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© Naheem Browne

TESLA MODEL X Tesla gives you wings

TESLA TRAVEL EXPERIENCE ”I enjoy every kilometre”

BJORN NYLAND “Exploring Norway and Europe for free thanks to Tesla”




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preface / colophon

DEAR READERS, DEAR TESLA OWNERS AND CLUB MEMBERS, DEAR SHAREHOLDERS, DEAR EV ENTHUSIASTS, Welcome to the first edition of SuperCharged! Electrifying Moment! We are delighted to present it to you your Community Magazine for TESLA Owners and enthusiasts. Why SuperCharged? As a metaphor to our amazing cars, we are SuperCharged, full of emotions, willingness to ‘be the change we would like to see in the World’, full of energy to nurture a stunning Community of Ambassadors, Entrepreneurs and peers and last but not least, boost the rEVolution towards a cleaner Future. We have redefined and raised the bar to the basic definition of ‘fans’. We are Community minded, Early Adopters and Influencers embracing the opportunity to change towards a more sustainable lifestyle. Quite a few years ago, we started this journey, starting to build the Community, long before Stores or even Service Centers or Superchargers were deployed. We are aiming at gathering Owners, enthusiasts, shareholders and peers together. Our mission is to support the community in general regarding the rEVolution and the EVangelization while raising the awareness of the World regarding EV. Tesla Owners Club is officially established on January 2014 as a non profit organization, supported by its Board Members and its 2000 members, all volunteers. Thanks to its recurrent monthly activities and side events, the Club is leading networking events along with fun activities so that we can

all share experiences, tips and tricks and raise the EV awareness among us and also show our willingness to change towards a more sustainable lifestyle, reaching out for the ‘Blue Economy’ principles. Up to today, we have Organized many ‘First Tuesdays’ with over quite a few guests. We have hosted and discovered many businesses and peers. ‘Cherry on the Pie’, we were very pleased to host the first World Event: Tesla World 2015 in Antwerpen. Our latest achievement is in your hands: Community placeholder to further continue the ongoing conversations among the Club members and enthusiasts. In this edition, we will, amongst others, cover the new Model X, interview some Loyal Twitter followers, interview a Tesla driver and reporting the Tesla World Conference. Thank you for reading us until the end and your ongoing support to the Community in this journey. We wish you an electrifying read, we hope you will have as much much as we add to build this first edition. So buckled up and enjoy the ride! We look forward to your impressions, stories and feedback as well as welcoming you during our monthly events and TOW 2016 on October 22nd, 2016. Neither Tesla Owners Club Belgium nor Tesla World are affiliated with Tesla Motors, inc.


Byron Soulopoulos President @soulopoulos

Gwenn Schoovaerts Managing Director @gwenn85

Martin Gillet Global Communications and Marketing @mgillet

Laurent Dierckx Events Manager @laurentdierckx

Christophe Duponcheele Network Evangelist @duponcheele

FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA / VOLUME 1, November 2015, ISSUE 1 | SUPERCHARGED – The magazine made by and for Tesla Owners & enthusiasts | CIRCULATION: 20000 copies (excluding additional distribution) | FREQUENCY: Quarterly | Distribution: Tesla Owners Club Belgium members | EDITORS: Anja Van Der Borght, Ruud Van De Locht, Dimitri Van Moerkercke, Wim Vander Haegen, Jeroen Coteur, Niko D’hont | PUBLISHER: Erik De Ridder, LEO | DESIGN: LEO bvba – rue des Ixellois 1 – 4000 LIEGE | PRINTING: Drukkerij Lowyck, Oostende (this magazine uses 100% ecological paper) | SALES: Erik De Ridder – tel.: 0486 13 13 13, e-mail: | ADMINISTRATIVE & TRAFFIC ADVERTISMENTS: Event&Expo Belgium – Hilde De Ridder – tel 09 228 22 84 – email: | 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: for the cost of mailing (20 euros/year) | Front cover and additional sketches - Author: Naheem Browne who is an American self-taught designer with one semester of experience at College for Creative Studies in Detroit. More Sketches





© Naheem Browne



TESLA MODEL X TESLA GIVES YOU WINGS With the delivery of the more powerful Dual Motor versions equipped with two electric motors, the American company Tesla Motors expands with a follow-up to the success of its popular Model S sedan. It was indeed a banner year for its Model X. Here’s a look at Tesla’s spectacular latest model. TEXT: ANJA VAN DER BORGHT - PHOTOS: © NAHEEM BROWNE


© Naheem Browne


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© Naheem Browne


After CEO Elon Musk unveiled the Tesla Model X concept car in February 2012, the arrival of the crossover – which combines the advantages of a minivan with those of an SUV – had been postponed several times. This was mainly because of additional tests that the crossover had to undergo and the time needed to make preparations at the factory, but after a long wait, the first models finally rolled off the line.

SAFETY AS A PRIORITY According to Tesla, the Model X is the fastest, best-equipped and safest SUV ever. The vehicle has been designed with safety as its highest priority. Not a bad idea, since you know the daughter of Paul Walker – the famous actor from The Fast and the Furious movie – has sued German automaker Porsche on the grounds that the seatbelts allegedly caused her father’s death. Since Tesla has mounted the battery for the Model X in the floor, the centre of gravity is lower, making the car fifty per cent less likely to flip over in comparison with other vehicles in its class. The battery structure also gives the Model X better protection against intrusions of other vehicles or objects when side impacts occur. And since the car has no gasoline motor, the large trunk in the front functions as an enormous shock-absorbing crumple zone. Furthermore, the Model X continuously scans the surrounding road with the assistance of a camera, radar and sonar system that give the driver real-time feedback in order to help avoid collisions. Even at higher speeds, such as on the highway, Model X is designed so that it brakes automatically in emergencies.

TWO VERSIONS The Model X comes standard with four-wheel drive with the Dual Motor. Just like with the new Model S versions with the Dual Motor, the additional motor increases torque and traction, among other things. If you count the fact that in all electric cars the torque is immediately available, than you will realise that the Model X - even with its seven passengers and a full trunk – will be able to compete with the top models on the conventional SUV market. The battery has a capacity of 90 kWh for a range of 450 km. The far range is in part thanks to the fact that the Model X is the most aerodynamic SUV on the market. When the Model X is moving, an active spoiler rises from the rear hatch in order to optimize stability and efficiency on highways. What’s more, this SUV is unbelievably quick. The P90D with four wheel drive has 262 HP in the front and 510 HP in the rear and accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 4 seconds, or in 3.4 seconds with the ‘Ludicrous Speed Upgrade.’ The 90D with all-wheel drive has an active range of 470 kilometres (EPA estimate) and with its engine output of 262 HP in the front and 262 in the rear, races from 0 to 100 km/h in just 5 seconds. The top speed of both models is 250 km/h.


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© Naheem Browne

• Falcon-wing rear doors automatically adjust to the optimum opening arc in tight spaces or small garages. • Maps and navigation with real-time traffic updates • Daytime running lights • Electric folding and heated side view mirrors • Trunk in front with space for baggage, baby carriages, or two golf bags • Full baggage space for your equipment • Drive for long distances with Tesla’s ever-increasing Supercharger network • 8 year unlimited mileage guarantee on battery and drivetrain • Automatic keyless entry with doors that open automatically • Parking sensors, blind spot warning system and side collision warning system • Automatic emergency braking system to help avoid collisions, even at high speeds, such as on the highway • Seating for seven adults • Four ISOFIX mounts for child seats, two on each row of passenger seats




Furthermore, the Model X has the largest windscreen that is produced at the moment. With it you can enjoy a breath-taking view of the sky or a starry night sky above you. Tinted anti-UV glass allows good visibility for the driver and all of the passengers. The spectacular flip-up falcon-wing doors – think of the ones on the Mercedes SLS – allow the passengers to get out of the vehicle easily in the smallest of parking spaces. Even in a tight parking spot, the falcon-wing doors allow easy access to the seats in the second and third row, while traditional SUV doors or sliding doors on vans allow no access at all. With just 30 centimetres space needed on each side, the falcon wing doors open smoothly upwards, allowing passengers to enter from the front or the rear. The opening on the side and the top is so large that parents can strap their children in without having to bend or stretch and without the children bumping their heads on the roof.

The Model X is availabe with interior configurations of six or seven seats. The layout with seven seats offers maximum passenger capacity while the layout with six seats offers access to the third row from the second row. In addition, the layout with six seats has extra luggage capacity. Using a carrier mounted on the tow bar, you can bring along even more luggage. The Model X is the first electric car with a carrying capacity of no less than 2,268 kilos. Whoever orders a new vehicle has to have nearly 130,000 euros – at least if you want the Signature model that was introduced at the launch in California – and you have to wait a few months. The supply of new reservations is estimated to take place in the second half of 2016. The price of the basic model is not yet known, but Musk sent out a tweet to the world in which he said that the Model X will cost only $5,000 more than the Model S, which depending upon the model costs $70,000 or about 62,000 euros.


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who’s who

INFOGRAPHICS OF TESLA OWNERS CLUB BELGIUM Although Belgium is (relatively) small the Tesla Owners Club Belgium vzw/asbl is a very active and communication online is growing every day! Our presence on social media:











who’s who

LOYAL TWITTER FOLLOWERS IN THEIR OWN WORDS Belgium may not be the biggest country, but the Tesla Owners Club Belgium is a particularly active club with enthusiastic members and sympathisers. Even online, the communications grow day after day including with scores of loyal Twitter followers. Why do they follow Tesla? What appeals to them? Do they even drive Teslas? The top followers will gladly tell you themselves.




“As an IT specialist, I’m always interested in new technologies. A Tesla was on my wish list and when I was due to receive a new company car earlier this year, I got a Model S P85 D. I have a friend who drives a Tesla and was already impressed, but the price scared me off somewhat. When I let my bookkeeper calculate exactly what it would cost me it turned out that driving a Tesla is cheaper than we might think. Calculated over a period of five years, a BMW 5-Series is even more expensive. What should also not go unmentioned is my respect for Elon Musk, who invests his capital in technology to help the world.”

“I’ve followed Tesla Owners Club Belgium since it was started and think it’s a wonderful initiative. The club creates a community for exchanging information and is for owners as well as for other enthusiasts. It is an initiative by and for people with the same passions and that really appeals to me. Why Tesla? Elon Musk is a name that will be in the history books forever. The man is working very hard on energy issues, including SolarCity and the PowerWall. I am also active in the energy industry and want to be in the front row following technological progress closely. I drive a company car, which is not a Tesla since the company does not provide fort hat. But I am looking forward to another one to replace it in 2018, and that one has to be one of Elon Musk’s cars!”



“Since the Model S has been on the market, I’ve been a follower on Twitter, but also because Tesla is a company which I personally strongly believe in. What they do, how they work, and how they make innovation a priority speaks to me. As a manager at the IT company Silver Lining, I strive for these values myself. This year I got a P85D. I used to drive an Audi A5, so the transition to a Tesla Model S was a big one. Financially as well, but luckily the government lends a helping hand in this area today. Satisfied? Absolutely! The car rides really smoothly and the limitations don’t bother me. We took the family on a road trip to Sweden this summer. The trip was 4,000 kilometres and we didn’t have a single problem.”

“When Tesla Owners Club Belgium started, I was immediately interested in it. Personally I have been following everything that Elon Musk has been doing for a long time. His vision of renewable energy really appeals to me. The perspective of a better future for one, but also the big picture with the cars, batteries and solar panels, the emphasis on sustainability… everything reflects a clear vision of the future. I do not drive a Tesla myself, because the company where I work does not allow it as a company car. The road to electric mobility is still a long one, but I notice that one thing leads to another so I keep lobbying for it. I am even planning on putting myself on the waiting list for a Model 3.”



“Elke tafel heeft een verhaal”

BRUSELLO STUDENT FLATS DEZE BELEGGING MOET ABSOLUUT IN UW PORTEFEUILLE In Brussel, onze grootste studentenstad, zijn er om en bij de 9.500 studentenflats te kort. Daarom biedt Brusello Student Flats een buitenkans voor de verstandige investeerder. • • • • •

De ligging in centrum Brussel – vlakbij de campussen en de levendige buurt rond de beurs en de Grote Markt – is gewoon ideaal. De architectuur is hoogstaand en hypermodern, jeugdig, strak en fris van stijl, met een hoogkwalitatieve en duurzame afwerking. Deze exclusieve studentenflats vormen een ware groene oase in de binnenstad, tot en met een prachtige binnentuin en terrassen. De extra troef vormt de professionele uitbater, zodat u zich nergens zorgen over hoeft te maken. Bij dit hoogstaande studentenverblijf is verhuur verzekerd: in een straal van 1km bevinden zich maar liefst 22.900 studenten.

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Going on a trip with an electric car? Until a few years ago, this seemed to be an impossible undertaking. However, Tesla has ensured that electric car drivers can ride in comfort and take their own favourite car on the road without experiencing huge practical problems. Tesla driver Frank Piessens likes nothing more than racking up kilometres with his Model S 60 – not just in Belgium, but also abroad.





14 km/h


3,0 kW

40 km/h


Alternative current socket monophase 230V 13A

7,4 kW

55 km/h


Standard Schuko 2 pin plug

Alternative current socket monophase 230V 32A

11 kW

40 km/h


IEC 60309 “Mennekes” 3 pin plug (blue)

Alternative current socket triphase 230/400V 16A

7,4 kW

55 km/h



IEC 60309 “Mennekes” 5 pin plug (red)

Alternative current socket Monophase 230V 32A

11 kW



“Vynckier” 3 pin plug

Alternative current socket Triphase 230/400V 32A

Tesla cable

4 IEC 60309 “Mennekes” 5 pin plug (red) (limited 16A via TeslaCable)



55 km/h

18 km/h 36 km/h 55 km/h 110 km/h

11 kW

3,7 kW 7,4 kW 11 kW 22 kW

18 km/h 36 km/h 55 km/h 110 km/h

Alternative current socket triphase 230/400V 32A Terminal-Wallbox Type 2 triphase 230V 16A 230V 32A 400V 16A 400V 32A (Twincharger)

3,7 kW 7,4 kW 11 kW 22 kW

≈ 280 km/h

“Vynckier” 5 pin plug (limited 16A via TeslaCable)


IEC 62196 “Mennekes” Plug Type 2

“Schneider” Plug Type 3c (France)

Terminal-Wallbox Type 3 monophase/triphase 230V 16A 230V 32A 400V 16A 400V 32A (Twincharger)

50 kW




“Tesla CHAdeMO Adapter”

CHAdeMO Direct Current 120A


≈ 400 km/45min

Supercharger Direct Current 200A (often limited)


120 kW


FORMULA : V x A x √p x cos φ = W MONO : 230 x 32 x √1 = 7.360 ≈ 7,4 kW TRI : 400 x 16 x √3 = 11.072 ≈ 11 kW V = Volt ~ A = Ampere ~ p = number phases ~ √1 = 1 ~ √3 ≈ 1,73 ~ cos φ = the power factor is often close to 1 ~ Always earth pin and neutral pin CHAdeMO, Scheider & Mennekes are registered brands Credit photos - common creative

July 2015 – © TeslaClubBE – Christophe Duponcheele – EVangelist


are indicated on your screen. It is a relaxing way to travel. I still have the smallest battery, the 60kW, which is no longer made. My autonomous range in realistic driving is about 270 kilometres. Ride a few hours and then stop to have a coffee or a bite to eat and then you’re ready to hit the road again. For the amount that you normally spend on gas, you can pay for the hotel.” For Frank Piessens, the Tesla story began in 2011 when a new tax scheme was announced regarding cars that pollute. For him, this was the sign to start his online search for alternatives. “Soon I came upon Tesla and their plans to produce the Model S. Under the motto ‘you only live once,’ I took the plunge and in September 2012, I ordered a multi-coat red Model S 60. The car cost more to purchase than what I had ever paid before, but when I look at the total cost, the Tesla ended up costing about 15,000 to 17,000 euros less than my previous cars.”

HIS OWN SHOWROOM After ordering, Frank had to wait for a while for his car, but it was during this time that he became a real Tesla fanatic. “In order to kill time during the long wait, I sat up for hours on the Internet to seek out everything about Tesla and I began to fully revamp my garage into a real Tesla showroom, including a cable holder of my own design and even a ‘Tesla Boulevard.’ I was a Tesla fan from the first minute and in recent years, Tesla has occupied a place in my heart and in my life.”

ENJOYING EACH AND EVERY RIDE Meanwhile Frank Piessens, who works as an independent designer of slot machines, has been riding around for two years in the apple of his eye. “I enjoy every kilometre and every minute that I am able to drive in this car. Earlier, I used to have to go shopping and I drove a maximum of 10,000 kilometres per year. Now I jump at the chance to go shopping and sometimes I specifically forget something so that I have to drive back. It’s just that driving around can really make me relax. Even going to get a sandwich can be a 75 km trip. Doing this has put about 40,000 on the odometer.”

MORE FREQUENT TRIPS But of course Frank does not just use his Tesla for rides to the supermarket or the bakery. He crosses the border regularly too. “Before we never went on vacation with the car, but since we have the Tesla, I’ve begun to take trips and excursions. Almost every long weekend we book a hotel somewhere in Europe, head out and make use of the Superchargers, which are easy to find and

DESTINATION NORWAY The Tesla drivers make up a really close-knit group. They support one another in word and deed, and they also travel together. “Some weeks ago, we took a road trip from Belgium and the Netherlands to Norway with 16 people from the Tesla forum. Ten days with ten cars, for 50,000 kilometres all together. It was a real treat to be able to drive on these roads going through such a landscape with such a car.”

IMPRESSIVE SERVICE The trip to Norway seemed like a real adventure, with a few problems popping up along the way which were resolved in a manner that was pleasantly surprising. “During the trip we got to know the outstanding service provided by Tesla. We were barrelling through Germany and a problem came up with one of the cars. The car had reduced its own engine power as a preventative measure. Via the central service number, we were referred to the nearest Service Centre. There we could have received a replacement car so the group trip could continue. Instead the driver chose to stay with his own car. After manpower and effort the car was worked on and after installing a new motor, the driver could continue on his way. Just a few hours later, he was with the group again. Cost: 0 €. I would not envision that happening so quickly if you had a problem with another make of car while abroad.”

A SECOND TESLA? In spite of the problems on the road, Frank remains 200% behind Tesla. “It’s normal to have teething problems with a new car brand. But the manner in which Tesla deals with it is unprecedented. The best solution was sought as quickly as possible. I myself have only experienced very few problems. My car has been serviced for regular maintenance. There were a number of issues that had to be taken care of preventatively - issues were solved in later production but not yet part of the first production cars. I hope to be able to drive with this car for a long time and hope to be able to buy a Model 3 for my wife,” concludes Piessens.



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VAN DESSEL EV INSURANCE We’d also like to introduce our unique insurance solution for Tesla owners. VD Electric Vehicle is specifically for electric vehicles and provides the following safeguards: • Third Party Liability (TPL): the legally required insurance • Casco insurance: coverage against own damage, damage by fire and electricity, storm and hail, collision with animals, vandalism, glass breakage and theft.

WHAT TO EXPECT This policy offers a number of advantages not to be missed: • A highly competitive premium • There is no depreciation period of 36 months from the first registration. In other words, you get paid the full list price as a result of a total loss of your Tesla after for example 30 months.€ • The policy retains a fixed exemption of € 950 for your own damage. No deductible for the other perils. • You will get a free analysis and audit of your entire insurance portfolio by our specialists

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APPLE WATCH KEEP A WATCH ON APPLE/ JUST WATCH APPLE The experts all agree: the Apple Watch is the best smart watch on the market, even though it has to cope with teething troubles. And we can ask ourselves whether that hefty price tag is justified. TEXT: ANJA VAN DER BORGHT




WHY APPLE WATCH AND NOT IWATCH? The reason for the new smartwatch from Apple not being called the ‘iWatch’ is to be found with two other major watch manufacturers: the Swatch Group that had registered the name ‘iwatch’ for a Swatch watch with a touch screen (which is now known as the ‘Iswatch’), and the Belgian manufacturer Ice-Watch that could take Apple to court, if it were to use the name iWatch, because that is too similar to their brand name.

TRADITION AND HIGH-TECH You can compare the Apple Watch with a mini-computer on your wrist that helps you to make better use of your time. Use your Apple Watch to call a friend to congratulate him on his birthday. Listen to your favourite album. Check the status of your flight. Open your car door. Or lower the thermostat setting. From now on you can do this all directly from your wrist. Thanks to the built-in apps and apps that you download from the App Store, in no time you will be unable to live without your Apple Watch. Check messages and reply straight away. Use your voice to start a music track. In short, the face of the Apple Watch provides a multi-coloured arsenal of functions, and you only have to lift your arm if you want to know or do something in a hurry.

FITNESS COACH Just like many other smart watches, the Apple Watch jumps on the bandwagon of new in-words such as ‘e-health’ and ‘e-fitness’. The reliable fitness software transforms the watch into a real all-round coach keeping track of your health and condition. The three rings of the Activity app show your daily activities, and motivate you to move more, to stand, and to work on your condition. You can also make use of a special Workout app that provides you with your full measurement data during cycling, running, or cross training. Are you a devotee of other fitness apps? No problem. In general you can simply keep using them, and have the results count for your Activity rings.

LIMITED AUTONOMY Although the great majority consider the design of the Apple Watch a success and the interface innovative, some people find the watch case a little too thick. But then that is affected by the size of your wrist and your personal taste. Less easy to ignore is that the Apple Watch, just like the iPhone Edge and the iPad – that came out in 2010 – suffers from Apple teething troubles. For example, there are some applications that are not completely perfect, some applications or services (particularly those designed by third parties) are very slow, and you must also accept the limited autonomy of only one day.

The introduction of an 18 carat gold Apple Watch no longer leaves room for doubt: Apple wants to bring fashion, technology, and luxury a step closer together, and to conquer the luxury product market. The recently introduced Apple Watch® Hermès neatly amplifies that image. This new stainless steel collection of Apple Watches comes with the Hermès wrist straps, hand made in the French ateliers, that are available in various styles: the ‘Single Tour’ (the traditional wrist strap), the ‘Double Tour’ (the double wrist strap), and the ‘Cuff’ (the cuff wrist strap). A collaboration that incomparably links the product innovation of Apple to the heritage and skills of Hermès and to the icons of the house. “Apple and Hermès may produce very different products, but both brands reflect a great appreciation of quality design”, says Jonathan Ive, Apple’s chief designer. “Both companies strive for uncompromising excellence.” The Apple Watch® Hermès, with its traditional watch straps that respect the design and functionality of the Apple Watch, is witness to this. Every stainless steel case in this collection bears an etched Hermès signature, and the client can choose a virtual watch face inspired by the famed Clipper, Cape Cod, and Espace watches of Hermès. Because the choice of a watch is a matter of personal taste, and because, as with everything you wear, the look is just as important as the function, Apple Watch has a whole series of other interchangeable straps available, so that you can easily ring the changes.

DO OR DON’T The Apple Watch is fantastic, cool, and, once you have spent a day going through the apps and personalising them to your own preferences, also easy to use. But it is still not indispensable, not yet. And perhaps you would like one, but first ask yourself whether you really need one; because by the time that you are used to yours, the technology will already be hopelessly outdated. If you really can’t resist it, go for the Sport version, that is, the entry-level model for 419 euro. If you want a more expensive model, wait until version 2.0 comes onto the market with fewer anomalies, a better autonomy, and a shorter charging time. Info





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THE KAVO DIY LAMP is a flat-pack lamp that not only looks gorgeous, but is also environmentally-friendly. This nifty lighting product is made of birch with American walnut veneer, in the form of the silhouette of the archetypal table lamp as we have known it for decades.


THE TESLA POWERWALL is aimed at the household that wants to stock its accumulated solar energy inside the home for later use, instead of transferring it directly to the grid in exchange for a fee. The Tesla Powerwall comes in two versions, one with a battery capacity of 7 kWh (about 3,000 $) and one with a 10 kWh capacity (3,500 $). This does not include the cost of a DC-AC inverter plus professional installation (adds a few thousand dollars to the bill). But hey, this might be the missing link to total freedom and independence, so maybe you’re ready to spend some more?



727Sailbags recycles the sails of boats that have sailed the seven seas, giving them a second life as fashion or design objects. The sail that has been used for this butterfly chair came from a yacht that once sailed the Mediterranean and the Atlantic.



This sofa from the Italian Kubedesign is formed from 3D compressed cardboard. The front can be finished in various striking colours.


The Swiss company FREITAG lets nature take its course when it comes to your ... wardrobe. The Swiss brand has created an all-new, biodegradable textile named F ABRIC, which is produced right here in Europe. During an initial phase, F-ABRIC (made from a blend of flax and hemp fibres together with modal fibres) will be available at selected FREITAG stores and retailers.

6. BOOKNITURE is a nifty interior eye-catcher that unfolds itself from a book into a fully-fledged design element. You can put the closed Bookniture onto a large bookshelf (just like a book). When opened and folded out, Bookniture turns into a little table or stool. According to its makers, it should be able to support up to 375 lbs (roughly 170 kilograms).

7. USED2B came up with this line of gorgeous recycled bags for all kinds of purposes: travel, work, taking care of your baby… These little gems are in fact bags made out of recycled cement bags that were rejected by a cement brand because the bags were incorrectly printed. A better world and a fashionable look? Hell yeah! 8. Well, you don’t really see a time indication when looking at this ‘ANT FARM’ WATCH from Analog Watch Co, but that’s not important because you will be looking at a small ecosystem around your wrist. You keep the ants inside your ‘watch’ alive by adding some little drops of sugary water to the nesting sand inside the watch. The ‘Ant farm’ watch is made from a plant-based 100% biodegradable plastic.




TESLA OWNERS CLUB MEMBER ”HELPING SPREAD THE TESLA MESSAGE” In early 2014, Hans Hantson bought his first Tesla. Less than two years later, he is a loyal member of the Tesla Owners Club and an ardent advocate of the Tesla message. Because Tesla is not just a car; the brand stands for an entire philosophy of innovation. Hans explains to us how he got bitten by the Tesla bug and what kind of a role the brand has meanwhile played in his life. 28


Hans Hantson works as a Business Development Manager for an American company in the ICT industry. It was also in the U.S. when he was first introduced to Tesla – entirely by coincidence. “I find myself in San Francisco and Silicon Valley quite often because of work. At the time, the hotel I always stayed at was in front of the NUMMI factory. Several years ago, the factory was sold, and all of a sudden I saw the name Tesla appear, a brand that until that moment did not know so well. Since I myself am quite the enthusiast for everything to do with innovation, I decided to study it further. The story of Tesla made me think back to what happened with Apple under Steve Jobs: it’s about someone with a very distinct vision who managed to achieve it. I see the same thing with Elon Musk. He also has a vision that lead many people to declare him nuts, but he still knows they way to accomplish his vision. And I find that pretty neat.”

INNOVATION AND TAX ADVANTAGES In addition to the innovative character of Tesla, Hans quickly discovered another unmistakable asset of the brand. “Tesla is also attractive for tax reasons. When the new legislation regarding DIV and taxation of company cars was announced, a large number of higher-class cars suddenly became more expensive to drive. Tesla was the right answer here. The original sale price is perhaps quite high, but if you add everything up together, Tesla is surely

no more expensive that your average car in a higher class, like a BMW or Mercedes.”

MODEL S 85D Although he did not discover the brand that long ago, Hans is already driving his second Tesla. “I bought my first Tesla in January 2014. But this car didn’t have the right hardware for Autopilot and other interesting updates. That is why I quickly began to see if I could swap it out. I intended to drive it for three years, but after 9 months I was able to sell it with Tesla’s trade-in programme to another company. Since June of this year, I have been driving my second Tesla, a Model S 85D.”

NEW FRIENDS Hans quickly discovered that a whole community of fans stands behind Tesla. “First, you buy a car, but it just so happens that there is so much more to it, something that I initially had not expected. Before my purchase, I was already on a Tesla forum seeking out other opinions, because it is of course a serious investment. And before the car was delivered, I went to a meeting of the Tesla Owners Club, so I could hear what other people think about it. In the meantime I’ve become a loyal member and have developed a number of friendships from it. They are people with the same passion for Tesla, and also with the same ideas about innovation.”






The Tesla Owners Club gets together about once a month, but outside of the club there is also a strong sense of solidarity. “When you’re loading up at a Supercharger, you meet a lot of people who are enthusiasts, ones who have a certain vision that is consistent with yours. You can meet a lot of new people this way, and that is how a network is created that can even result in business. A lot of Tesla owners are after all self-employed or managers. This creates a real community feeling between people with a passion for Tesla and the whole EV movement. And that’s just great. I could compare it with motorcyclists who greet each other on the road or stop and chat at rest stops. I see the same happening with Tesla. It’s not just about the car itself, but also the idea behind it.”

The Tesla lovers are at the same time the best salespeople for the brand, because each one helps with spreading the message. “Today, Tesla is the only car brand that consciously does not advertise. The message of the brand is carried forth by its customers. Yes, Tesla lovers often get approached by interested people in parking lots, but they also selflessly invest time in helping to spread the message. Certain people still have the wrong ideas about it – they think an electric car is boring, is not fast, cannot go very far, and so on. There is still a lot of explaining to do. The goal of the Tesla Owners Club is to make people more aware what exactly an electric car is. This kind of a car can be really exciting, and you can also drive it down to the south of Spain,” concludes Hans Hantson.






The first Tesla World Conference in Antwerp really struck home. The first large-scale event of the Tesla Owners Club Belgium presented a broad, inspiring programme with visionary speakers, and provided a great number of successful networking opportunities. No need to say, September 25th 2015 was a stunning Tesla Owners, Enthusiasts and Community Day! TEXT: NIKO D’HONT - PHOTOS: © COLLAGE D’IMAGES AND © RUDOLF VAN DER VEN #TESLAWORLD #TOW


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The Audience of the Tesla World Conference experienced an inspiring day thanks to the fine selection of speakers and entertainers along with fruitful and relaxing breaks. Throughout the Conference; we interviewed some of the speakers to find out more about them and their impressions. They told us their vision of the future and how they see the role of Tesla Motors Inc. in this amazing journey. You can read the interview in full in the next pages as well as engage with the speakers thanks to their Twitter Handle. Watch the Conference replays at










Gunter Pauli is the man who travels the world for the ‘Blue Economy’. You can see that as an optimised version of the green economy. At the conference he presented a number of successful projects that prickle the imagination and demonstrate the possibilities of the Blue Economy, such as the low water production of stone paper or plastics from thistle seeds.

In the Blue Economy, every business model provides added value on all fronts: ecological, social, and economic. That can be achieved through intelligent and renewable production and consumption. Professor Pauli recently launched his latest book, The Blue Economy 2.0, in which he announces a whole series of new ideas and possibilities, and demonstrates the success achieved: investments amounting to four billion and creation of jobs for three million people. One of the success stories is stone paper. This is made from the stone dust residue from the Chinese mining industry, and no scarce water is needed (while traditional paper requires a great deal of costly water). Another is the baby nappy project in Berlin that provides compost for public gardens. The biodegradable nappies are supplied to the day-care centres, and are collected after use to be turned into compost for plant cultivation. Another interesting project is the processing of thistles in a converted former refinery in Sardinia as raw material for plastic bags, coffee beakers, and other plastic products. What is more, the residue from this process is used in animal feed or as useful enzymes for the cheese sector.

Are there any projects or technology in the Blue Economy that could be useful in the automobile sector? “Absolutely. Offhand, I can think of the new generation of antenna technology from our compatriot Johan Gielis. He has developed antennas that far exceed the capabilities of sensors. This offers an enormous range of potential applications, including for cars. For example, these antennas could replace the traditional sensors with

the result that car driving would be completely redefined. Much more information could be transferred relating to various aspects of motoring, and much more quickly too. That is possible thanks to the OLED technology used (close to light speed), and it requires a lot less energy.”

Thanks to your continual travelling you have a very broad view of the world. What does that teach you? “Among other things, it gives me an interesting view of Europe: the continent where people sit back and complain. In Europe we have a whole range of things that above all ensure that in the end nothing happens: business plans, feasibility studies, pilot projects, etc. The result is far too little innovation, and then we wonder why there is so much unemployment… In general, the European and Western business worlds have the same sickness: solely concerned with driving up efficiency and reducing costs. There is nothing against that in principle, but it stands in the way of real innovation.”

Finally: do you have any connection with Tesla cars? “During a stay in Hawaii I had the good fortune to be able to drive around for a while in a Tesla Roadster, a very special car. Still rather Spartan when I compare it with today’s model S. I have no car at present because I am constantly travelling around the world and there is therefore no point. I appreciate Tesla because they are really innovative cars in a car world with a great deal of conservatism. Tesla owes its success to the determination of Elon Musk to create a dream of an electric car. Other electric cars failed just because they focused too much on the cost price. Then the result is a car with too many limitations that fails to convince people.”












At the Tesla World Conference, Erik Saelens of marketing bureau Brandhome gave a stimulating description of the end of classic marketing plans, and the importance of ‘brand ambassadorship’ in today’s world. In the case of Tesla, the band with the owners is so great that many are real ‘brand ambassadors’, and promote the brand effectively among friends and acquaintances. We spoke to Alec Van Noten, Erik Saelens’ right-hand man at Brandhome, about the success of Tesla and the positioning of the brand, and about future opportunities and possible threats to its success.

“At Brandhome we are primarily concerned with the strategy for a brand, and we study the identity of the brand. We look to see how we can position a brand within and also outside its traditional market. For this we work very hard on the storyline of the brand. “Nowadays we live in a very transparent world. The effect of this is that many an old marketing truth is turned on its head. You must also see the launching of the new book by Erik Saelens, GAME OV3R in that context. (The launch is planned for 5 November, see also The approach to the consumer, both B-2-C and B-2-B, has changed fundamentally. You can no longer make do with advertising blocks and traditional advertising. If you really make good on what you promise, you can become successful much more quickly. Create ‘movements’, thanks to a raft of social media among other things.”

To what do you attribute the success of Tesla? “Undoubtedly the cars themselves. Teslas provide an exceptional experience. Many owners are so enthusiastic that they promote the brand among their friends and acquaintances. The success of the Tesla Owners Club Belgium is also proof of the engagement of the owners. Such ‘brand ambassadorship’ is very valuable, because it is much more convincing than any traditional marketing campaign with advertisements and video spots. “Both those who own a Tesla and those who have driven in one – such as I myself - are truly impressed. It is therefore essential to make test drives as widely available as possible. Anyone who hasn’t tried one continues to think that it is a beautiful car and something special, but that the classic cars with an internal combustion engine are also beautiful and good.”

Let’s quickly make a classic SWOT analysis for Tesla. What are its strengths? “Tesla was the so-called ‘first mover’, and that is one important strength. They were the first to build an electric car without making compromises. It is a superb and outstanding car that, in contrast to the other electric cars, has no real disadvantages. So Tesla has been able to bring about a change in mind-set. And that has a great impact on consumers and also on businesses in other sectors.”

Wat is the ‘weakness’ in the Tesla story? “Everything surrounding Tesla has to be an example of environmental friendliness and sustainability. The bar has been set very high. So when building the car and manufacturing the various components they have to be very careful that everything is done as ecologically as possible; otherwise their credibility can be compromised. A few years ago the Toyota Prius was discredited because the battery production for this hybrid car was said to be extremely polluting. Nothing like that must happen to Tesla.”

What opportunities are there for Tesla? “The present image and impact of Elon Musk and the Tesla brand is so gigantic that Tesla really can move and change the world. Tesla can inspire other companies, but can also make government and other bodies change and innovate. That provides unique opportunities that must be seized upon.”

And what threats does Tesla face? “Although lifestyle and vision are important for Tesla, it remains primarily a technology company. You are taking part in the race for the development of new technology, in particular battery technology. Suppose that other manufacturers were to come along with a super battery, then Tesla could be eclipsed, with all the consequences of that. So the focus must remain constantly on innovation and development, and every effort must be put into attracting the best talents as employees.”



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Maarten Steinbuch is a professor at the Technical University Eindhoven. He is professor of Automotive Technology, and also specialises in robot technology. For several years, professor Steinbuch has been completely convinced that the electric car is the future, and within a foreseeable time we shall all be driving an ‘iPad on wheels’. That was also his message at the Tesla World Conference. Maarten Steinbuch himself drives a Tesla Model S that has already done 70,000 km.

And what do you think of the Tesla? “Excellent! The unique combination of available power, quietness, and the enormous driving comfort are particularly appealing. I recently rode in a Jaguar again. A beautiful car, but it still felt like a big step backwards, and that was because of the sound of the engine and the fact that the power is not always immediately available. What I still particularly like are the updates that every Tesla gets like clockwork. After every software update there are things that function better, and you also see small changes in the dashboard. In this way these cars just keep getting better during their life cycle, and you can safely call that a revolution in the automobile world.”

As professor of Automotive Technology you occupy a privileged position. Are we really all going to be driving electric in due course? “Yes, I believe that. But to be honest, I’ve been of that opinion for only about four years. Previously it was something that I felt might eventually be the case in the distant future. But there has been so much progress in the last few years, and you see so many other promising signs, that now I am certain. Battery technology is improving rapidly with the result that the limitations of electric cars will be reduced quickly over the next few years.”

What is the importance of Tesla to the emergence of electric cars? “The quality offered by Tesla, and of course the strategy of developing electric cars for the upper segment of the market. This enabled Tesla to present this technology much better and more attractively. That is why today many people take electric motoring

very seriously. You can see from the Dutch sales figures that this strategy was the correct one. More Teslas are sold than the much more budget-friendly Nissan Leaf or Renault Zoe.”

How remarkable is it that Tesla, a startup, can compete with automobile giants with more than 100 years’ experience? “A start up like Tesla comes at the right moment, and has very specific advantages. They were able to think completely ‘outside the box’ and start from zero. The traditional manufacturers think conservatively and in terms of volumes. And that is quite understandable: as a manufacturer you want to earn money, and why would you throw an earning model for cars with internal combustion engines onto the scrapheap so as to try something new and risky? Today the cards are stacked differently.”

Finally: can we expect the same continual improvement with electric motors as is the case with internal combustion engines? “Electric motors can certainly be improved. I am thinking of the use of lighter materials. Also the transfer of the energy from the battery to the engine can be improved. But on the other hand, the margins for improvement of electric motors are indeed not as large as those for internal combustion engines because the efficiency is already very high.” Professor Steinbuch also has an interesting blogspot where he relates his experiences with the Tesla, and also posts news and opinions about everything related to electrical motoring and automobility in general:









The Norwegian Bjorn Nyland is a good example of a ‘brand ambassador’ (see also the interview with Alec Van Noten). The IT specialist from Oslo is a true Tesla fan and has created his own YouTube video channel devoted to his experiences with a Model S. The videos show a number of tests, trips, and the other interesting experiences. Anyone who is considering buying a Tesla or is simply interested in Tesla can get a whole load of useful information from Bjorn: the driving range (including in very cold weather), driving in snow, sleeping the night in a Tesla, etc. The videos have already been viewed 5 million times, and the channel already has more than 16,000 followers.


Bjorn was very lucky this summer. When Tesla launched its referral programme, Bjorn Nyland called upon his YouTube followers to refer to him when purchasing a Tesla. With success, because in this way he became the European winner of the referral campaign, so he will soon be driving a brand-new Model X Founder’s Edition. However, this means that Bjorn Nyland will have to sell his ‘Milennium Falcon’ (the name of his Model S) …

How many kilometres on the clock? “More than 185,000 km.; and the car has stood up to it well. There were a number of technical problems initially, but they were dealt with well, partly through the updates that the car gets. The car still feels very good and like new, definitely. I was actually intending to keep on going to 1,000,000 km, but now that’s obviously not going to happen... That’s rather a shame, but on the other hand I am naturally madly enthusiastic and looking forward to my experiences with the Model X.”

You work as an IT specialist at the University of Oslo, but you seem to be constantly on the road with the Tesla. How do you manage that? “I make all the videos in my free time. Moreover, I work as a courier for Nimber, an online package delivery service between private individuals. Since you can charge the Tesla batteries for free at the Tesla superchargers, in effect my trips cost nothing. So the Tesla allows me to visit every corner of Norway and even Europe without the kilometres costing me anything.

You also show in your videos that the Teslas have an excellent range even in cold weather. “Yes indeed. The range in cold weather is reduced, but I lose a maximum of 100 km. So it is not true that the batteries of electric cars always empty dramatically quickly during frost. The technical explanation is that with Tesla the heat from the engine is directed to the battery pack, so that the reduction in range is better than expected. It seems to me that this is something that other manufacturers of electric cars should also look at. Incidentally, I seem to lose more range in rain and snow than in the cold. But even then the range stays perfectly acceptable even in extreme winter conditions.”

Could Tesla Motors themselves learn something from your test videos? “I don’t know. But when I visit the Tesla dealer I notice that they watch my YouTube channel, because I regularly get feedback from them about the points I make.”

We hear very good things about the incentives for electric driving in Norway. “Yes. We can park free, we don’t have to pay toll charges, and we are allowed to drive in bus lanes when there are traffic queues. That’s great. Some people with classic cars sometimes show their displeasure about this, but on the other hand it is also the case that as a Tesla driver you don’t create any pollution. That gives you a good feeling, and justifies the government’s incentives.”








In Rafael De Mestre, the Tesla World Conference invited a true pioneer of electric motoring. In 2012, he was the first to drive around the world in a completely electric car. That was a Tesla Roadster. Rafael is now the organiser of the next ‘80 e-days race’ in 2016. The purpose is to show the world that electric cars can also cover huge distances very quickly.

How did you come up with the idea in 2012 of that race around the world in an electric car? “In fact, the idea had been developing for nearly 50 years. When I was a child in Barcelona the noise and the smell of cars always bothered me, and I hoped that one day there would be an end to it. And I discovered in the dodgems that you can also drive on electricity (laughs). At about the same time I also saw the film of Jules Verne’s “Around the world in 80 days”, and dreamt of a similar adventure. After I had set up my own consultancy, TRON, in the 90s, I noticed that a number of other companies wanted to make misuse of the name – that was registered – in all kinds of ways. Together with my lawyer we were able to put a stop to this. At a certain moment he informed me that Audi intended to register the name e tron for their electric cars. I was so enthusiastic about this that I gave them permission to use e-tron. After persistent contact with Audi I learned that their e-tron would not be an electric car but a hybrid. I was seriously disillusioned, but then I heard from a friend that there was a company in America that was building electric cars: Tesla. I didn’t hesitate for a moment, and was soon the proud owner of a Tesla Roadster. That was in 2011. My childhood dream had come true. I was living in Germany at the time and received many negative reactions about the Tesla. Quite a few people didn’t take it seriously, and this led me to develop the idea of a race around the world. It was the only way that I could prove to them that electric cars are a viable alternative. And the rest is history.”

As organiser of the next e-race in 2016 you travel around the world to promote electric cars. Do you see changes in perception? “Certainly. Without exaggerating, there must already be hundreds of people who have bought an electric car after meeting me or after hearing about my race. An amusing anecdote is about the man who himself drove a Tesla Roadster but never did more than 50 km a day with it. He was too scared that the range would be too limted. After I told him about my experience, the next day he drove to the coast, a hundred kilometres away, and returned the same day. Afterwards, full of enthusiasm, he told me about his adventure (laughs). Electric motoring is a very positive story, but often brings out the best in people during accidental meetings. That is fantastic in itself.”

What are your expectations for the 2016 race? “I have very high hopes. I hope that there will be worldwide interest, that the website will get more than 1 million hits, and that the participants and their sponsors will be rewarded for their commitment. The most important thing is that there will be a definite end to ‘range fear’, the fear that the range is too limited.

How do you expect electric cars to evolve in the coming years? “Electric cars will get better, but my fear is that the traditional manufacturers will do everything they can to delay the breakthrough of the electric car. I simply hope that in 10 years or so we shall have a car with a range of 1000 km that you can charge fully in 5 minutes. Only then can we celebrate the definite end of the polluting classic car …”










Ronnie Belmans is professor Elektrotechniek at the KU Leuven and CEO of Energyville, a collaboration between VITO, imec, and KU Leuven, that is undertaking research into sustainable energy and intelligent energy systems. He emphasises that electric cars not only offer a solution to air-pollution but, thanks to their battery pack, can also be a major stimulus for the development of sustainable energy provision. That is also one of the reasons why he himself drives a Tesla Model S.

“My Tesla is certainly very pleasant to drive. I like the ride and especially the comfort. It is free of vibrations and very quiet, and that makes it more pleasant to use the telephone in the car or to listen to music.”

At the Tesla World Conference you made the case for replacing the steering wheel in the Tesla with a joystick. (Smiling) “I said that once at an earlier meeting of the Tesla Owners Club. Those then present maintained that the Tesla Model S is a perfect car. I find that rather an exaggeration; everything can be improved. That is why I suggested replacing the steering wheel with a joystick. After all the steering wheel was originally invented to make it easier to turn the front wheels. That hasn’t been an issue for a long time. There is powered steering, and with the steer-by-wire system the steering is controlled electronically. Therefore it seems to me sensible to consider whether the steering wheel cannot be replaced by joystick. A manufacturer such as Tesla is free to study that. Whether it is better in practice would still have to be proved.”

As CEO of Energyville you are involved in the development of intelligent systems of energy provision, referred to as smart grids. Can you explain that again? “The purpose of smart grids is to adapt the electricity provision to the available amount of green energy. Nowadays, energy producers make an estimate of the electricity requirements for every day and every hour, and then put that amount of electricity onto the grid. The rise of renewable energy from solar panels and windmills works against this because they generate electricity when they can, irrespective of the needs.

In an ideal world we would match the demand for electricity completely to the available renewable energy. That can be achieved partly through the use of a ‘smart grid’. With this the use of electricity is matched locally to the available amount of green energy, but then without loss of comfort. That is possible if we make our electrical appliances intelligent and, for example, let the washing machine and the freezer work when plenty of green electricity is available. And finally, for many families it doesn’t matter whether the washing machine is put into use now or only in five hours’ time. These smart grids would be local: in a district, borough, or city, the heating, electrical appliances, and other use of electricity would be controlled intelligently. Energyville has already carried out a successful pilot project for this in a residential district in Genk. Our findings now have to be implemented in practice.”

You say that electric cars can play an important part in such smart grids “Absolutely. The battery capacity of an electric car would be very useful for storing excess green energy for use whenever it suits the users. After all, cars stand still for an average of 90% of their lifetime. If we manage to control the charging of the car batteries intelligently on the basis of the availability of green energy, we would gain a huge buffer capacity for green energy, and there would be much less demand for electricity from nuclear energy, coal, or natural gas. The extra consumption of electricity by families with electric cars is not really a problem. Calculations show that the annual consumption by an average family with an electric car would double. In fact, that turns out better than might be expected, and would present no problems.”



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LATEST NEWS IN A NUTSHELL VERSION 7.0 UPGRADE In October, the much awaited software upgrade was rolled out to Cars Owners. This was ‘THE’ upgrade we were all waiting for. Indeed, all Model S manufactured after September 2014 (and the new released Model X) will benefit from a glimpse of the future moved into the present: the Autopilot, including the features such as the Autosteer (Beta), the Auto Lane change and the Auto Park! Although the Software is still in Beta release, it does already provide awesome experiences, for example while driving on freeways. This next technological move is yet another reason to love the geek side of the Model S. The end driver display has also been enhanced, provided updated functionalities and end user interface. TEXT: TESLA OWNERS CLUB BELGIUM - PHOTO: © NAHEEM BROWNE

Early adopters of the Model S will also benefit from a renewed, clean user interface. Unfortunately, it will not be possible to retrofit earlier Model S as it would mean to ‘rip off’ the backbone of the car, which would actually make it cheaper to buy a new one.

The conversation continues! Share your stories, insights and stories on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr using the hashtag #TeslaClubBE

More information can be found in the official press kit from the Car Manufacturer: &



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Does investing in property in Antwerp offer a good return? And what are the pitfalls that potential investors should watch out for? With these questions in mind, our editorial staff headed for the City, where a number of property specialists gave their opinions on the subject. It was a more than interesting two day trip for our staff, during which they learned a great deal about the ins & outs of the property market‌ TEXT: JEROEN COTEUR


real estate



Pretty well our entire research panel is in agreement that investing in property in a city like Antwerp is certainly worthwhile. Many reasons for this were put forward. First and foremost, property has historically always proved to be a stable investment. But there are also sufficient indications that this will continue to be the case in the future. A first factor is the revival of the rental market. Financial institutions keep imposing stricter conditions on financing for people buying their first home. The market is therefore faced with the postponement of purchasing, and this is generating a broader rental market. So good news for the investor.

GROWTH OF THE RENTAL MARKET The prospects for the rental market in Antwerp seem especially good. In major centres such as Antwerp more than 50% of the total population rent. The aging property market is already resulting in a shortage of good quality homes for rent. What is more, Antwerp is a magnet for young two-income families, and is increasingly important as a student city. Studies suggest that by 2030 Antwerp can expect a population growth of between 150,000 and 200,000, so the demand for new apartments and houses will only increase. Finally, we also see that there are numerous initiatives to restore Antwerp’s pleasant, green, and sustainable character in an architecturally attractive environment. This means that we can state confidently that Antwerp will be a top property location for the coming years.

The reduction of gift tax on property results in extra stability and certainty. Property can now be passed on intact to following generations. In this way property will remain a stable element in every investment portfolio. In any case, today’s low interest base rate provides an ideal investment climate. And even if a loan is not financially necessary, this can nevertheless provide for a leverage effect on personal resources, and, from a tax point of view, results in additional added value.

PITFALLS So there are many good reasons for investing in a property project in the city on the Scheldt. But how do you select the project that best matches your profile? What parameters must you consider? And, above all, what are the pitfalls that you must look out for to prevent a negative experience. We asked our Antwerp specialists, and they provided us with a series of interesting guidelines. First and foremost, it is essential to surround yourself with specialists. After all, an investment in property has to be a well thought out decision process in which all kinds of matters such as tax and finance have to be taken into account. For example, you must, of course, keep a close watch on the return on your investment. A possible option is to work with an agent.

WELL THOUGHT OUT FINANCIAL PLAN Investing in property must never be an emotional choice, but should be based on a financial plan that charts the possibilities and requirements: What are my own resources? How much do I want to have left over every month? And do I go for the best return or maximum security? Basing the decision on a plan of this sort will ensure that there are no nasty surprises. Being guided by a financial expert who carefully maps out the investment path together with the potential buyer is therefore definitely not a needless expense.



AVOIDING SURPRISES Anyone who wants to invest in student accommodation must also take the increasingly stringent fire and burglary regulations into account. If you purchase an existing property, there is a real possibility that you will be faced with carrying out substantial structural changes. Newly built property is therefore a safer choice, ruling out many a nasty surprise. Sustainability is one of those words that is always being tossed around. But it is far from meaningless. Investing in newly-built sustainable property is a wise investment for the long term. Maintenance-friendly buildings with a timeless architectural design usually give rise to minimum maintenance costs.

CONCLUSIONS OF THE EDITORIAL STAFF: As is generally accepted, investing in property is and will remain a safe investment. But the number of suppliers is large, and the number of available projects is, if anything, even larger. And the choice of new property building projects is still set to grow. It seems logical that the head must rule the heart with purchases of this kind, but, according to those interviewed, here often lies a major pitfall. Sustainability and location are also key words that keep on coming up. Getting the help of independent people, specialists in the field, is therefore an absolute must!


Through this magazine we provide an overview of prominent Antwerp real-estate agents and their most interesting property projects.





The Young Urban Professional, YUP for short, is a typical phenomenon of the eighties. The brand new YUP Hotel in Hasselt, with its trendy looks, certainly wants to pamper travellers and citytrippers who relish a sideways glance at the YUP period, with luxury, comfort, and 24/7 service at a democratic price.



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The only embellishment of the opulent black façade of the brand new YUP Hotel in Hasselt is the letters YUP in gleaming gold. It is abundantly clear: this is unquestionably unlike any other hotel. Inside it is cosy and sophisticated, with a 24/7 food corner flanked by a reading area where the YUP inspired visitor can browse through the latest magazines. Just like real YUPs, guests can do what they want when they want. Tap a few keys on the piano that has been placed in the relaxation / bar area, or put a record on one of the vintage gramophones, although with a flashy headset so as not to disturb other guests, … it’s all possible. This address is clearly aimed at guests who enjoy the comfort and style of a boutique hotel but who nevertheless go for an affordable and surprising alternative.

EVERY CENTIMETRE PUT TO USE The lift carries us in no time to one of the 59 similar YUP Cabins, every one a cleverly furnished room of twelve square metres. This is not all that large, but the architectural approach ensures that everything is neatly in its place. The high quality bed serves as a flexible area for enjoying the multifunctional LCD screen, doing some work, or, of course, having a good sleep. A rain shower, air conditioning, and free WiFi ensure that the Young Urban Professional will feel perfectly at home.







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VOYAGES AND INSPIRATIONS INTERVIEW WITH ARTIST JEAN-PIERRE ROC-ROUSSEY The paintings of renowned contemporary artist Jean-Pierre Roc-Roussey grace the walls of museums, galleries and royal residences around the world. Although most at home when working in his studios in Montmartre and the South of France, he regularly journeys to cosmopolitan capitals for exhibition openings and to remote exotic locations, for research trips. Just returned from Beirut, he shared with us how his travels, core to his work, are both inspiration and necessity. TEXT: JOANNA PAYS

KIMONO DÉCOIFFÉ, 2015, OIL ON CANVAS © Opera Gallery and Jean-Pierre Roc-Roussey




Where do you find the inspirations for your work?


I draw inspiration from the realms that fascinate me - from the great themes, such as classical antiquity, Nordic mythology and the Renaissance, to ancient, oriental civilizations. I am also a collector of art books from every era and a regular visitor to museums – particularly the Guimet Museum of Asian Arts and the Quai Branly Museum of Arts and Civilisations. As exotic tribal cultures, costumes and adornments are key elements in my work, my research travels are an important source of ideas for new themes. China and India are particularly inspiring, with their intricate costumes and the beauty of the women.

What have been your most recent exhibitions? My latest exhibition opening, in September, was in Beirut. Entitled ‘Turbans and Kimonos’, it was inspired by my voyages to Asia. I find the Japanese kimono is an incredible work of art itself, with its layers of colours and textures – as well as its vast size. Another recent exhibition was ‘Les Messagères’, a series of 18 paintings I showed at the Opera Gallery in Singapore. In this series messengers, on horseback or elephant, traverse vast natural landscapes. The message they bring with them is the message of freedom, symbolised not only by their solitary journeys but also in some of the paintings by a rare, blue-feathered bird.

Tell us more about your travels There are two very distinct types of travel in my life. Firstly there are the exhibition openings, which take place in the art capitals of the Far East, Middle East, US and Europe. During these trips I attend exhibition opening ‘vernissages’, give press conferences and interviews and meet with some of my patrons. I am fortunate in that some of my clients are really great admirers of my work and invite me to their homes to see my paintings in situ. Sometimes these homes are wonderful palaces, belonging to members of royal families.

My trips for research and inspiration are in a totally different realm. These have taken me to several countries in Asia, including India, Cambodia and Vietnam, as well as South America. These are much longer voyages, to remote locations, where tourists rarely venture. Local culture and traditions are still intact, which is what I need for my research. My latest was to the Great Plains of the US, where we stayed with the Navajo Indian tribes for three weeks. This will be the subject of the new theme that I am going to explore. My next research trip will be to India, to the mountains in the north and some of the less well-travelled destinations in the region. The hotel we will be staying in is a former palace - an inspiration in itself, as the designs of these hotels are really sublime.

What do you like most and least about travelling? Although I love the experiences and inspirations that travelling brings me, I have to say that it is the physical aspect of getting from A to B that I really dislike. Airport queues, long flights and traffic jams – it’s all just time in limbo. What I do enjoy when travelling, is experiencing new tastes, flavours and local gastronomy.

What do you appreciate in a good hotel? My travel style is blend of luxury and economy. While I tend to fly in economy class, when I am travelling for exhibition openings, I am hosted in some of the finest 5 star hotels. Whether contemporary or historic, it’s important for me that a hotel is aesthetically pleasing. Hotels I have stayed in and particularly appreciated over the last few months are the Hotel Le Gray in Beirut with its elegant, modern design and, in contrast the Fullerton Hotel in Singapore – an old hotel with a neo-classical face and an amazing view of the city’s skyline. Large, clean and comfortable bedrooms and bathrooms are a must. And please let the bathroom be totally separate from the bedroom, not with glass walls and certainly not with a bath in the middle of the bedroom – I really dislike this trend and find it totally




unaesthetic. I prefer to have a room with an outside area, such as a terrace or balcony – or at the very least a room with windows that open out properly. I also like to see a varied and interesting breakfast buffet.

is normally about 2 weeks. Then I store it ready for exhibition. I don’t work on it further at a later date and it’s rare that I give up on a painting.

How does your creative process take shape?

On a personal level, I am deeply involved in my work and I paint without distraction on each piece until it is completed - but I love the particular kind of solitude that this brings with it.

As it is difficult to set up a studio when I am on the move, especially with the size of canvasses I use, I rarely paint when I am travelling. I start rather by making sketches and notes, before drafting out an idea and the proportions. I love the process - the journey - of creation, from the beginnings of research on a theme, to the moment when I have a clear vision of what the next piece of work will be. I work intensely on one painting at a time, until it is finished, which

What do you love about your work?

From a wider perspective, I have seen myself how art really brings different cultures together. I really believe that art has the power to unite people and break down barriers. That is something that is really magical.

ABOUT JEAN-PIERRE ROC-ROUSSEY For the last 25 years, award winning French artist Jean-Pierre Roc Roussey has been exhibiting his work in museums and galleries around the world, including with the Opera Gallery group - one of the leading dealers in modern and contemporary American, European and Asian art. Jean-Pierre Roc-Roussey’s art is influenced by the worlds of myths, legends and ancient civilisations. The highly distinctive figures in his paintings are amazons, horsewomen and female warriers – bold, yet dreamlike and mysterious. Vibrant hues, with touches of precious metals, adorn his characters with magnificently embellished costumes. For more information about Jean-Pierre Roc-Roussey visit or JEAN-PIERRE ROC-ROUSSEY IN HIS STUDIO © Christian Baraja






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