Škoda SUVs are already a very popular choice in China, so it was only a matter of time before the manufacturer’s first all-electric offering was earmarked for Asia. But it’s not just electric cars that Skoda are hoping will launch their foray into greener motoring – they’ve created an innovative two-wheel concept, too.
The Czech company currently offers four petrol- and diesel-powered SUVs in China, and now the all-electric Vision iV four-door crossover coupé is hot on their heels. A joint venture with SAIC (Shanghai) Volkswagen using VW’s MEB modular electric car platform, the Vision iV is fitted with a 150kW electric motor that drives the rear wheels and has a top speed of 99mph. The lithium-ion battery has a capacity of 83kW and offers a range of up to 310 miles. Good news is that the battery can be charged to 80 per cent in 30 minutes with a 125 kW DC charger or nine hours to fully charge using an 11kW AC charger.
In terms of looks, this Škoda is mean, thanks mostly to its coupé-esque roofline and angular front grille, which boasts illuminated glass inserts in the vertical slats. The tapered LED headlights are connected to each other by a horizontal light strip in the upper part of the grille. The Vision iV does away with handles, instead offering doors that open automatically with one touch, and also has cameras instead of traditional wing mirrors. The Škoda lettering on the boot immediately catches the eye as it lights up red.
The Vision iV’s tough exterior trickles through to the interior too, with gill-like vents on the dashboard. There’s a moveable, easy-to-reach centre console that has space for control units and two mobile phones, which are wirelessly integrated into the infotainment and operating systems and can be charged inductively. Plug your smartphone into the infotainment system and it can even be used as a digital key for unlocking the car. The lightweight seats swivel for comfort and are covered in Dinamica, a suede substitute.
Having been designed for urban environments, the Vision iV is fitted with laser scanners and radar sensors to navigate its surroundings and respond accordingly – in certain situations, it can drive autonomously or park itself and brakes automatically in emergency situations. An all-wheel-drive variant is in the pipeline, with two electric motors that produce an output of 225kW and a top speed of 111mph. The range will remain at 310 miles and the vehicle is expected to reach Europe as early as 2020.
A word must be given to Škoda’s Klement – a vehicle they’re branding a “two-wheel mobility concept”, rather than an electric bike. Designed for high-traffic metropolitan areas and large cities, the 25kg, aluminium-framed Klement has a 4kW motor located at the rear that produces a top speed of 27mph. It has a range of up to 38.5 miles and the lithium-ion battery cells can be removed and charged using a regular household socket. There are integrated LEDs and the hydraulic front brake has ABS. Guido Haak, Head of Product Management at Skoda Auto, said: “Micromobility is becoming increasingly important in cities. We are showcasing our vision for the future of micromobility: sustainable, innovative, electric and with a pure, modern design.”