My Enyaq: test drive was an eye-opener

My Enyaq: test drive was an eye-opener

Meet the Pooters. And discover how the Škoda Enyaq has become the heart of a family, offering not just a ride, but a commitment to eco-friendliness and a series of adventures across Europe.

In the latest instalment of our series about owners of the Škoda Enyaq, we delve into the life of Ivo Pooters, a 39-year-old radiation protection expert, husband, and father of three, living in the serene landscapes of Belgium. With a daily commute that crosses borders into The Netherlands, Ivo’s story is not just about mobility but a testament to sustainable living and family adventures.

“I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of going electric. With our focus on ecology, it was a matter of when rather than if,” Ivo shares. The Pooters family’s transition to electric vehicles (EVs) accelerated due to their previous car breaking down, pushing them to consider an EV sooner than anticipated. “I had the chance to test drive the Enyaq shortly after it was introduced in Belgium. It was an eye-opener.”

Škoda Enyaq Ivo Pooters’ Škoda Enyaq is one of the first in Belgium.

The decision to purchase the Škoda Enyaq wasn’t just about embracing electric technology; it was about finding a vehicle that would fit the family’s needs. “We needed something spacious enough for three children and their car seats, not to mention our car holidays,” Ivo explains. The family faced the challenge of limited availability due to Covid-related delays. Their persistence paid off when, after contacting multiple dealers, one empathised with their situation and offered one of the showroom models for sale. “It felt like winning the lottery,” Ivo recalls, “being able to buy the only immediately available Enyaq in Belgium at that time.”

Since December 2021, the Enyaq has become more than just a car for the family; it’s a statement of their commitment to reducing their ecological footprint. With around 43,000 km on the odometer, it’s clear the Enyaq has been at the heart of many journeys. Ivo’s wife, driver of an EV of another brand make herself, has found a fondness for the Enyaq, appreciating its space and comfort. “The kids love the roominess, and they’re proud of us for driving ecologically,” Ivo adds, highlighting the family’s unified stance on combating pollution and global warming.

Škoda Enyaq With three kids, the family needs a lot of room, so the Enyaq is ideal.

Integrating the Enyaq into daily life

“Our Enyaq is primarily our workhorse for commuting,” Ivo begins. “But it’s so much more than that. It ferries the kids to their activities, supports our hobbies, and has an incredible boot space that’s perfect for our shopping raids.” The versatility of the Enyaq shines through as Ivo recounts its role in their lives, highlighting its utility for both the mundane and the extraordinary. The family’s adventures have taken them across Europe, from the sandy shores of Texel in The Netherlands to the historic landscapes of Paris, the rugged terrains of the UK and Scotland, to the serene countrysides of Denmark and Sweden. “Each journey has its own story, with the Enyaq at the centre of it all.”

Škoda Enyaq The Pooters appreciate the spacious luggage compartment on their travels.

Reflecting on the day-to-day experience, Ivo shares, “Life with the Enyaq is simply enjoyable. Its quiet interior is a heaven during my commutes, allowing me to arrive at work, and back home, refreshed and relaxed.” The convenience of starting each day with a full battery, eliminating the need for frequent stops to refuel, marks a significant shift from the traditional car ownership experience. “It’s about peace of mind,” he adds.

Range anxiety is a common concern among potential EV owners, but for Ivo, it’s a non-issue. “In warmer months, we easily get a range of over 400 km in city traffic on a full charge, which slightly dips in winter. But that’s rarely a problem for us.” The Pooters plan their longer trips with precision, ensuring they’re always within reach of a charging station, aiming to recharge at around 10% battery capacity. “It’s a simple adjustment that has become second nature to us,” Ivo explains.

Škoda Enyaq The Pooters simply factor charging into their travel plans and don’t regard it as a hold-up.

Embracing the open road – the European escapades

Enyaq worked like a charm even on very long hauls. “It was exceptional, never faltering, even across long distances and multiple fast charges,” Ivo recounts with pride. Their adventures included ambitious trips from London to Edinburgh and Belgium to Copenhagen, each journey pushing close to 900 km and incorporating a blend of terrains and travel conditions. “Despite being fully loaded with five people and enough luggage for three weeks, the Enyaq performed flawlessly, its spacious boot accommodating our every need without compromising on driving pleasure.”

Škoda Enyaq They covered 4,200 km on their trip around England and Scotland.

The Pooters’ travels not only showcased the Enyaq’s reliability but also provided insight into the cost-efficiency of electric travel. In the UK and Scotland, a journey covering 4,200 km cost them approximately 200 euros, benefiting greatly from Scotland’s generous offering of free charging points. Their Danish adventure, encompassing 2,000 km, came to a modest 180 euros. This cost included the electricity for their holiday home, underscoring the affordability of electric travel. Another trip spanning Denmark and Sweden, with 3,900 km on the odometer and 18 fast charges, incurred just over 200 euros.

Ivo’s experiences across various European countries revealed a landscape of reliable and accessible charging infrastructure, with fast chargers readily available in most places. “Having a charger at our holiday home removed the daily worry of finding a charging point,” he notes, appreciating the convenience it offered. However, the journey wasn’t without its hiccups. “We encountered some issues with initiating charges at certain points, even with major providers,” Ivo shares, pointing out the occasional frustration. The need for a more streamlined charging process, possibly with direct credit or debit card access, was a notable area for improvement

Škoda Enyaq Ivo Pooters and his Škoda Enyaq.

Over their last 15,000 km of travel, including extensive trips through Denmark and Sweden, the Enyaq boasted an impressive consumption rate of 14.5 kWh/100 km. This efficiency, combined with the accessibility of charging stations and the cost benefits of electric travel, paints a promising picture of the future of road trips for EV owners.

Navigating the future with electric mobility

Charging the Enyaq has become a part of the Pooters’ daily routine, with a preference for charging at home, especially since the installation of solar panels to offset electricity costs. “Driving electric is about three times less expensive in Belgium compared to fossil fuels,” Ivo points out.

He recalls a tense moment in the Scottish Highlands, with only 10 km of range left after encountering two unusable chargers. “It was a bit scary, but knowing we had insurance that could come to our rescue provided peace of mind.” This experience underscored the importance of planning and the safety net provided by roadside assistance programs.

Škoda Enyaq Charging on their trip around England and Scotland cost just under 200 euros.

When asked about the disadvantages of electric cars, Ivo is quick to dismiss the common complaints about limited range. “For our everyday needs and even on vacations, range has never been an issue. It’s all about planning and enjoying the journey.” This philosophy transforms travel from a rush to a more relaxed and enjoyable experience, beginning the moment they set off.

The Pooters have found numerous advantages in driving the Enyaq, from the tranquillity of its silent operation to the environmental benefits of zero local emissions. “Visiting natural wonders without contributing to noise or air pollution enhances the experience,” Ivo reflects. The instant torque and responsive acceleration of the Enyaq, despite not being a sports car, add to the joy of driving.

The economic considerations of owning an EV were carefully examined by the Pooters, who found the total cost of ownership (TCO) to be more favourable than that of a comparable internal combustion engine vehicle. “Our summer electricity bills are virtually nonexistent, thanks to solar energy. It feels like driving for free,” Ivo says, highlighting the long-term savings and sustainability of electric mobility.