Jan 242012

Octavia Green E Line

Skoda has started testing the electric version of its popular Octavia model, the Octavia Green E Line, before making plans to produce the new vehicle commercially.

Road Tests underway

The partner of German automaker Volkswagen said this week it has begun tests on 10 vehicles in the Czech Republic to see how the new eco car performs on the road, a moment Skoda CEO Winfried Vahland described as a milestone for the Czech carmaker. The Octavia Green E Line is the first electric car Skoda has ever produced.

Octavia Green E-Line - Concept Electric Car

Octavia Green E-Line - Concept Electric Car

Octavia Green E Line Performance

Although the Octavia Green E Line will look like its diesel and petrol cousins, in terms of performance, it will remain inferior. The electric version of the vehicle can do 0 to 60 miles per hour in about 12 seconds, with a top speed of 84mph. By comparison, a special Octavia vRS claimed the speed record for a 2-litre engine in August last year when it reached 227mph in Bonneville in the USA. Although this hardly ranks as a standard Octavia, the electric version car will be considerable slower than its petrol and diesel counterpart, as is expected.

93 Miles per charge

But how well does the Octavia Green E Line perform elsewhere? On the key attribute of range it does fairly well, reaching 93 miles before the next charge courtesy of its lithium battery, which is stowed away under the middle and rear floor panels and in a section of the boot. This is a spacious vehicle even though it can seat five people.

Battery and Power

Skoda says it has deliberately used a modular chassis to produce the vehicle as this is better suited to the storage of a lithium battery, which weighs a whopping 315kgs, or about the same as four averaged sized-men. Each of these large batteries contains 180 individual cells of more than 23cm long and 5.5cm in diameter. This all helps to generate torque of 270Nm.

Skoda are committed to reduce emissions

So what does this mean for Skoda’s electric future, and indeed that of Volkswagen? Skoda has hinted that the Octavia Green E Line represents the first major stage in its aim to develop greener cars as it shares technology with its more illustrious German partner. In the short term, Skoda says it is committed to reducing emissions for petrol and diesel vehicles as it continues to research and develop electric vehicles for the future.

Although this electric vehicle is not expected to appear in showrooms for some time, when it does, it will be among a handful of battery-powered cars to compete in the saloon segment. So far, many all-electric vehicles have been much smaller, such as the Nissan Leaf, while the Prius has dominated the saloon market for hybrids.

Battery Vs Space

The continued problem facing engineers is getting the size of the battery down and designing a large vehicle with sufficient battery capacity to make it worthwhile, as most manufacturers have opted to make the compromise on size. Skoda hasn’t done that with the Octavia, but will it pay off? This is a question that the new tests should be able to answer.

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