Skoda is working on an even cheaper electric model that will undercut its own “baby SUV EV”, Auto Express can exclusively reveal, in a bid to maintain its position as an entry point for many VW Group customers.
The Czech brand is already joining Volkswagen and Cupra in the development of a fully electric small car, under the umbrella of “MEB Entry”. This VW Group project, originally revealed in 2019, has been hit with fierce internal debates over everything from body styling to choice of battery chemistry. Engineers are struggling to deliver on the original promise of a car costing around 20,000 euros (£17,000), and the estimated arrival date has been changed from the original target of 2023 to 2026.
Now Skoda’s new boss Klaus Zellmer has revealed his team is trying to find a way to make an electric vehicle even cheaper, aiming to offer a vehicle at a price close to that of the current Fabia supermini. It sells for as little as £12,000 in some Eastern European territories – at least £5,000 less than the expected price for the MEB Entry model.
Speaking exclusively to Auto Express ahead of the reveal of the Vision 7S concept car, Zellmer admitted that its product team and engineering division have already started the project. “We are actively exploring the possibility of Skoda being the VW Group brand to make exactly this offer,” he told us. “It’s in the early stages, so I can’t give details because there are too many variables in this feasibility study. But of course Skoda, from my point of view, has to be the brand that has the most easy access to the VW Group.And we are responsible for finding the right solution for this.We talked about the A0 BEV [MEB Entry]; it must be below that.
Our exclusive image shows what an even more value-oriented Skoda EV could look like. There is said to be little appetite within the VW group for a Citroën Ami-style quadricycle, so the vehicle could use a slightly shortened version of the MEB Entry architecture, with an overall length of less than four. meters to help reduce material costs. A natural rival to Dacia’s Spring, the new EV is said to have more limited battery capacity than Skoda’s other EVs and potentially less than 150 miles of range between charges. Despite its shortened length, it would still feature a pseudo-SUV body style and a slightly elevated driving position to help house the battery in the floor.
Skoda will explore how to make the most of shared components, to help cut costs, and this could lead to the vehicle being fitted with more premium sensors and safety systems, including the introduced ‘tech deck’ grille. by the Vision 7S concept.
Zellmer even suggested his team consider whether a streamlined, streamlined manufacturing process could result in a single car specification, with the possibility for Skoda to recoup revenue over the life of the vehicle through feature subscriptions. . “It’s going to be difficult with the technologies involved,” he said. “They are expensive – assistance systems etc. Or maybe run on demand, where these cars will have built-in features, which increase material costs, but we will have the ability to use profit pools after we sell the car. It’s something we have to put into the equation.
Zellmer declined to be pulled on a schedule, but the existing fourth-generation Fabia was only introduced last year. Tighter emissions rules looming notwithstanding, that could give Skoda until 2027, or even 2028, to rack up its numbers. In the meantime, Zellmer said the target for MEB Entry “remains at 20,000 euros”, despite speculation that it has risen to 25,000 euros. “I would never try to tell you that it’s easy to make a car like this with a price tag of 20,000 euros,” he said. “It’s a fight. But we didn’t give up. We’re not going to just add 3,000 euros to the price to make life easier for the R&D team, no!
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New entry-level Skoda electric SUV to match Fabia’s price | Auto-Express