What impressed you most about the ID.5?
Oliver Berben: “Generally speaking, the many different assistance systems. I also really like the look of the ID.5, as I tend to like slightly larger cars. I feel more comfortable and safer in them. I am less bothered by a sports car, in which I can roll out of my seat and straight onto the pavement (laughs).”
What have been your experiences of e-mobility so far, and what do you feel are the benefits?
Oliver Berben: “I have had a lot to do with e-mobility, particularly professionally. We try to increasingly incorporate sustainable components, both in front of and behind the camera. In film production, there is a specific area for the topic of sustainability, known as ‘Green Shooting’. There are certain checklists in place to ensure a more environmentally sustainable form of film production. Behind the camera, for example, this means that the crew is transported in electric cars. In front of the camera, this aspect refers to the raising of awareness of this technology – through emotional stories, for example.
As a company, we are increasingly pursuing the idea of sustainability and are engaging strongly with this issue. We try to bring the topic of e-mobility into the company and to the employees with increasing intensity – for example, by installing electric charging stations in the underground garage. We are noticing that the employees – whether actors or creative minds – are taking an open and positive stance to this issue, even if there was initially often some concerns with regard to charging and range, for example. We are making huge progress in this area, and I don’t think these concerns will be an issue at all in a few months’ time.”
Do you drive an electric car?
Oliver Berben: “I only drive electric cars – for about two years now. I have also never opted for a stopgap, such as a hybrid. I have always found the topic of e-mobility fascinating, and decided to give it a try at some point. At first, I rented an e-car and told myself that, should I not like it, I could switch back again. However, after just one week I knew that I would never go back! At the moment, I drive an ID.4, which I really like.”
What do you feel are the benefits of e-mobility?
Oliver Berben: “Pure horsepower and speed are no longer a priority for me. I am far more fascinated by the technology, which relieves a lot of the workload. You no longer have to do much for yourself at the wheel. The driving behaviour has also changed a lot, thanks to electric cars. It is no longer about driving fast. Sure, I still find acceleration great. However, when you are driving, you don’t do this for the thrill, it is much more of a pleasant sensation of gliding. I feel far more relaxed since I started driving an e-car. In these new electric models, almost everything is computer-controlled. I find that fascinating. It is a bit like a smartphone: you are excited when a new update with new functions hits the market. Another positive change is the way we drive. With a petrol car, you pull into a fuelling station when the fuel light comes on. In contrast, you don’t drive an electric car until it is empty. Whenever you are not driving it, you are charging it.
How are you finding the charging?
Oliver Berben: “I tried the route from Munich to Kitzbühel a month ago, and got there and back without having to charge at all. There has been huge progress when it comes to range, and I believe that e-mobility will continue to grow. This is always the case in life: when changes come, they take some getting used to. However, it is just a process. As soon as there are charging stations everywhere, and ranges are high enough, nobody will give these issues a thought anymore.”
What do you think of autonomous driving?
Oliver Berben: “Personally, I am longing for it, as you will then be able to use the time spent in the car for something else. I am not afraid of it, just as I am not afraid of flying. Aircraft are already completely automated when it comes to flying and landing, although there are still pilots in the cockpit. However, I do understand that people still have respect for autonomous driving.”
What are you doing for the environment? How “green” is your lifestyle?
Oliver Berben: “I turned pescatarian about two years ago. I don’t eat meat, but I do enjoy a bit of fish every now and again. I have to say that I have felt a lot better since then, not only with regard to the sociopolitical aspect. I also try to live sustainably. For example, by switching to green electricity. And I try to limit the amount of flying I do, although that is the hardest to achieve, as part of our company is based in the USA. It is almost impossible to travel overseas any other way. Ship is not an option, not just because of the time it takes, but also because of the energy consumption. And as far as rail travel is concerned: I would like to see the public transport network improved. Our neighbours in France are far better off in that regard.”