which has not changed to this day, the company built up its reputation and renown by quickly becoming the supplier to the Court of Belgium. This was due, in part, to his specialization in hard contact lenses, but also to his Glasses museum. After he had arranged for a successor in the early 2000s, Jacques Bodart entrusted the leadership of Opticiens Bodart to Luigi Moioli, a former employee, in 2008. In 2012, Luigi Moioli got the opportunity to take over this famous Brussels business, and he is currently its proud owner.
PIONEER IN TECHNOLOGY “Through the years, we have successfully developed our business in all the areas of optical services: glasses, customs work, contact lenses, solutions for the visually impaired, corrective lenses and complex lenses. In all of these domains, Opticiens Bodart is always looking for new products. We always want to test and offer improvements, in order to be a pioneer in terms of technology. This technology, which translates into the most sophisticated materials, provides us with the option to specialize in complex or extraordinary solutions, particularly for children and the hearing-impaired. Our experience and our reputation have quickly caught the attention of the medical world. They don’t hesitate to provide us with complex and interesting cases,” Luigi Moioli explains.
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QUALITY AND SERVICE As a traditional business with a strong devotion to craftmanship, Opticiens Bodart works with local manufacturers as much as possible. “Because the Belgian glasses products are scarce, we work with primarily French, German and Italian brands. We at least avoid products from outside of Europe, so that we can maintain close relationships with the suppliers. Unlike the chains, cooperating with real glasses manufacturers provides the opportunity to offer great added value. We are proud to offer the best possible service in addition to the quality products. Clients should not only leave satisfied; they should also remain satisfied for a long time. We distinguish ourselves from a simple seller by offering quality post-purchase service, which ensures adjustments and maintenance. Since the early 1950s, we have been doing in-house custom work on lenses and repairing frames. We have reliable technicians with great expertise, who want to pass on their knowledge to their younger colleagues in order to guarantee the future of the business.”
Although the business can be seen as a classic and timeless one, Opticiens Bodart evolves along with the times. In addition to the latest, ultra-modern technologies, the building has been undergoing renovations since 2014. After the reorganization and updating of the store, we are now planning a complete renovation of the façade of the character building. “In order to remain a pioneer in state-of-the-art technologies on the market, we will be installing new, interactive display counters at the beginning of 2018. And we also have more ideas for the long term. We have determined that our clients want us to provide a presence in the Brussels periphery with one or more branches. If an opportunity for this presents itself to meet this demand, why not?”, Luigi Moioli, owner of Opticiens Bodart concludes.
VIP & BUTLER SERVICES DISCRETE SERVICE TAILORED TO THE CLIENT’S NEEDS Are you looking for a top-notch professional who can ensure smooth operations behind the scenes? Someone who can make himself invisible, but can also be very much present whenever and wherever required? Then you have come to the right place at VIP & Butler Services. “We guarantee personal, customized service”, Managing Director and Head Butler Kristiaan Polgar tells us.
TEXT: WIM VANDER HAEGEN – PHOTOS: © VIP & BUTLER SERVICES
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VIP & Butler Services was founded by Kristiaan Polger, who is a passionate organiser and punctual planner with heart and soul. After a successful career in the world of finances, he completely changed course and switched to the world of personal services. Together with his team, he can make any occasion into an unforgettable event. “VIP & Butler Services provides butler services for hotels, companies and private individuals. Our clients can hire a personal butler for parties, events, birthdays or personal accompaniment, for example. Every one of our employees is a professional and certified butler. They have all had excellent training and have made discretion their trademark. They are committed to a strict, deontological code in which honesty and reliability prevail. With VIP & Butler Services we provide discrete services, where the client, his or her partner, the organization or the guests are the focus. Our goal is to provide exceptional and exclusive added value. Our clients’ satisfaction is our biggest asset. When someone wishes to engage our services, we have a personal meeting with them, during which we discuss all their needs. We always customize our services, balancing the client’s available budget with their wishes. We make clear agreements, so that everyone knows exactly what to expect.”
At VIP & Butler Services, butlers can be booked separately for different assignments. “With a ‘hotel butler’ a personal butler is always nearby. He provides discrete and subtle service and is always prepared to help and serve someone, and is trained expertly in anticipating the client’s wishes and desires. A household butler is not only a classic butler, but also a household manager. They are multi-talented, practically-inclined people who take care of the general management of a home or estate. They supervise other personnel, organise events, provide personal assistance, take care of the agenda and take responsibility for driving services as well. Of course, they also take the more traditional tasks to heart, such as table service and serving drinks, managing the wine cellar, organizing hunts and taking care of antiques and artworks. You can also hire a ‘butler for a day’ from us, for as little as four hours, for example for a dinner. The butler welcomes the guests in style, accompanies them to their places and prepares the dinner down to the last detail, ensures a perfectly set table, serves the various courses – with professional explanation and, on top of all that, takes care of the kitchen clean-up. A butler for a private household is also an option, as is a butler for special events, such as the opening of a building or the introduction of a product or service. We also have shopping butlers and even a picnic butler.”
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PICNIC IN THE MOUNTAINS In addition to specific butler services, VIP & Butler Services also provides driver services and there are various options related to events. “With our driver services, the clients can be transported safely and in style, so that they have time to tend to other matters underway and they can arrive at their destination feeling relaxed. Anyone organizing an event knows how important it is to have the right person at the right place. For events, VIP & Butler Services also provides customized services of the highest quality. We also offer airport service, helicopter service, renting a private jet and we have special travel butlers-companions. For example, we recently organised a picnic in the mountains in Austria. The client had asked us to think of ‘something special’ to thank five business partners for years of trust. We brought the client and his guests from Antwerp to Switzerland in a private jet and from there transported them to the destination in Austria by helicopter. They stayed there for a few days and had the opportunity to go skiing, among other things. At one point, we prepared a picnic in a spot that the guests could ski to from the slope. Eight of our people worked hard for several hours, creating a track, shoveling snow and bringing the right kind of furniture, etc. The guests got to enjoy an elaborate lunch on a hand-knotted Persian carpet and were served caviar, lobster and champagne and other delicacies. In short: they were provided with every type of luxury! For us it was a wonderful challenge to find a beautiful location with a great view, which was not only quiet, but also easy to reach for the skiers. Usually we have to keep food refrigerated; here it was the opposite and we had to ensure that the exquisite dishes didn’t get frozen. It took a lot of preparation, but the result was top-notch and the client was very satisfied.” 79
More info: www.vipbutlerservices.be
MINNEGOED WINES A NOSE FOR FINE SOUTH AFRICAN WINES After a more than fifteen-year career with one of the European market leaders in the sale of South African wines, Frederick Goeminne decided, at the end of 2016, to get into the driver’s seat himself. Under the name of Minnegoed Wines, Frederick imports not only wines from exclusive domains, but also creates a fine selection of his own wines. TEXT: WIM VANDER HAEGEN – PHOTOS: MINNEGOED WINES
EXPERIENCED WINE PROFESSIONALS During his fifteen-year career as a seller, Frederick became passionate about South Africa and the numerous great wines that country produces. He thought it was high time to take the reins in his own hands. He had already taken courses to qualify him for that job and still takes courses at WSET and has been present at many harvests in South Africa. “With my passion and my professional knowledge, I have built up a wonderful knowledge network in South Africa. Once the decision was made to start importing wines independently, I contacted various vineyards that were not yet represented in the Belgian market; some of them not even in the European market. In April, I took a prospective study trip through South Africa to meet my contacts in person and to explore the various options on-site. This is how I put together a team of experienced wine professionals and how Minnegoed Wines was born. In August, the first container with 18,000 bottles arrived.”
PLATTER’S WINE GUIDE
The search for untapped vineyards continues today. “New contacts are made every day. We consciously look for exceptional wines that will give us exclusivity. In this endeavour we are not looking only at the quantity of the vineyards, but opt for quality and the same passion we also have. The story and the gut feeling must match. We follow the wine producer and his or her philosophy; not the big names. A great example of this is Clarington, which is part and property of Normandie1693. Normandie focuses on the elite gamma with very exceptional wines, while Clarington tries to approach a somewhat wider audience with more accessible, but delicious wines. It is striking that the wines are presented in very beautiful (patented) bottles, created by the well-known artist Mark Eisen. After the UK, we are only the second country in the whole world that imports and distributes Clarington wines.”
A second remarkable vineyard in Minnegoed’s portfolio of Minnegoed Wines is Vrede en Lust (Peace and Passion), a gorgeous wine estate in Franschhoek that has over 300 years of experience. “They produce not only delicious wines – currently, no less than 22 – but they’re also expert marketers. Twenty-six-year-old Karlin Nel, the wine producer, creates great products with a rare passion. The winery has two vineyards, which are located in two very different regions – one is a hot region and one is a cooler area – so that they can put together an assortment in which everyone can find what they like. We are proud to say that many of our wines consistently appear with four or even five stars in Platter’s South African Wine Guide, the absolute Bible when it comes to South African wines. Some great examples of this are the products by Patatsfontein and Sons of Sugarland.”
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OUR OWN WINE Frederick also brings his own wines onto the market under the name of Minnegoed. “We designed our own labels for these and obtained a patent for the Benelux. Our own wines came into being after intensive research, during which we consciously searched for a nice entry level selection with an excellent price/quality ratio. Our intention is to expand this into a mass product, while the other vineyards we represent have a higher standard. Our objective is to offer a complete range from entry to high-end. We always ask ourselves if the price is right. I mean, there are good wines everywhere, but how much do you pay for them? We believe that with South African wines, we can offer excellent products at the right price. South Africa has a very consistent climate with a lot of sun and excellent environmental conditions. Because there are both cooler and hotter areas, people are less bound to weather conditions and both the high quality and a large variety are guaranteed. The origin and the type of grapes used are clearly shown on every bottle. There are quite a few: chenin (or ‘stone’), sauvignon blanc, pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon, shiraz, chardonnay, and more. And, of course, pinotage, the ultimate, unique South African grape. When you buy these wines, you know exactly what you’re getting.”
Although the emphasis is clearly on South Africa at Minnegoed Wines, Frederick does not snub other wine countries. “On the contrary, the wine world has much more to offer than South Africa alone, so we support our South African portfolio with untapped vineyards from the rest of the world. We can rely on a successful start – the third container with another 18,000 bottles has arrived by now – and are planning to grow, steadily and surely.”
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TASTING AND DISCOVERING Because Frederick feels that purchase and sale do not match optimally, Minnegoed focuses only on the purchase, transport, customs formalities, etc. “Sales are done through independent distributors that work with exclusivity, each in their own region. By now, there are twelve of them and more will definitely be added. The ultimate goal is a solid network of about fifty company that sell a selection of our wines. The distributors get the message out in their regions, but of course, we provide them with whatever support they need. When we get a new vineyard, for example, we organise a dinner with wine tasking. Once a year we organise a big event in the form of a tasting and discovery day in Castle Oudenberg in Geraardsbergen. Everyone is welcome to come and taste the wines, have a bite to eat and enjoy the surroundings.” At Restaurant ‘t Lorreintje, located at the foot of the wall of Geraardsbergen and Frederick’s property (who does the cooking himself, as an experienced chef), the Minnegoed Wines are prominent on the menu. For the distribution centre nearest you, visit: www.minnegoedwines.be
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