Working on an electric car below Enyaq iV, says Skoda’s CEO

Skoda may not be aggressive like Volkswagen in EVs, but it has several zero-emission models coming in the first half of the decade to keep new car buyers interested. CEO Thomas Schafer confirmed at the Skoda Annual Press Conference 2021 in March that the next new new Skoda electric car (excluding derivatives) will be a model smaller than the Enyaq iV.

Asked if the next all-new Skoda EV will likely be an ID.3-sized hatch, Schafer said that the next model will indeed be smaller than the Skoda Enyaq iV. The company chief didn’t disclose the body style of that model, though.

Yeah, we are working on the next model smaller than the Enyaq, that’s true, but it would be too early to say what shape that car would be.

Thomas Schafer, CEO of Skoda Auto

The question Schafer responded to was a follow-up to a query on Skoda’s plan to leverage the MEB entry platform, also referred to as ‘MEB-lite.’ For the original smaller EV topic, he said that if Volkswagen Group is working on such a platform, Skoda wants to be a part of it. He suggested that the MEB entry Skoda EVs need not necessarily come out of a Skoda factory. A recent announcement from Seat has confirmed that it is leading the MEB entry project, and is likely to be manufactured in Spain.

If the group’s working on that you know we want to be part of this. We are the brand that plays very very strongly in that segment anyway, in the ICE, in a normal segment, but we also see our future there. So, we will fight for this and we will work with the group on this. Will it be built in Czech Republic or anywhere else, that’s not quite clear yet now.

Thomas Schafer, CEO of Skoda Auto

In an interview with auto motor und sport in January, Schafer, said that the company “certainly needs at least one electric model below the Enyaq iV.”

Schafer indicated that the VW ID.2, which was announced last year, could have a cousin in the Skoda family. The ID.2 is expected to be a pure electric alternative to the VW T-Cross, slotting below the compact ID.4 when it is ready in 2025. Schafer hinted that future Skoda EVs wouldn’t be limited to SUVs. “Our e-portfolio cannot only consist of SUVs in the long term,” he said. Following the Enyaq iV last year, Skoda plans to unveil the Enyaq iV Coupe this year.

It is obvious Volkswagen Group wants Skoda to sell a model similar to the VW ID.2. To make the ID.2 project feasible, the company would have to reengineer the MEB to make it technically fit for smaller dimensions. It would need to make it less sophisticated so that the cars based off it can be priced lower than current MEB platform cars, and margins would be understandably thin. The development and production costs seem feasible only if it can generate high volumes. A technical cousin from Skoda and Seat brands can be of help there; the more, the merrier.

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The modified MEB for application on economical EVs is said to be internally the MEB-Lite. It would also spawn a successor to the Skoda Citigo-e iV. That car could be technically related to the VW ID.1, which was also announced last year as part of the MEB Entry family, the smallest of them all.

Volkswagen and Skoda are using new names for MEB platform-based EVs. The companies don’t want these to be incorrectly perceived as conversions of existing products as they are developed from scratch. New names allow marketing them as revolutionary products, with the possibility of creating a new brand icon.

Volkswagen could have introduced the ID.3 as an all-new e-Golf and made it a part of its best-selling model family, but it didn’t go down that road. Whether Skoda dares using a new name for its dedicated EV alternative to best-selling ICE model, which is the Octavia, remains to be seen. An all-electric alternative to the Octavia based on the MEB platform, be it named Octavia iV or something totally new, is inevitable.

At the end of the interview, Schafer was asked how far is a EUR 25,000-electric Octavia. In response, he said:

That depends on the further development of the battery costs. Hopefully, they will drop faster than we think today. One thing is clear: the breakthrough is coming, but when, nobody knows exactly today.

Thomas Schafer, CEO, Skoda

Skoda plans to expand its electrified car portfolio to at least ten models by 2025. This page will soon be updated with new model plans, so check back later.

Featured Image Source: Skoda