CitiGo part 8: 200 or 400 km range? Both!
All cars have energy fuel consumption levels that vary. Quite a bit. From around 40 km/h and up, the range is typically around half, when you double the speed (inversely proportional). When the speed doubles the consumption over time quadruples. But since you cover twice the distance the end result is roughly that - double speed, half the range.
I remember once driving a Ford Sierra 2.0 for a car rental company (positioning cars around Europe). At slower speeds we could get more than 20 km / liter ( 5 liter / 100 km), while at high speed on the Autobahn, we only got around 5 km/l (20 liter / 100 km)! For fossil fuel cars, it’s so quick to “recharge”, that one takes less note of what the actual fuel consumption is. Not so with EVs, and the CitiGo is no exemption.
When the weather is hot and there is no precipitation, I find that we can do about 200 km at 120 km/h in the CitiGo. I know that rain and cold will reduce that even further. But on the other hand, we have seen consumption as low as 7.5 kWh / 100 km (or 75 Wh / km). This is in hot weather, but thin mountain air. Passing villages and driving on country roads, typically at speeds between 50 and 80 km/h. That means a range of up to around 400 km. Add to that, the slower speeds also means the battery heats less up. With this car especially, your total road trip time for longer trips can be reduced a bit if you take the shorter country roads, compared to typically longer highway distances. For shorter trips, it doesn’t matter as much - just take the highway - as the battery takes some hours to heat up.
Remaining Range Rules of thumb
The charging level indicator is divided into 1/16 for each line, with major marks at each 1/8. Since I found the car can drive anywhere from 200 km to 400 km on a dry summer day, I made myself some rules of thumb: - For each 1/4 of charge the car will drive about 50 km on the highway or 100 km if you drive it most economically. - For each 1/16th division, the car will drive around 12-15 km on a highway, and 17-20 in the city or country road and even up to 25 km per 1/16th division, if you drive it most economically. The latter means warm weather, dry and smooth roads, no A/C, no aggressive acceleration nor braking, no significant headwind. Hills also have an influence but not nearly as much as in a fossil fuel car. This because on an EV, about 90% of the energy goes back into the battery when going downhill again. What happens to the last 10%? That is what heats up the battery ...
The reason for these rules of thumb is that the the range the car shows is based on the last few hundred km of driving. If you come off the highway after a longer trip, and the rest of the trip until the next charging possibility is country roads or city, then you will get a way too pessimistic indication. It might say only 50 km remaining, while in reality, you could stretch it up to 80 even 100 km.
The same goes the other way: After driving country and city roads for a while, and you join the highway, the range will now be over-optimistic.
These rules of thumb will help you to more accurately asses your possible range, knowing what type of driving lies ahead.
Uphill with ease
This car drives with such a light touch, that at times I have had to look backwards to see what kind of hill we are on - going up. Sure, it’s using more power, but it eats the hills with such an ease, it can be hard to understand this car only has 61 kW max power. Sure, it’s no limousine, especially being so short (about 3,6 meter), but it’s such a joy to drive it. When I think of fossil fuelled cars, where the noise and the perceived effort makes it look and sound demanding, this car just gets on with it. No downshifting, rev increase or added noise. The only suffering is really the accumulating battery temperature. I would say, this car is perfect, even for highway trips, as long as you don’t drive more than about 500 km in a day in summer weather. As for cold winters, I don’t know yet. Who know, maybe I will do another long trip in the winter? Somehow, I think I will.
Apps and Integration
A very well balanced car, it still has its drawbacks and funny quirks. Some of them would be so easy to fix, and I hope they do. There is no over the air update here, although the car is online via the Skoda Connect app, for both Android and iOS. While driving, it’s the Move and Fun app that is used. It connects via bluetooth and is then mainly for navigation. But also music, charging, energy use and more can be controlled and monitored via the app. The integration with the car is quite good, although using the system takes some getting used to. It’s worth spending some time when parked, to explore how it all works. Our version of the car has FM and DAB radio, as well as a slot for an SD card. The manual says it has AM radio also, but I never managed to find that. Not that I miss it.
Read the entire blog post series about the CitiGo!
Next: CitiGo part 9: Known Annoyances
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