“There are people who are not looking for something logical, such as money. They cannot be bought or threatened, nor can they be reasoned or negotiated with. Some people just want to see the world burn. Alfred Pennyworth (The Dark Knight, 2008)
“Know what?” The stranger said aloud by way of introduction “I have never understood people who dislike spiders.” He was a short guy with glasses deep as the bottom of a rum bottle, as dirty as his hair, as neglected as his short-sleeved shirt sprinkled with half pineapples open on his chest showing thick black hair that was scarce on his head . With a wave of his hand and raising his eyebrows above the saddle, he indicated the stool that rested next to mine against the bar. He grabbed it before he could draw a gesture accepting his company. I hung on to my gin and tonic and looked straight ahead hoping I was bored enough to get him to leave me as soon as possible. It was not a good day for me but it had been so long since I had one of those … “That’s it,” he said, climbing to the stool “I like spiders.”
The noise of the ice accompanied a long drink that culminated in grabbing my arm “the spiders” repeated “they take a minimum of five hours to weave their web and when they have finished they look for a discreet corner and wait, wait … are waiting”. With his right hand loaded with the remains of his Scot on the rocks, the stranger gestured to his statements while I remained in a polite indifference without losing hope of overcoming his patience. “Really?” however he escaped me giving wings to his conference. “That’s it,” he said, getting too close, “and they aren’t bugs that live too long.” A common spider about a year. And still they wait. He said hitting the table that made me turn my head “and when something shakes the delicate strands of his trap” he said looking into my eyes and changing the tone of voice for an icy and sinister “they rush out of hiding and … is”.
In many ways, one of the pillars of the rise of electric mobility is to rely on logic. It is, among other things, to move with more energy efficient vehicles and with less impact on the environment. Explosion engine based cars have also taken this path (perhaps forced by legislation) with anti-particle filters, more efficient designs, hybridization systems with electricity or gas … but they start with the disadvantage of a propulsion system that wastes a part important energy and emits gases into the atmosphere when it is operating.
Skoda Citigo iV datasheet
But following the thread of logic one of the most important points if you want to be strict is the use that will be given to the car. Nowadays it is evident that with few exceptions (as Tesla constitutes with its wide autonomy and own network of fast chargers) electric cars are less suitable for long trips if proper planning is not done and in this case their duration is lengthened with regarding a trip with a combustion car.
That is why many experts affirm that the electric car revolution must start in cities where reduced autonomy is not a problem and where the benefit of the vehicle not emitting polluting gases is much more noticeable. However, the arrival of electric cars curiously has not seen a wide catalog of utility vehicles and of course their prices have not been adapted to the concept of practical and cheap car that usually accompanies this category.
More electric utilities
This has been changing in recent months with the launch of several models from manufacturers such as Volkswagen, Honda and others that have returned to logic and offer compact electric cars with prices that can already be considered affordable, especially if we subtract subsidies. which seems to be willing to grant the government. They are cars that, without having to move a large body mass and especially batteries that do need larger electrics, can adjust costs and simplify their manufacture.
To be fair, we must mention some pioneers of electric utilities such as the Twizzy of Renault or the Citröen C-Zero / Peugeot iOn of PSA that never came to succeed perhaps with the exception of the Zoe. In our hands we were able to have one of the exponents of this new “logical” generation of the Volkswagen group: the Skoda Citigo iV, which according to the information that we have been able to gather is mechanically identical to the other two electric utility options offered by the Volkswagen group. : the Seat Mii Electric and the Volkswagen e-Up !.
We have already had the opportunity to test the Skoda utility in its version with a 75-horsepower gasoline explosion and it is identical on the outside, with a body that is reminiscent of a minivan due to its height. The exterior design maintains that family air in the front grille as well as in the headlamps and the touch of originality in the rear headlamps that extend vertically to the sides of the wide tailgate.
The details that distinguish it as an electric version are very few: the wheels that have a special design and the identification of the model on the bodywork, which on the other hand is very discreet. Also different is the design of the grill whose grille is partially covered with an element in the color of the body as well as the air intake at the height of the previous spoiler that also has a different design than that of the Citigo with an explosion engine as it does not need so much cooling and therefore so much air flow.
Inside we find all the benefits that we highlighted in the Citigo gasoline. Access to the interior is very comfortable thanks to the wide design doors and at the height of the car and the seats, both rear and front, have a considerable height, allowing people of good height to be accommodated. As usual in Skoda we find a good level of finishes for the car category and the feel of the materials is good.
In this version, the brief monochrome information display of the previous version has been maintained, which in this case allows displaying certain information on the operation of the car’s electrical system as well as other basic information. In other electics the information is more abundant and a larger screen has been chosen both to provide better information and to give a more “technological” touch to the car, but in this case Skoda has preferred to maintain the austerity of the panel of the original Citigo.
Above the dashboard we find again the impressive mobile version of the gasoline version that makes it very clear which accessory the Czech manufacturer considers essential. Just behind the bracket we find the USB connection for the device. Once connected, we can use the Android Auto or Apple Car Play system to compensate for the deficiencies of the car’s information and entertainment system with navigation applications or music playback.
In addition Skoda provides an application called «Move and fun» which, in addition to other car operating characteristics, allows you to receive more information about the operation of the car’s electrical system, such as graphs of energy recovery, autonomy, map with charging points, recharge programming by hours and days of the week and others that complete the car’s information system.
It should be noted that thanks to the car’s design, the boot has not lost any of its capacity and allows it to load up to 250 liters, which can be increased to 930 liters if we lower the rear row of seats. Quite an achievement for a car so small that you also have to find space for batteries. On the other hand, the wide gate makes loading tasks much easier, although it must be taken into account that it does not have much depth but does have a good height.
As for the mechanical part, this Citigo has an 83 horsepower electric motor that also delivers a torque of 210 Nm. The batteries total 36.8 kWh, which according to the WLPT test cycle gives it a range of 260 kilometers, more than enough for urban trips and compatible with a short trip and even a little longer if we take into account the availability of chargers on our way.
The propulsion system and the change have a very similar operation to the Volkswagen e-Golf that we also had the opportunity to test. The operation in the city is impeccable and those 83 horses, as usual in the electric ones, seem much more when we start from a standstill or accelerate when we go at low speeds, which together with the compact size of the car make it ideal for driving through the traffic of the cities with surprising agility.
As in the e-Golf we can choose different recovery levels as well as the maximum level marked as mode B from the gear lever. We can also choose different modes of operation of the system from highest to lowest energy consumption: normal, eco or eco +. As we select, the use of the air conditioning will be limited and in the most energy-saving we will also have limited engine power and maximum speed.
Although its natural habitat is undoubtedly the city, we ventured to take the small Skoda to the road and the sensations have been surprising. The Czech manufacturer had already given Citigo a certain poise to drive on curvy roads rare in cars of this category, but the presence of a much lower center of gravity thanks to the battery placed underneath between the two axles of the car makes the car behaves surprisingly stable in a corner.
This low center of gravity behavior is common to all electrics but is especially outstanding in a car as small and relatively high as this little Skoda. In addition, the good behavior of the electric motor makes this Citigo very fun and safe to ride on the road. Of course, we will have to take into account that a happy rhythm will penalize consumption, although autonomy in principle is sufficient.
The charging process is carried out using a Type 2 connector and charging can be carried out by normal plug, taking about 12 hours to complete, up to 7.2 kWh and 4 hours of time in semi-fast charging and 60 minutes in fast direct current charging. In addition Skoda offers, at the time of writing the article, a promotion for the installation of the charging point in our home with very competitive prices.
The Citigo is an ideal car to show the benefits of electrification. It is relatively affordable, especially after subsidies and if we take into account the saving per kilometer of both fuel and maintenance expenses as well as other factors such as regulated parking in cities, etc. It is the ideal size for the city without giving up good habitability and enough space in the boot to even take a little trip.
What we honestly did not think is that this Skoda was going to be so much fun to drive and that is a point in favor for this little utility vehicle that shows an unusual poise in a curve. The mechanics are simple and more than proven, which is also another interesting point. Perhaps Skoda could have taken the opportunity to provide the car with a wider display to give more information, but as we have pointed out it is a lack that we can supply without any problem with our own Smartphone.
Final assessment SUMMARY
This little Skoda is an amazing car for its practicality but also for how well it performs on the road. A highly recommended electric option for city and excursions