Skoda set to bring vision of electric future to Ireland by 2019

New crossover concept Vision E follows on from success of Kodiaq and should worry rivals

 

Skoda did its bit to cut the carbon footprint of the motoring world as it launched its first electric drive concept car ahead of the Shanghai motor show. On Monday morning it presented the new Skoda Vision E concept via a virtual reality app. To view you either grabbed a Google Cardboard headset or something similar and immersed yourself in the Czech firm’s vision of the future.

For all the whizzbang wonder of virtual reality, letting you twirl the car around and view from multiple angles before getting in and going for a virtual spin, the Vision E is more than a futuristic concept. This car, in a slightly different guise, will make it on to our roads in the very near future, and Skoda promises electric models on Irish forecourts by 2019.

The Vision E’s target is the insatiable demand for crossovers and this model will fit in below the new Kodiaq and just above the current Yeti.

Rivals will be worried. For a start, the new Kodiaq is barely on our roads a matter of weeks but already reports are filtering through that orders are flying. Irish family buyers are abandoning the boxy people carriers in favour of these crossover formats. The new Skoda offers a brand Irish buyers consider well priced with a functional seven-seat format and at a competitive price. It’s a recipe for success and it’s clearly suiting Irish motoring tastes.

Electric ambitions

So the Vision E could be earmarked for similar success. For now it’s also acting as the platform for the Czech’s electric ambitions. As part of the VW Group, the firm benefits from access to the motoring behemoth’s research and development, so much of the underpinnings are the work of Group engineers rather than simply Skoda ones.

The Vision E concept features two electric motors with a total power output of 225KW, a range of up to 500km thanks to powerful lithium-ion batteries and intelligent brake energy recovery. It also features mid-level autonomous driving technology. This will mean self-driving functions on pre-selected routes.

Like the Vision E, this is a firm signal of production intent. According to the firm, by 2025 one in every four newly registered Skoda cars will be plug-in hybrids or have a purely electric drive system. That’s not exactly an electric revolution – three in four will still be petrol or diesel – but it does show the firm is preparing for the gradual electric wave.

The car itself measures in at 4,688mm in length, 1,924mm in width, standing at a height of 1,591mm with a wheelbase 2,851mm.

Crossover design

The exterior design bears a remarkable similarity to crossover design concepts from Tesla, though slightly more coupe-like in the silhouette. A smart LED lighting strip runs the entire width of the vehicle, with narrow, triangular headlights in a crystalline look and Matrix LED technology and rear-hinged rear doors.

The interior is spacious and due to the concept, the transmission tunnel is omitted in the front and rear providing more width.

According to Raymond Leddy, head of marketing at Skoda Ireland: “The Vision S for example was followed quickly by the Kodiaq which has become an instant success. Now the Vision E concept gives us a glimpse of what Skoda’s first ever electric car will look like.

“One of these exciting innovations include wireless charging using a floor panel, which takes just 30 minutes to reach 80 per cent of the battery’s capacity. Skoda customers can look forward to driving our fully electric cars on Irish roads by 2019.”