Skoda Octavia EV confirmed, will come in Combi variant [Update]

About 1.5 years after the fourth-gen Skoda Octavia premiered, the Czech Volkswagen Group brand confirmed the first-ever electric variant. Now there is clarity on when the company plans to bring the Skoda Octavia EV to the market.

Thomas Schafer, CEO of Skoda, has been vocal about future Skoda cars since his appointment in 2020. “We need something smaller, maybe city-sized, and we need something in the flat range, maybe an Octavia of the future, in a sense,” Schafer told Autocar in December 2020.

In September 2021, while talking to Handelsblatt, Schafer indicated that Skoda would launch an Octavia EV after 2025. He said:

For the second half of the current decade, we are thinking intensively about an E-Octavia – the electric counterpart to our most successful model for decades, the core of our brand.

Thomas Schafer, CEO, Skoda

Schafer had said that the Octavia EV is part of the planned electric model offensive during the Q&A session following the announcement of the brand’s future titled ‘Next-Level Skoda Strategy 2030’ on 24 June 2021. He said the company would add at least three models to its EV portfolio by 2030, all smaller in size and price than the Enyaq iV product family.

Well the Octavia, specifically the Octavia Combi, is the core of our brand. This is no secret. We believe that this segment is by far not dead no matter what the propulsion is going to be in the future. So, yes I think we need an electric Octavia. Will it be exactly the same? You’ll see! But it belongs to us!

Thomas Schäfer, CEO of Skoda Auto at the Next-Level Skoda Strategy 2030 announcement on June 24

Skoda Octavia EV could use the MEB or the SSP platform

Schafer did not provide specific details like specs and price, but the Skoda Octavia EV would not be a conversion and sit on a repurposed MQB platform. Instead, it would use the MEB platform. Answering a question on the conversion of MQB for electric vehicles, he said:

This is not economically feasible to that, the MQB-A0, MQB technology was designed for ICE, and specifically powerful in this space. We see that with the MEB platform, we have a strong platform that is now scalable, we don’t need to electrify an old ICE platform, it’s never ideal.

Thomas Schäfer, CEO of Skoda Auto at the Next-Level Skoda Strategy 2030 announcement

The Octavia is Skoda’s best-selling model worldwide, and it is encouraging to see the company talking about fully electrifying it in the near future.

Mk4 2021 Skoda Octavia rear quarters teaser
The first-ever Skoda Octavia EV may arrive in 2026. The business saloon and estate would sit on the VW MEB platform. Image: Sketch of the current-gen Octavia, courtesy Skoda.

With the Citigo iV discontinued, Skoda has just one EV in the line-up, the Skoda Enyaq iV. The VW ID.4 rival entered series production in Mlada Boleslav, Czech Republic, in November 2020 and has raked roughly 70,000 orders as of 5 September 2021. In early 2022, the Skoda Enyaq Coupe iV will follow, serving as a sporty variant aimed at the younger demographic. One or more of the company’s future EV launches in or after 2025 will likely be EVs based on Volkswagen Group’s MEB short platform.

By 2030, Skoda aims to become a Top 5 car brand in Europe, and electric drive in Skoda’s fleet would increase to 50-70 per cent in the continent. Skoda says that by 2030, the fleet emissions would reduce by more than 50 per cent compared to 2020 and aims for net-zero CO2 production in plants in India and the Czech Republic.

Featured image: Teaser of the three upcoming electric cars shown at the Next-Level Skoda Strategy 2030 press conference.