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VW Group’s Skoda will be revealing its first electric and autonomous concept car late next month at the Shanghai Motor Show.
The Czech Republic-based Volkswagen subsidiary announced it will be showing the Vision E concept, which is an all-electric SUV. The company claims the Vision E SUV coupe will be able to travel 311 miles (500 kilometers) on a single charge, but the vehicle is only in the concept stage. It would probably be using European NEDC range standards, which is more generous than what’s used in North America.
Powerful lithium ion batteries and optimal recuperation will maximize charging range, the company said. It will have 225 kW of system output, allowing for instantaneous acceleration. It will be able to reach a top speed of 112 mph (180 km/h).
Skoda is designing the electric SUV with two electric motors that can work together for maximum efficiency and the ability to drive the vehicle on all four wheels.
The automaker said it will be able to meet level 3 requirements for autonomous vehicles. That level is called “conditional automation” by SAE International (Society of Automotive Engineers), which allows for full automation with the expectation that the human driver will take over the vehicle as needed. The highest level for full automation is level 5.
Using level 3 autonomous driving, the Vision E will be able to operate independently in traffic jams, go into autopilot mode on highways, change lanes, and search for free and available parking spaces. To tap into the autonomous technology, various sensors with different ranges and numerous cameras will be able to constantly monitor the traffic situation.
The Skoda Vision E will be built on VW’s Modular Electric Drive kit (MEB) platform. That was introduced by the parent company last year as part of its ambitious plan to electrify its product offerings.
The company said that its first purely electric series vehicle will come out in 2020, with no specification given on whether it will be the Vision E. By 2025, Skoda plans to have rolled out five all-electric vehicles in various vehicle segments.
The Vision E SUV crossover was designed with full functionality in mind. It’s 4,645 millimeters (182.8 inches) long, 1,917 mm (75.4 inches) wide, and 1,550 mm (61 inches) tall. A long wheelbase of 2,850 mm (112.2 inches) and short overhangs were used by the designers to support a spacious interior. Riders can use that space to store goods and its elevated seating position for comfort and visibility. It also features an exterior design, with a sloping roof line, in the style of a coupe.