Charging your car while at work or on the road should be easy, right? Luxaviation has been creating convenient charging options for customers, suppliers and its employees since mid-2022. In order to do so, this pioneer in private aviation enlisted electric vehicle and energy management advisor and installer, SmartSynergy. SmartSynergy works in close partnership with Smappee and the symbiotic relationship is fruitful. “In addition to the successful implementation, the administrative handling runs flawlessly.”
Luxaviation – formerly Abelag – is a well-known name in the European airline industry. “In 1964, the company was the first in Europe to offer air taxi- and business flights from Zaventem,” says current CEO Ward Bonduel. “Since 2013, we have been part of Luxaviation, a Luxembourg-based company. From Brussels Airport and Kortrijk-Wevelgem International Airport, we offer flights all over the world, although the main focus is still on Europe (about 60%). We have about 20 aircrafts and employ more than 150 people.”
The most suitable solution.
Not long ago, facility manager Kurt Dereepere conducted a market analysis to establish how to best manage the electrification of Luxaviation’s vehicle fleet. “Starting in 2023, we will only offer our employees hybrid or fully electric vehicles,” Bonduel explains. “Based on this decision, we decided to invest in additional charging infrastructure. We already had a conventional “airside” charging point in place for our electric mini-vans used to transport customers to their planes and take pilots to their hotels. We realized that we also in addition needed to provide suitable “landside” facilities. After a comparative study, we decided on the installer SmartSynergy and the charging infrastructure and charging solutions by Smappee.”
SmartSynergy began integrating home automation systems in 2018 but quickly responded to market demand and switched focus to smart charging stations and energy management. “We distinguish ourselves through a broad range of services and our role as a consultant. For many people, the energy transition is something completely new, and they naturally have many questions on the topic. Our job is to guide them towards the right solutions,” says Wim Cops, manager of SmartSynergy.
“The design of the charging stations is pleasing to the eye… We may eventually provide more Smappee charging stations for the parking lots along our building.”Ward Bonduel, CEO Luxaviation Belgium
The partnership between Luxaviation and SmartSynergy was a win for several reasons. “The success of a project for the installation of charging infrastructure depends on adequate preparation. By discussing everything thoroughly during several meetings, we laid the foundation for trouble-free implementation,” Cops points out.
“We had a great feeling about SmartSynergy from the start,” says Ward. “Their personal touch, the overall experience, plus the interface of their solution gave us a lot of confidence. The various advantages that the manufacturer Smappee offered were also a perfect match: Smappee quickly anticipated our requests for modifications, and the design of their charging stations is pleasing to the eye.”
In the first phase, Luxaviation had two double charging stations installed. “These charging stations are for customers and employees. Due to frequent use and positive feedback, we decided rather quickly to ask SmartSynergy to install another two of these Smappee charging stations. Since the necessary preparations were already in place, it was possible to install it quickly. Everything has been fully operational since August 2022.”
The installation was virtually trouble-free. “One of the biggest challenges was that we regularly had to pass customs checkpoints to draw electrical cables to the charging stations,” Cops says.
SmartSynergy regularly chooses Smappee anyway, based on its extensive market knowledge of charging stations. “The systems from the provider cover a range of possibilities and are not tied to the software of one CPO (charge point operator). The integrated cloud-accessibility feature ensures that we can monitor all installations online and usually resolve any problems remotely. It saves expenses for both our customers and ourselves,” Cops explains.
Luxaviation is also pleased that the administration is running smoothly. “All our employees have received their own badge, which allows them to ‘fill up’ here for free,” Ward Bonduel says. “Suppliers scan a QR code on the charging point and enjoy a reduced rate. Customers and third parties use their personal CPO’s charging cards and pay the public price.”
Thanks to this investment, Luxaviation is already helping a lot of people. “We’re comfortable with this set-up for the time being, but we may eventually provide more Smappee charging stations for the parking lots along our building,” Bonduel concludes.
Industry Aviation and mobility
Luxaviation – formerly Abelag – has offered business and leisure flights from Zaventem, Belgium, since 1964. In 2013, it became part of the Luxaviation Group, a Luxembourg-based company. The company has also been operating at Kortrijk-Wevelgem International Airport in Belgium for several decades. It has a fleet of more or less 20 aircraft and employs about 150 people.
Commencing 2023, Luxaviation will only offer hybrid or fully electric vehicles to employees. For the charging of their vehicles, and those of their customers and suppliers, the company wanted to invest in a high-performance, aesthetic infrastructure while also anticipating the issue of non-electric cars parking at charging stations.
In phase one (May 2022), SmartSynergy installed two Smappee double charging stations. The test was a great success and resulted in doubling the charging infrastructure just three months later. Other parking lots will also in the future be equipped with Smappee technology. Smart parking brackets from Parklio, controllable via an app, ensure that parking spaces with charging infrastructure are accessible only to drivers of electric vehicles.
- Frequent use of all charging points
- Optimal power supply for employee, customer and supplier vehicles
- Charging stations generate additional revenue
- Crucial step toward a future-proof car policy
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