Colleague in the spotlight – Dick van Tongeren

Dick (68) currently lives in Apeldoorn, he is married and has a daughter. After retiring, Dick joined the e-Traction team as test driver. When presented with the opportunity, he knew it was something in his field of interest and did not hesitate to accept. “I like being a test driver because I like to drive and the bus has a lot of automation. I also enjoy talking to people and sparring them to see if we can spot any errors and improvements the bus might have. That is the reason why I’m at e-Traction.”

As a test driver, Dick experiences the buses first-hand. He feels the bus and notes any errors and feedback that he later passes to his colleagues for review. “The first time I got behind the wheel of the bus and drove it out of the workshop, I was impressed by the ease with which the bus drove. Little acceleration results in immediate movement and you can also move the bus very slowly. When you accelerate, it accelerates immediately, it is fast and it does not need to shift. The bus thus continues to accelerate without the annoying and uncomfortable shifting delays that diesel city buses, coaches and trucks have. The noise level is also minimal. You only hear the sound of the tires on the road surface and the wind noise.”

When working with electric vehicles, both passengers and the environment are taken into consideration. When asked about his thoughts, he added: “The minimal noise level and the fact that there is no exhaust is not only pleasant for the passengers but is also ideal for city traffic in particular. It makes a big difference whether you drive around with noisy diesels and exhaust fumes or with quiet, zero-emission electric buses. Considering all the environmental measures that cities are currently introducing, we will in time also have no choice but to drive electrically, possibly in combination with hydrogen gas. Fortunately, the range is increasing and a lot is being done to charge faster and at multiple places. For the fleet owners in particular, the efficiency and low maintenance costs are very important.”

Before retirement, Dick worked in the industrial automation market.
From being a programmer to general manager, and everything in between, he has definitely experienced it all. “I really liked it but I don’t want to do that anymore, just drive and help find and solve errors. I hope this will be my job for a while.”

Before e-Traction, Dick first started driving a coach, driving people to different events as well as driving trucks. “I really like the type of job I have at e-Traction. The colleagues are pleasant to work with and I can always count on them and ask anything. They are willing to help me. There are hard-working people and that’s nice. “

Besides work, Dick likes mountainbiking, tennis, autosports, has raced and enjoys all the technical parts of vehicles, as well as working on them. “When I was a kid, I went on vacation to Switzerland with my parents, where I saw big trucks driving in the mountains. I knew I wanted to do that too.”