An electric car for everyone?
For several years the industry experts talk about electric cars as the future of motoring, but today, 0 emission vehicles without subsidies from the government and without reliable operation costs are expensive and risky to buy for customers. Škoda has promised to end this in 2020, when an electric car available for everyone will be in market – the Škoda “Vision E”.
Autumn is a time of falling leaves and also car shows. Aside of many powerful, expensive and exclusive cars, In Shanghai and Frankfurt Škoda presented it’s first fully all-electric production car, the “Vision E” concept car. The car’s concept typifies the zeitgeist of today’s automotive industry: it’s an electric coupé-SUV. “Vision E” is a conceptual name of the future vehicle, the same like it was for “Vision S” that turned out to be “Kodiaq” or “Vision C” what was “Superb”.
Škoda plans to have 5 different electric car models in the market in 2025, and the plan starts with the “Vision E”, that, like written in the motto of the car, is full of energy. “The same positive energy that streams through our brain, the one we feel during our first kiss, the same energy that gave us life and keeps us moving.” Our future is e-mobility, autonomous driving and digitalization.
Škoda’s product management boss, Guido Haak, has his eye on Tesla. Namely, the “Model 3”, which, has a $35,000 entry-level price tag. Haak is not impressed. He describes the Model 3’s price and 500 km range as ‘vanilla’, and insists that Škoda’s EV will have a broad range of talents, including being fun to drive, long of range and low in price.
As it’s a concept, the “Vision E” isn’t road-ready, which is par for the course, as is its “Model 3”-matching 500 km range, 301bhp and 180 km/h top speed, driven through two electric motors. The Škoda’s new EV an be charged up inductively – using a pad on the floor, with no wires required – up to 80% in just 30 minutes.
Head of exterior design Karl Neuhold has managed to make a coupe SUV actually look attractive rather than gauche, which is some achievement, despite it being a physically big machine that’s nearly 4.7 metres long. It looks great on the outside, all creased and distinctive.
One of the founding stones of the motto was digitalization. Škoda says the theoretical system will be controlled via gestures and voice control. There’s eye-tracking tech to help warn a distracted driver and even a heart-rate monitor to prevent accidents following a health problem. The car will also have a level 3 autonomous driving and an autonomous parking system, both are quite common features nowadays.
It is shiningly obvious is that Škoda has a huge EV hit. It has a beautiful and practical design, a lovely and vast cabin, impressive dynamics and driving range. If Škoda manages to sell this car for a price that makes sense, one that seriously undercuts the only similar full-EV rival out there at the moment, the Tesla “Model X”- then the “Vision E” could be a breakthrough moment for the Czech company, as it transitions from the value brand of the Volkswagen Group into the one that democratizes electric vehicles for all.