Skoda shows off electric car

  • Octavia E Line used to test green tech
  • Plug-in Octavia has total range of 93 miles
  • Technology to arrive in 2014 on the Citigo

Skoda has unveiled its first all-electric car, the Octavia E Line.

Don't get too attached though, because you won't be able to buy it. This model is merely a test mule for the manufacturer’s electric car technology. It will be the new Citigo, in 2014, which will be the first production-ready electric Skoda.

The range for the car at present is 93 miles. The most notable mainstream electric car currently available, the Nissan LEAF, can complete 100 miles on a full charge. With two more years' development and in the smaller, lighter Citigo this should improve.

In terms of performance, the Octavia E Line is more than adequate. It will complete the zero to 62mph sprint in 12 seconds and on to a top speed of 83mph. At the same time the Leaf which will reach 62mph in 11.9 seconds and has a top speed of 89mph.

It's far from supercar performance but these figures do not tell the full story. The initial power up to 30mph is very impressive. The reason for this is the instant pulling power (270Nm) as soon as you press the accelerator pedal.

On the road it feels good. Flick the gearstick into D and press the accelerator and you’ll be gliding down the road. Unlike other electric cars, it comes with a fake engine noise for pedestrians and cyclists that listen out for cars rather than look for them.

Apparently it handles much like the regular petrol or diesel models and feels assured at higher speeds and there is a little body roll, but this is no different to standard Octavia.

On the inside the interior is largely identical to the regular car. A useful addition, however, is that the sat nav system has a readout of the remaining range. Once this gets below a third, on screen alerts will appear pointing the driver to the nearest charging points on your route.

The Octavia is quite secure even when on charge. The plug locks into the port preventing it from being pulled out at a charging station. When you unlock the car, the plug is unlocked for 30 seconds. If it is not pulled out during this period it locks itself again and the charging process continues.

Even though this is just a test model, it is a good pointer for the future. Producing an electric Citigo could be a shrewd move as issues with charging points should be resolved while the public should have more knowledge about electric cars and their benefits.