ENYAQ iV fleet to electrify the ice hockey championship

ENYAQ <span>i</span>V fleet to electrify the ice hockey championship

There are 45 of them and for the first time in history they’re all electric. A fleet of ENYAQ iV cars will provide transport during the upcoming 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Latvia. What are the drivers saying about the cars?

14. 5. 2021 Models Enyaq

The Czech carmaker ŠKODA is the tournament’s main sponsor for the 29th time. But this year will bring something new: all the vehicles used by the organisers are fully electric ŠKODA ENYAQ iV cars.

Spiky the hedgehog is the official mascot of the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship.

A total of 45 electric cars were handed over by the local importer to the Championship Organising Committee during the first two weeks of May. Czech ambassador in Riga Jana Hynková took part in the official handover ceremony. "I always say that ŠKODA is our Czech family silver, the biggest Czech employer and exporter. A reliable, progressive and truly innovative company with a wonderful history and traditions, but one that is constantly coming up with new ideas and visions for a better future. And this fantastic all-electric ENYAQ iV is all the proof you need." 

Czech ambassador in Riga Jana Hynková, Head of the Championship Organising Committee Edgard Buncis and manager of the importer of the Czech brand Auto 100 Latvija Māris Jansons (from the left) at the handover of the ŠKODA ENYAQ iV fleet.

Sales hit

For the organisers, using a fleet of electric cars necessitated different preparations and logistics planning. “Electromobility is a challenge, but if we look at it from an environmental perspective, the whole world is moving towards this trend. And I am glad that ŠKODA, our main sponsor, is also taking these big steps towards a better environment, better solutions. I am delighted that we can use electric cars from the ŠKODA fleet for the first time during the championship in Riga,” says Edgard Buncis, Head of the Championship Organising Committee.

The fleet of 45 electric cars is arriving in Latvia at the time when the ENYAQ iV is being launched on the local market

“For ŠKODA, this event is a unique opportunity to put eMobility in the spotlight in Latvia. The fleet of 45 electric cars is arriving at a time when the ENYAQ iV is being launched on the local market. In the first four months of the year it became Latvia’s best-selling electric car. I am confident that this trend will help us achieve a historic sales record,” adds Māris Jansons, manager of the Latvian importer of the Czech brand Auto 100 Latvija. 

Māris JansonsMāris Jansons
Manager of Auto 100 Latvija

Long before the start of the tournament, the importer, in cooperation with another tried-and-tested partner, had already been working on the details of all logistics and administration, as well as on “dressing” all the cars in the colours of this year’s tournament. For such a large fleet, recharging was always going to be one of the toughest nuts to crack. “We’ve been working on this since last year. There is a large and growing network of public charging stations in Riga that could take care of recharging for our fleet. But for the sake of convenience, we have created a special set of AC chargers at both stadiums where cars not in use will be charged. There are twelve 11- kilowatts charging stations, which allows us to schedule charging for the entire fleet regardless of the state of the public infrastructure and the surrounding conditions,” Jansons describes.

See how quickly the new ENYAQ iV can charge and how large the network of charging stations already is.

Getting to grips with eMobility

As driving an electric car is still a new experience for most people, the importer organised an introductory training session for drivers and managers. The managers were given the car for a week to get a feel for the differences, familiarise themselves with the car, find out how it behaves in everyday traffic, and get to grips with charging. “It’s still a new technology, so there’s quite a bit to learn. Every day brings new information and experiences. We need to plan test and practice drives more in advance and more precisely, and we need to take into account the larger time windows needed for charging. But we are delighted with the new car,” says Elīna Šnikvalde, Sales and Product specialist at the importer Auto 100 Latvija and a member of the fleet coaching team.

Elīna ŠnikvaldeElīna Šnikvalde
Sales and Product specialist at the Auto 100 Latvija

Of course, all forty-five drivers also received initial training. Needless to say, the focus was on the differences between conventional and electric cars. One of the most important things is to get into a different mindset, so the trainers focused primarily on how to manage the electrical energy in the batteries as efficiently as possible without compromising the convenience and satisfaction of the dynamic driving experience.

Long before the championship, the importer was working on various details, including “dressing” the cars in the colours of this year’s tournament.

“One big difference here compared to a conventional car is recuperation, which not only makes driving more economical but also more convenient. Charging and planning was also an important part of the training,” says Māris Balodis, Organising Committee Logistics Manager and one of the fleet drivers.

Māris Balodis
Māris Balodis
Organizing Committee Logistics Manager

For him, this was his first-ever encounter with an electric car. What were his impressions? “Brilliant, wonderful. The silence inside the car, that’s a whole new level of driving for me. And the dynamics! And how spacious the car is inside,” he enthuses.

There is a large and growing network of public charging stations in Riga.

He says the new ENYAQ iV also impressed him from the outside – everywhere he drove it, the car’s dynamic looks turned heads. Māris Balodis also praises the interior design, its functionality and the fact that everything is in the right place.

The ENYAQ iV became Latvia's best-selling electric car in the first four months of this year.

“When you’ve spent a whole day behind the wheel of the ENYAQ iV, you really feel the difference when you get into a regular car. In an electric car, all you have to do is sit down, buckle up and move the selector lever to drive - and you’re away. No more unlocking the doors, turning the key or pushing a button and waiting for the engine to start. I’m a fan of this new mobility trend and the ENYAQ iV is the perfect car for day-to-day use, but it can also handle longer journeys with the family,” concludes Māris Balodis.