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Skoda Citigo-e iV: all-electric city car revealed

Published: 23 May 2019

► Skoda's new electric Citigo
► It's part of the new iV sub-brand
► First pictures and specs

Hot on the heels of its first plug-in hybrid comes Skoda’s first all-electric car. The two vehicles bookend Skoda’s lineup in terms of size – with the Superb iV based on the flagship, and the Citigo-e iV based on the entry point to the range – the tiny Citigo city car.

An all-electric city car? How imaginative…

Actually, it’s a pretty rare thing. Most volume-selling EVs are either family hatchbacks or crossovers – think Kia e-Niro, Nissan Leaf, VW e-Golf. Making profit on a city car is hard enough to begin with that introducing pricey batteries into the mix is a step too far for most.

There are also packaging difficulties – it’s not as easy to find room for a great big battery pack in a car that’s only 3.5m long.

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So what’s under the skin?

The Citigo-e iV sits on the same platform as the regular Citigo – and Volkswagen Up and SEAT Mii – but swaps out its 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine for an 81bhp electric motor. It’s actually the fastest production Citigo, with 0-62mph taking a reasonable 12.5 seconds. You can thank the 155lb ft of instantly-accessible electric torque for that. Top speed is just 80mph, though.

So is this just a Volkswagen e-Up in a Skoda frock?

You’d think so, but it’s not. For starters, the battery pack is way bigger, with 36.8kWh of capacity trailing just 16kWh in the e-Up. That bodes very well for range, and the Citigo-e can manage an impressive 165 miles on a charge under the WLTP testing cycle.

The Skoda frock is there, of course, but it’s distinctive enough that you won’t mistake this for its VW-badged brethren at a glance. The ‘moustache’ grille is filled in with body colour, distinguishing it as an EV, and there’s SKODA in block capitals across the tailgate.

Base models ride on steel wheels – remember those? – though buyers can spec up to 16-inch wheels on higher trims. Naming the entry-level option ‘Ambition’ is a bit of a kick in teeth; it sits below ‘Style’ trim, which brings equipment such as ambient lighting, electric door mirrors and some leather trim inside.

There’s no factory infotainment, but there is a phone dock and a downloadable ‘Move&Fun’ app, which provides navigation, media playback and vehicle data.

Skoda Citigo-e front tracking

What about charging?

As mentioned, you’ll get 165 miles on a full charge. That’s seriously good – the larger VW e-Golf only manages 144 miles, and it’ll cover the vast majority of weekly commutes without needing a topup. If you run out of juice, though, a compatible 40kW fast-charger can add 80 per cent charge in just an hour.

That drops to just over four hours from a 7.2kW wall box – available to buy from Skoda – or 12 and a half hours from a three-pin socket. Entry-level Ambition cars don’t get the gubbins required for the super-fast CCS charging though, so think carefully before you spec.

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By Tom Wiltshire

Bauer Automotive staff writer; Cotswoldian, Peugeot enthusiast, SsangYong Turismo apologist