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 equivalent 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 British magazine Autocar in December 2020.
In September 2021, while talking to Handelsblatt, Schafer indicated that Skoda would launch an Octavia EV equivalent 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 counterpart 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, 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 equivalent could use the MEB or the SSP platform
Schafer did not provide specific details like specs and price, but the EV based on the Skoda Octavia would not be a conversion and sit on a repurposed MQB platform. Instead, it would use the bespoke 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 shortly.
In an interview with Autocar.co.uk, Skoda sales and marketing head Martin Jahn said the company will be looking to bring an EV similar to the Octavia wherein it serves the same purpose as the Octavia. However, it will appeal to buyers who do not want an SUV or fleet operators who wish to have different body styles.
Hence, it is doubtful that the Octavia nameplate would be used for this EV. Instead, Skoda would have to think up a new name for this model. This will be an opportunity for the marketing teams to have another name that ends with ‘Q’ or begin with ‘K’ as it does in other products.
Autocar speculates that Skoda would offer a version of VW’s upcoming Aero-B electric sedan, an EV equivalent of the Passat segment. However, in Skoda’s case, it would also opt for an estate-style (Combi) which it has experience with in segments like that of the Fabia, Octavia and Superb. Martin Jahn told the publication the estate shape “defines” Skoda in a way and that the company will look at other shapes for its upcoming electric products. Interestingly, Skoda will not go ahead with a Fabia Estate on the 4th gen model as the Scala is popular. Skoda does not want to complicate its lineup in the road to meeting emission targets.
Skoda Electrification strategy
With the Citigo iV discontinued, Skoda has one EV in the lineup, the Skoda Enyaq iV. The VW ID.4‘s platform mate entered series production in Mlada Boleslav, Czech Republic, in November 2020 and has raked in more than 70,000 orders. In early 2022, the Skoda Enyaq Coupe iV will follow, serving as a sporty variant aimed at the younger demographic. With Skoda announcing two more EVs under the Enyaq for this decade, the smallest model is expected as a derivate of the VW ID.Life (ID.2) based on the MEB-Entry platform and the larger one, an ID.3 spin-off.
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.