Other manufacturers, including BMW with its i sub-brand and Mercedes with its EQ range of concept cars, have launched electric vehicles separately from their mass-market models, but Skoda’s EV effort will sit directly alongside its mainstream models, such as the Fabia, Octavia and Superb.
Head of product management Guido Haak revealed the news at the brand’s recent opening of its Digilab facility in Prague, Czech Republic. Haak compared Skoda’s efforts with those of Tesla, labelling the hugely successful EV brand “the number one risk-takers in the industry”.
Haak described the Model 3, which has accrued more than 400,000 reservations, as “vanilla” in its specifications given the price tag. “This car is a premium car; not for everybody,” Haak said of the Model 3’s $35,000 starting price.
The executive explained that Skoda’s electric vehicles would not be rivals to Tesla cars, and would be priced at a more accessible level. Outlining the main criteria Skoda EVs need to fulfil, Haak listed value for money, real-world range, design, driver assistance systems and being fun to drive.
One of these assistance systems alerts the driver when they need to prepare to move out of the way of an emergency vehicle. This feature is not expected to be installed on a Skoda in the short term, however, due to the early stage of the system’s development.