We have owned an electric vehicle, The Skoda Enyaq 80iv, for five months now and we have got used to charging when on a road trip as well as charging at home.
I definitely experienced range anxiety before getting the Skoda, but having had it for a few months now, I’d say we are used to managing our expectations of how far we can travel before we need to charge. What this means in reality for the battery is on a long journey, charging up to 100%, then going down to perhaps 20%, stopping and charging back up to 80%, and then repeating that as many times as required on the journey. Whilst we enjoyed and got used to this between July and October, how would it be in the winter?
We had a long trip planned which would involve a 700 mile drive from the centre of the UK down to the French Alps. Normally we stop overnight halfway on our journey and typically a full tank of diesel can get us most of the way to our overnight destination, with one stop for a top up.
In the Skoda EV, we planned our route and planned where to stop, but we did not know the range of the battery in cold weather. The weather apps told us to expect temperatures of five or below and sometimes zero and below and reading blogs and Facebook posts, we could see people expecting ranges of between 150 miles to 200 plus miles in cold weather.
In actual fact, we were pleasantly surprised with the range we achieved and also the pace of the journey that gave us. Having to stop for a cup of coffee whilst you top up the charge is not a bad thing.
Driving in cold weather at 130kmh, uses the battery a lot faster than 100kmh, so for us it was worth slowing down a bit to increase the range.
The last leg of our journey we charged up to 80% at a services on the motorway, then left the motorway to drive across the Jura mountains. Whilst this is a bit of up-and-down, it does have plenty of level terrain as well. At the end of that section, we dropped down off the mountains towards Geneva, which gave us a great thrill because the regenerative battery charges almost all the way down this rather steep slope. That meant that at the bottom of that slope we arrived with late 60s, early 70s battery charge.
We had planned to possibly stop before we went up the Alps to our destination to make sure we had a good charge before making the ascent but in fact we didn’t need to, we arrived at the base of the mountain with about 49% which was plenty to reach our destination.
My observations of driving in cold weather is that the battery does deliver a reduced range, but by moderating one’s expectations, planning ahead and actually just slowing down a little bit, it works fine.
I’d say it’s so far so good and all the benefits of driving an EV like the Skoda Enyaq 80iv massively outweigh any actual reduction in the range of the vehicle.
It is an absolute joy to drive. It feels like gliding or floating on the road and it makes driving very enjoyable even in busy traffic, but especially when driving across open countryside.