A total of 111,111 kilometers! That’s how far Jürgen Bäumer has driven his e-Golf to date. And that in just four and a half years. On December 23, 2014, the business owner, now age 53, gave himself the biggest Christmas present ever: he bought one of the very first e-Golfs in Germany for 36,000 euros. And today? The car just keeps on rolling.
Jürgen Bäumer founded his own company in 1995, one dealing with heating, plumbing, electrical and solar. Based in Tecklenburg near Osnabrück, Germany, the company now employs a staff of 16 and serves customers over a 50-kilometer area stretching in every direction and including Osnabrück, Melle, Georgsmarienhütte, Lengerich, and Ibbenbüren. Its customer base encompasses 3,500 clients.
“We specialize in energy-efficient heating systems, solar technology and power-generating heating systems. Our cars feature the slogan: ‘Cut heating costs in half.’”
Perhaps it’s the environmentally friendly nature of his company, or maybe it’s just the irrepressible curiosity that grips Bäumer on a regular basis. Whatever the case, he “absolutely” had to have one of the first e-Golfs “right away.” “I’ve always owned Volkswagen. When the first e-Golf came out, I simply had to get one. That’s because I’m totally into new technology,” explains Bäumer. At home, by contrast, he was met with some skepticism about buying the e-Golf. Wife Annette, daughter Sarah and his two sons Jannik and Robin had concerns about the car’s range. But most of all they wondered: what would happen if they got stranded with the e-Golf due to a defect or an empty battery? Bäumer reassured them: “Then I’ll come and pick you up!” But after four and a half years and 111,000 kilometers, it hasn’t happened once. “On the contrary,” says Bäumer: “Today everyone jockeys to see who gets to drive the e-Golf.”
The e-Golf rolls the most
Of the eleven cars in the company fleet, the e-Golf gets driven the most. Even though it does have to be charged every 100 to 150 kilometers as it is a first-generation model, the routes to construction sites are seldom longer than 50 kilometers.
And so every morning at the Bäumer family breakfast table, the ‘big negotiation’ takes place to decide who gets the e-Golf that day. Mother or father on the way to work sites? Daughter Sarah on her way to riding practice? One of the two sons on the way to the gym? Or will the entire family pile in for an excursion to Lake Alf, 53 kilometers away? “We make a democratic decision every day,” says Bäumer with a chuckle. “The criterion is simple: whoever has the longest route gets the e-Golf.”