The two Teslas in the yard don't quite fit into the picture of a carpentry. In addition to a normal delivery van, a white Model 3 matt film, a gray matt Model X, and also a small white Renault Zoe, also an electric car, are parked here in Lankwitz in the south of Berlin. A journeyman is dragging parts of a kitchen into a van and has to be careful not to scratch one of the expensive Tesla. The screeching sound of circular saws comes out of the workshop, and another employee sorts packaging waste right behind the expensive Teslas. Waste separation is a matter of course at Thomas Stüber Möbel, the boss attaches great importance to sustainability.

A large photovoltaic system on the roof of the workshop generates electricity. Otherwise it looks like an ordinary commercial unit. The kitchen and furniture joinery includes halls, workshops and offices. Some are rented to a roofing company, a painting and construction company and a paint center. An accounting office is also part of the large white building. And recently a car rental company: E-Rent. It was founded by the man who owns the entire farm: Thomas Stüber, 51, a self-employed carpenter for 30 years.

Call himself "Tesla Fan Boy": The carpenter Thomas Stüber © Caroline Scharff for ZEIT ONLINE

You won't find any cars with combustion engines at E-Rent. Only electric vehicles are awarded. The "fleet" is still manageable: a Tesla Model X, a Tesla Model 3, a Renault Zoe - an electric Hyundai Kona is soon to be added. You can not only rent the vehicles for a few days. The offer is aimed primarily at people who are considering switching to an electric car and who want to test one or more models for a week or even several months to see whether the investment makes sense for them. "Most people have three questions about electric vehicles: what is the range, how long does it take to charge and how expensive is it?" Says Stüber. "I want to enlighten."

Preserve a world worth living in

Stubbly gaze falls into the Tesla, where there is a blanket under the baby seat on the back seat to protect the interior. Stüber has three sons, Karl is now almost five months old. "My smallest will probably experience the year 2100. And I want to do everything I can to ensure that the world is still worth living in," says the Berliner. For that, he thinks, people should stop using cars with internal combustion engines. Stüber puts it differently because he doesn't want to sound "fanatic". "It's time for a rethink," he says.

Stüber is a down-to-earth average guy, tall, slim, wearing jeans and a T-shirt. At the age of 22 he founded the carpentry, hired employees and started to build and sell kitchens. A furniture construction company was added a little later. He wanted to do something sustainable and practical.

Stübers is doing well. He says he doesn't feel much about the Corona crisis. The order books are full. People buy a kitchen from him or have built-in cupboards made to them, who still care about craftsmanship and furniture that lasts a long time. Families that buy residential property, but also medium-sized construction companies that implement construction projects with other companies from the region. According to his own statements, he has to sell two to four kitchens a month so that his company pays off. As a rule, he had a lot more to do. 

Then what's the point with the electric cars, why the rental? "Because it's my dream. And because the need for it will increase. E-mobility is just beginning," says Stüber. He had the idea for the rental five years ago. But he hesitated to implement it. On the one hand because it is well utilized with its existing operations, on the other hand because the industry is constantly changing. When he first thought about renting an electric vehicle, there were very few local providers such as CYX mobile and Strominator who later merged into nextmove.