by Seán Creedon

Ireland had a car assembly business in the fifties and sixties. Now most of that assembly work is done in places like Spain and Eastern Europe, while Britain still has a few big car plants. But Ireland is still an attractive location for visitors who are fascinated with our green and pleasant island.

Now Skoda, which has become a very popular brand in Ireland in recent years, are giving their first electric car an Irish sounding name Enyaq.

We are told the name is derived from the Irish name Enya, but a young lady from Donegal tells me that Enya was probably derived from the name Áine as there is no ‘y’ or ‘q’ in the Irish alphabet.

But we won’t fight over a name and for Skoda the name ties in with the electric theme where all EV cars will begin with the letter ‘e.’

So with an Irish-sounding name Skoda decided that they should d have an Irish launch. And the historic village of Durrow in County Laois was the location for the first international disguised drive of the Enyeq iV, Skoda’s fully electric SUV.

The car was camouflaged in Durrow so we are still kept in suspense about how the electric car will look. But I have seen other photographs and it looks likes this will b a compact motor with a distinctive front grille.

The Enyaq is a five-seater electric crossover. It slots between the current Karoq and the larger Kodiaq SUVs. It could be described as a bit shorter, but taller, than the popular Skoda Octavia.

The production model will be called Enyaq iV. It will be assembled by Skoda at their plant in the Czech Republic for the European market and later in China for worldwide distribution.

The electric car will be available in two body styles and will be the first Skoda car to utilize the Volkswagen Group MEB platform.

There will be a choice of rear or four-wheel drive, and an estimated range of up to 500 km. Three battery sizes, 55 kWh, 62kWh and 82k, five power variants and a fast-charging option for even shorter charging times.

Inside there is plenty of space, a 13-inch infotainment display on the dash and state-of-the-art connectivity.

There will be choice of three battery sizes and five power variants, depending on individual requirements.

The top-of-the-range model will be able to accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in just 6.2 seconds and has a top speed of 180 km/h. The maximum range of the all-wheel-drive variant is up to 460 km.

There is very good headroom and excellent rear-seat space. We are told you can you should be able charge up to 80% of the battery in 40 minutes with a fast charger.

The Enyaq iV will go on sale in Ireland in the first quarter of 2021 and prices will be confirmed nearer the launch date.

We are told prices will be much the same as a high-end Skoda Kodiaq where prices are around €48k, but then you can take Government grants off that price.

Skoda have been making very good cars with diesel and petrol engines. I’m sure they will do the same with their first electric. Hopefully when the economy gets moving again and with the Green Party in Government there will be plenty more charge points installed around the country.