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Kasia Niewiadoma’s Take on E-Cars and How One Can Fit Into the Life of a Pro Cyclist

By We Love Cycling

Kasia Niewiadoma is rarely not on the move. The Polish national with a stellar career path made her debut in professional ranks aged 19 and currently rides under the colours of UCI Women’s WorldTeam Canyon/SRAM Racing. She is a former Polish national champion and her podium successes include The Women’s Tour, European Under-23 Road Race Championships, La Flèche Wallonne Féminine, Giro Rosa, and a plethora of others. Such a range means a packed race and training schedule all year round and the need to get to places efficiently and with all necessary gear. We just about managed to catch up with Kasia before she left for a training camp to get her insights into what can an EV do for a cyclist with an active and outdoorsy lifestyle.

First of all, switching up from a regular car may come across as a significant change to many. So, why did Kasia weigh in favour of electric vehicles? “Spending a lot of time in the mountains definitely made me think about my carbon footprint on the environment, and being surrounded by nature pushed me to think about how could I improve my green life. An electric car seemed like a great first step and having done some research, I realized that Škoda Enyaq iV will be the one and only. Maintenance of an electric car is way easier than we all think before getting one.“

Adapting to life with an EV can seem challenging after only ever being used to a classic car and all the needs and fuelling infrastructure surrounding it. When we look at the numbers, based on an average from 2021, the European Union offers five fast public chargers for every 100 km. As the demand for and sales of electric vehicles keep skyrocketing, it is expected that in 2035 and beyond, 100% of new cars sold in the EU will be electric. The projected goal is to reach nearly 3 million charging stations across the EU. But that is the future – what adjustments does one need to do now, especially with an active lifestyle? “At first, I definitely felt I had to adjust my approach to simply taking a car and heading off for adventure, fearing I would run out of power,” says Kasia. “I spent a fair amount of time reading and watching all the informative videos about the car, trying to educate myself as much as possible. I had a little research about the charging points around my house and training camp areas.”

Kasia Niewiadoma
The Škoda Enyaq iV is large, spacious and fits everything.

“Inexperienced and maybe a little too stressed, I would overthink difficult scenarios but the reality is that the car itself is too smart to ever let you get into a situation like that. With a little organization and structure I’ve built around my travel days, I realized it’s super easy to research charging stations that are spread all across Europe and actually having a 30-minute break during a long drive feels amazing for the body and mind,” Kasia added and continued, “I got used to it through making mistakes first. With a little patience, you can just play around with different chargers and see what works best. I do have a couple of spots around my house I always go to depending on what’s the travel plan. Some countries like France or Belgium, for example, have very fast and easily accessible chargers that boost your car up in no time, others require more planning around but again, the options are there.”

As already stated, Kasia enjoys a very busy and active day-to-day schedule that includes a lot of moving around. How did her approach to travel (especially with her bike) change with the new vehicle? “Enyaq iV is very spacious which is a big game-changer for me! I never travel light, always bringing at least two bikes, spare wheels, lots of gym gear, and clothes. I never felt more satisfied with a car as much as I am with Škoda. I can pack everything I need for myself and if my partner decides to join me, there is also space for him and his extra-large bikes – everyone has space to breathe. The car is very efficient so travelling far is never a problem, especially when you go into the mountains and can use recuperation mode, adding extra kilometres. That made me realize that this car is multi-functional,” Kasia commented. The Enyaq iV’s boot has a capacity of 585 litres and there is a space under the boot floor to store the charging cables plus lots of clever storage spaces and pockets.

Kasia Niewiadoma

The longest range a high-end model of the Enyaq iV can officially manage is up to 536 km (333 miles) and even the entry-level battery size has a respectable official range of 412 km (256 miles). You’re unlikely to often get that far in real-world driving – factors including your driving style, speed and the temperature all play a part. “I was surprised at first with how big of a distance range this car has – it is my first EV and I would never assume you can go over 400 km on one charge. Normally, I never drive for longer than three hours without a break so for me it just works perfectly. Once I’m ready to stop, I can charge the car, have a little stretching session, get a snack and hit the road again. Personally, I feel that the charging stops allow us to have this healthy and calm travel day.“ 

The Enyaq iV scored five stars for safety when it was tested by Euro NCAP. It has lots of safety technology as standard, including automatic emergency braking. “When I started to drive the car, I would not stop saying ‘oh my, this car drives itself.’ I am still getting surprised by how intelligent the driving system is, keeping me always super safe on the roads, especially when coming back from a big race block or parallel parking on small Spanish streets. I do believe that with the Enyaq, you need to build a relationship where you learn each other’s skills,” Kasia clarified.I never liked backing the car or trying to fit into small parking spots, yet thanks to all the cameras around the car, I gained more confidence and improved a lot. The highway speed control gives me a big sense of security and what’s also amazing is how the lights change at night, giving you amazing clarity and vision while taking care of other cars coming from the opposite direction.”

Skoda has also given the Enyaq iV heaps of clever features designed to take the stress out of everyday life such as a phone app that lets you monitor the battery charge remotely or the possibility to thoroughly adjust the headrests. The Enyaq iV comes with a 13-inch infotainment touchscreen and connectivity features. The screen’s icons are large and clear, so you don’t need to strain your eyes to find what you want, and it has a DAB radio, built-in navigation and smartphone mirroring. “I usually put a map on the screen and also connect my phone for a safer and more pleasurable ride with music or long conversations with my friends.”

Do you have experience with EVs as an avid cyclist? Let us know!