RE: Living with an Enyaq | PH Footnote

RE: Living with an Enyaq | PH Footnote

Saturday 3rd July

Living with an Enyaq | PH Footnote

We know EVs work perfectly well in their comfort zone, so what about out of it? To the countryside...



5:56pm, Friday, A406

This isn't a conventional review of the Skoda Enyaq because, quite frankly, it wouldn't be very long. It's very similar to the VW ID.4 and drives very similarly too, the buying decision between them set to be about image, looks and price, more than it ever has been with cars of shared underpinnings.

Instead, a more thorough test for Skoda's EV SUV than a drive to the charger and home again; it would be weekend transport for my girlfriend Alice, my dog and I for a weekend back home in Suffolk. Where there isn't so much as a motorway, let alone a rapid charger at a services. But plenty of people to visit, miles to cover and questions to be answered.

The first being why this stupid, hateful touchscreen doesn't work. It's completely unresponsive, meaning no possibility to pair a phone, switch drive mode, change radio station or even adjust the air conditioning (there is a hard 'Clima' button, but it's a screen shortcut). Eventually the voice control turns the A/C off before we freeze and 38 presses of the skip button finds a tolerable radio station, but the Enyaq is not off to a good start. Especially with general cabin quality not all that great. Still, 252 miles with the larger 80kWh battery is useful (against a 333-mile WLTP claim) - so why is the range readout so small?

6:15pm, Friday, not much further down the A406

The screen still doesn't work. Imagine this happened on a test drive. Phone is in the cupholder to try and find us a route of Dante's North Circular of Hell.

7:07pm, Friday, M25

The Enyaq is a lovely motorway car, it turns out. There isn't much in overtaking urge, but that's ok given how the range plummets at high speed. It'll sit at 70mph far more quietly and comfortably than any petrol-powered SUV like this I can think of, even on 20-inch wheels. Given these will surely be used for family trips to grandparents, theme parks and holidays, that will count for a lot. As will the storage - there are bins and cubbies everywhere. One behind the dash holds a whole 150g bag of Kettle Chips, which is handy.


7:30pm, Friday, A12

Guess what! Still no joy with the screen. It's getting very hot, too. The radio keeps dropping out. Alice wishes we'd taken the Civic Type R. And she really doesn't like that car.

7:40pm, Friday, Boreham services

The 55 miles or so from here in stop-start driving (which really suits an EV, especially with the regen braking being used here) has taken nearly exactly that from the range, with 187 miles left. Plan is to juice the Skoda here with the newly installed BP Pulse while scoffing McDonald's.

7:41pm, Friday, Boreham services

The charger is being used by a Nissan Leaf. ZapMap says it's been there four minutes. Sob.

7:44pm, Friday, still Boreham services

The Leaf leaves! But it's only been there a few minutes. Does the charger work?

7:46pm, Friday, guess where?

After some arguing with it (because I'm stupid), the charger works! It's a 175kw, too, so we're soon adding something in the region of 160 miles per hour. I haven't renewed my BP Pulse membership, so the price per kWh is more, but ยฃ7 adds 60 miles or so. Perhaps most importantly, it was really easy. The only real disappointment is that McDonald's are out of Chicken Selects.


8:46pm, Friday, sleepy Suffolk

Maybe I'm getting old, but there's something quite appealing about silently cruising through a rural village when most of the residents are in bed. The Skoda green mood lighting lifts the cabin ambiance nicely. Alice's grandad has a Yeti and much prefers his 'proper' Skoda. Tough crowd. But imagine an Enyaq Scout, jacked up and cladded like the Octavias we all loved. That might be cool. For now, it manages to somehow look generic in a sector that's quite newly established, the giant fake grille the clearest Skoda giveaway.

10:34am, Saturday, somewhere else in Suffolk

The screen works! Back in business baby! Look at my smart A/C, Individual drive mode and DAB radio, people! Seriously, though, how can a car's main interface fail for three hours?

Family visits mean flitting around in the lanes, a task that the Enyaq is well suited to. Its sheer size can make things tricky, but visibility is good, the regen braking is predictable and reassuring, the steering accurate and the willingness to turn of course helped by having so much of the weight at wheel height. The 20-inchers themselves feel a tad too big though, especially with the suspension any firmer than Normal.


11:22am, Saturday, Ipswich

The haircut I've booked is many more miles away than I thought; the fear is irrational, because 150 miles is loads, but I keep checking it. And the screen makes my eyes hurt. The turning circle is great for parking; the size isn't.

1:46pm, Saturday, Lawford

Barbecue number one. My friend has a Velar and I honestly think there might be more space in the Skoda. She shows little interest, because 'Skoda' and 'EV'. Much like the old prejudices that existed around the brand for so long, I think EV scepticism will linger as well. Their enormous driveway would be perfect for a domestic charger...

4:11pm, Saturday, Martlesham

Barbecue number two. ZapMap to the rescue again - the Tesco around the corner has the new VW PodPoint chargers installed; they're only 7kW, but they're free, and with two hours parking possible I can add some useful range. Nobody is going to turn down free miles! (I did buy some drinks, too, I'm not a total scrounge.)

6:02pm, Saturday, Martlesham

Even if I treated the rest of the weekend like a Formula E race, there's enough range to get us through Sunday and back to London now. Like the ID.4, the Enyaq doesn't feel all that brisk when using more throttle, though that might be the silence as much as anything. And I'm probably missing the point. But the 261hp Enyaq Sportline 80x might be worth investigating. This is a 2.1-tonne car before it's filled with people and pet paraphernalia...


12:18pm, Sunday, Ipswich

More visits, more tea, more chat about how big the dog is getting and how many jabs you've had. Sounds silly, but without charging concern (I've had a few bad experiences) the EV experience is so much more enjoyable. And this is really just the first wave; imagine how much better batteries (and cars; and chargers) will be in five years' time.

4:32pm, Sunday, back on the A12 again

Some time to think, as everyone else is asleep. I like the Enyaq, despite its less than auspicious start. The problem is that, in trying to feel so much like a normal car to lure in EV sceptics, the Enyaq might be in danger of being too ordinary. Whatever your car preference, nobody wants to spend ยฃ41,000 and be left with an okay car - do they? The VW at least has funkier looks inside and out to distinguish it. Again, I might be missing the point, but the vRS and (hopefully) Scout should give the Skoda a bit more personality.

7:55pm, Sunday, the SourceLondon charger nearest my house

Car plugged in (without drama) so it has more than 30 miles before collection. Tried to nip out when rain stopped to collect the car before Belgium v Portugal. Rain started again as I left the door. I'm soaked by the time I arrive, and I've brought the wrong key. Alice calls me something rude. Wet charge cables are grim. I'm not electrocuted. Is SourceLondon like expensive fuel? Loads more money for no better performance.

So, an EV can work with public chargers, for sure, but you still need to be lucky - if that Leaf had stuck around the story could have been different. But for those who can charge at home, cars like the Enyaq make the case more effectively than ever more. When that damn screen is working...








Author
Discussion

Dale487

Original Poster:

1,307 posts

93 months

Saturday 3rd July
quotequote all
This article is about going to the countryside in an EV but I’ve long thought that an EV is possibly easier for those who live there compared to those who live there than the city; more likely to have off road parking close to the home power supply, which to me seems like the biggest issue bar the initial purchase price of the EV.

ExPat2B

2,065 posts

170 months

Saturday 3rd July
quotequote all
It sounds like you spent hours of time, and a lot of thinking, planning and worrying, to do what could have been done in 2 tankfuls of fuel for an average car, that would have taken 5 minutes and zero worrying or thinking about.

Trackdayer

1,024 posts

11 months

Saturday 3rd July
quotequote all
Am I reading that right? £7 to add 60 miles worth of range in an EV?

That can't be right???

60 miles worth of range in a modern diesel costs £1.50 at the services???

Edited by Trackdayer on Saturday 3rd July 08:33

Piginapoke

2,430 posts

155 months

Saturday 3rd July
quotequote all
Trackdayer said:
Am I reading that right? £7 to add 60 miles worth of range in an EV?

That can't be right???

60 miles worth of range in a modern diesel costs £1.50 at the services???

Edited by Trackdayer on Saturday 3rd July 08:33
Yep, that's right. You are fleeced by public charging.

Piginapoke

2,430 posts

155 months

Saturday 3rd July
quotequote all
I tet drove an ID4 and was very disappointed. The interior was very cheap, the tech already seemed 3 years out of date and above 50 it was woefully slow.

Trackdayer

1,024 posts

11 months

Saturday 3rd July
quotequote all
Piginapoke said:
Yep, that's right. You are fleeced by public charging.
That's insane. So utterly impractical for long journeys on the basis of range, and cost of charging!

bearman68

3,446 posts

102 months

Saturday 3rd July
quotequote all
Trackdayer said:
Am I reading that right? £7 to add 60 miles worth of range in an EV?

That can't be right???

60 miles worth of range in a modern diesel costs £1.50 at the services???

Edited by Trackdayer on Saturday 3rd July 08:33
Hardly. 60 miles will cost £10 or so.

Trackdayer

1,024 posts

11 months

Saturday 3rd July
quotequote all
My bad. Morning maths laugh

Still, why are they charging so much for electricity? EVs are supposed to be cheap to run?

bearman68

3,446 posts

102 months

Saturday 3rd July
quotequote all
Trackdayer said:
My bad. Morning maths laugh

Still, why are they charging so much for electricity? EVs are supposed to be cheap to run?
Because they can. Recent articles in the press and on the net have been moaning about the relative cost of electricity and fossil fuels. No point going electric if there's no financial benefit, and there's lots of disincentives with regard to range, and hassle, and general lack of infrastructure.

I think that the government should start taking petrol pumps away to incentivise EV's. (At least that's what the Welsh Assembly would do), as that would give everyone range anxiety, and level up the playing field a bit.


Dale487

Original Poster:

1,307 posts

93 months

Saturday 3rd July
quotequote all
bearman68 said:
Trackdayer said:
My bad. Morning maths laugh

Still, why are they charging so much for electricity? EVs are supposed to be cheap to run?
Because they can. Recent articles in the press and on the net have been moaning about the relative cost of electricity and fossil fuels. No point going electric if there's no financial benefit, and there's lots of disincentives with regard to range, and hassle, and general lack of infrastructure.

I think that the government should start taking petrol pumps away to incentivise EV's. (At least that's what the Welsh Assembly would do), as that would give everyone range anxiety, and level up the playing field a bit.
Range anxiety isn’t the problem for me - Being able to buy a family EV for the same price as the equivalent petrol one, followed by being able to charge at my terraced house with no off street parking are the two issues for me.

Forced petrol station closures just feels a step or two away from banning normal people for having cars.

rxe

5,537 posts

73 months

Saturday 3rd July
quotequote all
Trackdayer said:
My bad. Morning maths laugh

Still, why are they charging so much for electricity? EVs are supposed to be cheap to run?
Because the economics of public charging really don’t work.

How much does a charge point cost to install? 10 grand? Probably more for one that has decent capacity, and if you have to dig up the car park and put thick cables in, probably a lot more. You’ve got all the charging infrastructure, and then you’ve got to have a service contract to maintain and check it. And it will all be qualified sparks doing the work, not some minimum wage bloke managing the till and shop.

Who’s going to use it? Well, most people won’t use it because they will charge at home. It’s a distress purchase - for the rare occasion when you have to drive more than the range of the car. So, in absence of massive subsidy, you’re going to get taken to the cleaners every time you use it.

£7 for 60 miles is a lot more than diesel. Even my 19 year old daily driven hard does 44 MPG, diesel is a fiver a gallon. I’m inclined to agree, the review reads like an ordinary car with much to much worry about fueling it. Stuff that I simply don’t have to worry about today.

Mr E

20,262 posts

229 months

Saturday 3rd July
quotequote all
Trackdayer said:
60 miles worth of range in a modern diesel costs £1.50 at the services???
250-270mpg is some going.


bearman68

3,446 posts

102 months

Saturday 3rd July
quotequote all
Dale487 said:
Range anxiety isn’t the problem for me - Being able to buy a family EV for the same price as the equivalent petrol one, followed by being able to charge at my terraced house with no off street parking are the two issues for me.

Forced petrol station closures just feels a step or two away from banning normal people for having cars.
I agree, but I was really having a go at the WA. But I guess you knew that anyway.
So much to say about BEV, so little point. Things will pan out as they will, with or without my opinion.



Mr E

20,262 posts

229 months

Saturday 3rd July
quotequote all
I suspect this thread will descend into the usual pro and anti EV frothing.

An id4 or similar will likely be a very suitable family car for an awful lot of people. If they can get the monthlies right they’ll sell/rent boatloads.

It’s pretty unforgivable that the screen is as bad as it is. I presume this one is prior to the fixes being applied?

Cold

11,799 posts

60 months

Saturday 3rd July
quotequote all
Mr E said:
I suspect this thread will descend into the usual pro and anti EV frothing.
The article does read a bit like "I drove around looking for somewhere to plug in and managed some family stuff in between" rather than extolling the strengths of using the car as a car.
It has just highlighted the already well known present day weaknesses.

Sheepshanks

25,262 posts

89 months

Saturday 3rd July
quotequote all
ExPat2B said:
It sounds like you spent hours of time, and a lot of thinking, planning and worrying, to do what could have been done in 2 tankfuls of fuel for an average car, that would have taken 5 minutes and zero worrying or thinking about.
Don’t see total mileage detailed but that trip sounds like a single tankful in your average turbo diesel, or even a recent petrol. And no discomfort due to a screen having a tizzy.

fruitoftheloon

7 posts

4 months

Saturday 3rd July
quotequote all
£7 for 60 miles, chocolate teapot much???

Ardennes92

423 posts

50 months

Saturday 3rd July
quotequote all
Can’t say I learn’t much from the article apart from the amount of faffing about, or was it written for “effect”. Are those ionity spaces short or is the car that much bigger than anything else?

4Q

2,865 posts

114 months

Saturday 3rd July
quotequote all
fruitoftheloon said:
£7 for 60 miles, chocolate teapot much???
My diesel FFRR costs around £10 to do 60 miles or nearly £14 if I fill up at the motorway services. My Aston DBS costs around £20-30 depending how hard I’m driving it.

My electric Kona costs me around .75p to charge up at home to do 60 miles. What point are you trying to make?

PSB1967

149 posts

126 months

Saturday 3rd July
quotequote all
The sticking point for me with EV's is simply that the battery is only warranted for 8 yrs and it appears quite difficult to get replacements without spending huge sums, which negates much of any fuel savings (yes I know ICE can go pop too). I suspect the battery will continue long past 8 yrs, but at what efficiency? Then the dreaded range anxiety will become a nightmare.....