eMOBILITY: Can you tell the difference between iV and e-TEC?

<span>e</span>MOBILITY: Can you tell the difference between <span>i</span>V and <span>e</span>-TEC?

The transition to eMobility is in full swing at ŠKODA. The Czech carmaker has set off down several different routes, including iV and e-TEC.

15. 9. 2020 Škoda World Innovation & technology

The transition to electric-powered cars is taking many different forms around the world. And ŠKODA has several options to offer its customers. From mild-hybrids to fully electric cars.

ŠKODA’s electric vehicles have one of two designations: iV or e-TEC. These emblems on ŠKODA cars are a synonym for green and electrified mobility. But the technologies involved are very different.

Member of the ŠKODA iV family, sports plug-in hybrid OCTAVIA RS iV

Plugged or unplugged

The basic difference is fairly simple: the iV designation, which ŠKODA presented to the world last year when unveiling the CITIGOe iV, SUPERB iV and OCTAVIA iV, or more recently with the first electric SUV the ENYAQ iV, is used for fully electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. Put simply, these are cars which the user can, or in some cases must, connect to an electric socket to charge their batteries.

The ŠKODA SUPERB iV combines a petrol engine with an electric motor 

The e-TEC designation’s premiere arrived with the fourth generation of the ŠKODA brand’s bestseller, the OCTAVIA model. This is what is known as a mild-hybrid, where an electric motor with a relatively small battery complements a combustion engine. A key feature of mild-hybrids is that they cannot be charged from an electric socket.

In simple terms, this means e-TEC represents the basic level of electrification, while the iV category contains cars with a higher level of electrification, including a fully electric drive. The e-TEC family currently comprises two OCTAVIA engine versions. The iV family is larger, with the ENYAQ iV and CITIGOe iV fully electric models and the SUPERB iV, OCTAVIA iV and OCTAVIA RS iV plug-in hybrids.

Low voltage

Unlike iV cars, e-TEC models use 48V technology. The combustion part of the powertrain is based on standard car engines; unlike them, however, the alternator is replaced by an electric motor that also works in generator mode and a 48V li-ion battery.

The electric motor is connected to the combustion engine by a drive belt, via which it can either boost the combustion engine’s performance or recuperate energy and store it in the battery.

The electric motor boosts overall performance here by several kilowatts, mainly at lower revs, for example when getting underway from a standing start. e-TEC cars can’t offer a fully electric drive but, like iV cars, they can cruise at higher speeds with the combustion engine deactivated. At that moment the onboard network is supplied by electricity from the 48V battery which takes care of all the required auxiliary functions, such as power steering. Thanks to the electric motor, the subsequent quick restart of the combustion engine is almost unnoticeable for users.

The result is reduced fuel consumption and thus also reduced CO2 emissions without compromising maximum performance, unlike conventional engine systems without the e–TEC designation. In the case of the OCTAVIA, there is an 81 kW version with the 1.0 TSI e-TEC and 110 kW version with the 1.5 TSI e-TEC.

Fully electric

Only iV models offer a fully electric drive. They differ from e-TEC in that their electric motors are much more powerful, delivering performance that is comparable to standard combustion engines. And it doesn’t matter if it’s a plug-in hybrid or a fully electric car.

The new OCTAVIA iV, for example, combines an 85 kW electric motor with a 110 kW 1.4 TSI combustion engine. In this case the electric motor is situated between the combustion engine and the gearbox, so it directly helps boost performance at the crankshaft output. This system’s total combined power output is 150 kW. The 13 kW battery can power 55 kilometres of purely electric driving, according to WLTP.

The batteries of iV models can be charged both from electric sockets or charging stations or, like mild-hybrids, by recuperation, which means storing the energy generated by braking. During recuperation the electric motor works as a generator and converts mechanical energy into electric energy, which is then stored in the battery. This energy can then be used when accelerating.