Electric Cars: The Basics
For those of you new to zero-emission electric driving, we recommend a read of the following articles:
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The Skoda Superb PHEV Hatchback
Skoda Auto, more commonly referred to as Skoda, is headquartered in the Czech Republic. The company was established in 1895. In 1991, the company become part of the German automotive group, Volkswagen. Skoda vehicles are sold in over 100 countries.
Skoda is committed to an electrification strategy, to include, launching up to 10 electric vehicles, with 6 pure-electric models by 2025. According to the company, “By 2022, we will be investing a full two billion Euros into eMobility and new mobile services. These investments encompass new products and the production, purchase, quality and launch of new electric vehicles.”
The Citigo-e IV is the first all-electric vehicle from Skoda targeted at the urban consumer. Order books for this BEV opened in December 2019. The all-electric SKODA ENYAQ iV is the first pure electric SUV from SKODA. The e-SUV went on sale in 2020. The SKODA electric vehicles range includes:
- SKODA ENYAQ iV SUV
- SKODA ENYAQ Coupé iV SUV
- SKODA OCTAVIA iV plug-in hybrid hatchback
- SKODA OCTAVIA plug-in hybrid estate
- SKODA SUPERB iV plug-in hybrid hatchback
- SKODA SUPERB iV plug-in hybrid estate
The Skoda Superb family car has been manufactured since 2001. The model is currently on its third generation. The Superb received a facelift in 2019 and the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) variant was also introduced.
The Skoda PHEV is worth considering for those keen on a more affordable entry into plug-in hybrid electric driving. The Superb EV has much to offer in terms of practicality and financial savings. The Skoda plug-in electric car competes in a very competitive segment i.e. mid-sized family cars. Despite the intense competition, the PHEV is well placed relative to the competition.
The plug-in electric car has a 13 kWh onboard EV battery with a 59 km range (WLTP). Though the real-world EV range will be lower, possibly closer to 50 km (emission-free), the EV still has much to offer those keen to save money by driving on pure electric mode. Depending on the cost of charging, driving an electric car will cost between 5 cents and 10 cents per km i.e. far cheaper compared to calling on the internal combustion engine (ICE).
The PHEV is not DC charging compatible (most PHEVs are not) and has a 3.6 kW onboard AC charger. Quite typical for a PHEV in this price segment. We discourage the use of a 3-PIN domestic plug for charging and encourage charging via a dedicated home EV charger. The PHEV can be fully charged in 3.5 hours.
Though the zero-emission electric range is limited to 59 km, most of us would not require much more for our daily needs. In fact, the majority of motorists drive at an average 50 km per day. So for all the shorter commutes to the school, high street, grocery store etc, driving on e-mode is a perfect fit!
Even, for those that drive to work, driving on electric mode works well, as the electric car can be charged at home and at work (workplace EV charging)! For those weekend getaways, the petrol engine can be utilised for the longer drives.
Bottom-line, if you are not driving electric, you are not saving money. Moreover, driving in e-mode also further improves the efficiency of the electric vehicle. Skoda claims the PHEV has a fuel economy up to 1.0 l/100km. Real-world economy will certainly be less efficient, but substantially better compared to the conventional internal combustion (ICE) variant.
In terms of performance, the Skoda Superb EV delivers a decent experience. The 1.4-litre TSI iV petrol engine (4-cylinders) is paired with an electric motor. The plug-in electric car can achieve 0-100 km/h in 7.7 seconds. The top speed of the EV is 225 km/h. The total system performance is 218 PS and 250 Nm torque. Certainly suitable for city and motorway driving. Of course, do keep in mind that the EV also benefits from instant torque.
Though the boot space has been reduced in size to accommodate the onboard EV battery, the PHEV is family-friendly in terms of practicality, offering adequate interior space, legroom, headroom and cargo volume (485 L). The EV has a good level of equipment and depending on the trim, the following come as standard: keyless start/stop, adaptive cruise control, driver fatigue sensor, light assist with high beam control, blind spot detection, Apple Car Play, Amundsen satellite navigation with 8″ touchscreen display and more. The interior quality is in line with the price tag.
The exterior styling is well suited for those keen on ‘familiarity’ i.e. not keen on a futuristic styling. Of course, for some, the more traditional stying of the electric car may not appeal. The EV has lower tailpipe emissions (28g CO2/km), compared to the conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) variant (150g CO2/km).
Bottom-line, driving a PHEV improves local air quality and saves money!
|Good interior and boot space. Practical family car||Uninspiring to drive|
|Good level of standard specifications||On board charger limited to 3.6 kW AC|
|Decent emission-free EV range||Traditional exterior styling may not appeal to everyone|
The Skoda Superb Plug-In Hybrid Hatchback (credit: Skoda)
|At A Glance|
|EV Type:||Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)|
|Available In Ireland:||No|
|Variants (1 Option)|
|Skoda Superb Plug-In Hybrid (from € N/A)|
|EV Battery & Emissions|
|EV Battery Type:||Lithium-ion|
|EV Battery Capacity:||Available in one battery size: 13 kWh|
|Charging:||DC charging not available. On board charger: 3.6 kW AC (0% – 100%: 3.5 hrs)|
|Charge Port:||Type 2|
|EV Cable Type:||Type 2|
|Tailpipe Emissions:||23 – 28g (CO2/km)|
|Battery Warranty:||8 years or 160,000 km|
|Average Cost Of Residential Charging|
|Battery net capacity : 8.8 kWh||€ 2.10|
|Battery net capacity : 11.6 kWh||€ 2.78|
|Battery net capacity : 12.0 kWh||€ 2.87|
|Battery net capacity : 13.10 kWh||€ 3.14|
|Battery net capacity : 14.10 kWh||€ 3.37|
- Note 1: The average cost of residential electricity in Ireland varies depending on the region, supplier and type of energy used. An average for Ireland is 23.97 cents/kWh.
- Note 2: Not all EV manufactures make available the data on net EV battery capacity, and in a number of instances the EV battery capacity advertised, does not state if it is gross or net capacity. In general, usable EV battery capacity is between 85% to 95% of the gross available capacity.
|Charging Times (Overview)|
|Slow charging AC (3 kW – 3.6 kW):||6 – 12 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SOC)|
|Fast charging AC (7 kW – 22 kW):||3 – 8 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)|
|Rapid charging AC (43 kW):||0-80%: 20 mins to 60 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)|
- Note 1: SoC: state of charge
|Turning Circle (m):||11.7|
|Boot capacity (L):||485|
|Plug-In Hybrid 1.4 TSI iV|
|EV Battery Capacity:||13.0 kWh|
|Pure Electric Range (WLTP):||59 km|
|Electric Energy Consumption (Wh/km):||14.7 – 15.1|
|Fuel Consumption (l/100km)||1.0 – 1.1|
|Charging:||DC charging not available. On board charger: 3.6 kW AC (0% – 100%: 3.5 hrs)|
|Top Speed:||225 km/h|
|0-100 km/h:||7.7 seconds|
|Drive:||Available in FWD and AWD|
|Electric Motor (kW):||N/A|
|Max Power (PS):||218 (system performance)|
|Total Weight (kg):||2,234|
|NCAP Safety Rating:||N/A|
Longest Range Pure Electric Cars: Top 5
The electric driving sector has certainly witnessed significant progress in relation to electric range, for both, battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). Historically, range anxiety has been an impediment for consumers keen to migrate to electric cars, in particular, pure electric cars.
Though range anxiety has been a valid concern, in our view, it had been over-exaggerated. Do keep in mind that most day-to-day driving involves short journeys i.e. school runs, travel to work, local high street, gym, grocery store etc. How many times in a month do we really travel long distances?
In any case, with the latest-generation of pure electric cars, there is ample e-range for both short and long-distance motorway journeys. In fact, the latest-generation of pure electric cars offer a real-world range over 500 km on a single charge. Some of these EVs can travel from the North to the South of Ireland on a single-charge! The longest range electric car on our list below is the all-electric Mercedes-Benz EQS saloon with a WLTP claimed range up to 729 km.
Several factors have contributed to the improvement in emission-free electric range. Some of these include: increase in size of the onboard EV battery, improvements in the EV battery management, sleeker aerodynamics, lower vehicle weight and overall improvement in vehicle efficiency. We can expect this trend to continue, as automotive manufacturers labour to further improve the efficiency of electric vehicles and ultimately electric range.
It is also worth noting, that not all automotive manufacturers aspire for the largest onboard EV battery or the longest electric range. Many electric cars, like the all-electric Honda-e have been developed primarily to target the needs of urban drivers, who travel short distances. Of course, even for such electric cars, automotive manufacturers continue to seek improvements in vehicle efficiency and e-range.
|Brand/ Model||Battery Size (kWh)||Electric Range (WLTP)||Body Type||Battery Warranty|
|Mercedes-Benz EQS||108.4 kWh||729 km||Saloon||8 years or 160,000 km|
|BMW i7||105.7 kWh||622 km||Saloon||8 years or 160,000 km|
|Mercedes-Benz EQE||90.6 kWh||617 km||Saloon||8 years or 160,000 km|
|Polestar 3||111 kWh||610 km||SUV||8 years or 160,000 km|
|Ford Mustang Mach-E||98 kWh||600 km||SUV||8 years or 160,000 km|
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