THERE was a time when if you wanted to buy an electric car with a big range only a Tesla would suffice. But not any longer.
Skoda's first purpose-built all electric car the Enyaq has just been launched - with a Tesla-challenging range of up to 333 miles on a single charge.
And better still if you opt for a model equipped for faster charging you can boost your battery power to 80 per cent of capacity in less than 40 minutes.
The Enyaq is a large, spacious and very stylish SUV with plenty of room inside for up to five people and a boot that will easily swallow the luggage of all of them.
Much of the interior space has been created by putting the batteries under the floor in what's called a skateboard platform, which also gives the car perfect 50-50 weight distribution to improve handling.
The electric motor is incorporated into the rear axle making the car - unusually for a Skoda - rear-wheel-drive although four-wheel-drive versions will also soon be available.
The Enyaq is a little reminiscent of Skoda's award winning Kodiak but the bodywork and cuts in the metal make its design far sharper.
Step inside and the iV80 Sportline driven here presents a very upmarket package, with leather and Alcantara high backed sports seats and a dashboard which also incorporates saddle stitched leather and Alcantara as well as carbon fibre effect panels.
The electrically adjustable seats in the front as well as those in the rear are heated, as is the steering wheel.
Most of the onboard systems are controlled on the central 13-inch touch screen which - if you initially suffer from range anxiety - you can leave permanently showing the percentage of power left in the batteries so you can relax and not worry about recharging.
Immediately in front of the driver is a smaller more conventional virtual display with speed and driving data.
Satellite navigation is standard as is a sharp reversing camera and a panoramic sun roof.
There is no gear shift on the Enyaq, simply a small slide switch for drive, neutral and reverse as well as a regeneration mode which increases braking and thus boosts the power in the battery.
With a 0-62 miles per hour time of just 8.2 seconds the Sportline is quick off the mark for such a large car and there's never any hesitation.
Unlike other models in the Enyaq range it also features paddles behind the steering wheel which, on a conventional car, would be for changing gear but on this one are to add or remove regenerative braking.
It's completely different but works well once you get the hang of it. Pull the left hand paddle once and the car starts to slow down. Pull it a second or third time and the braking affect is increased while at the same time boosting the battery.
Once you get onto the open road again each time you pull the right hand paddle more of the braking and regeneration affect is removed. Pull it three times and the Enyaq goes into a virtual coasting mode so little pressure is needed on the accelerator.
That coasting mode really does allow the car to deliver on the range claimed on the dashboard.
But while the Enyaq really is a great car to drive from the point of view of comfort, performance, range and handling finding a suitable charging point is still not always easy in some parts of the country.
My test car was fitted with a 125kW battery charging pack - a Â£400 optional extra - which means it can be charged in less than 40 minutes if connected to a 150kW or more commercial electric charger. The only problem was I couldn't find one locally.
You are more likely to find chargers with a maximum of 50kW which means around one hour and ten minutes to take the car from five per cent to 80 per cent, which is much better than with most electric cars. With a 7.2kW home charging point it will take around 13 hours.
On the road the Enyaq is super smooth and super quiet with a high stance that gives excellent all round visibility..
You have a choice of driving modes ranging from eco to sport so something for all tastes.
And when you want to press on quickly it's ride and road holding are top notch.