Skoda Auto is seriously considering the introduction of mild-hybrid models in India, recognizing the growing consumer preference for hybrid vehicles that strike a balance between traditional internal combustion engines (ICE) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs).

Klaus Zellmer, CEO of Skoda Auto, emphasized the company’s observations from Europe and China, where hybrids have gained popularity. He noted, “We’ve begun to see in Europe and China that having something in between a BEV and ICE is something consumers actually prefer at this point of time. In our [international] lineup, the Kodiaq and the Superb come in with a plug-in hybrid and an e-range that’s higher than 100 kilometres.”

The Challenge of Plug-In Hybrids

While plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) offer significant benefits, including an electric range exceeding 100 kilometers, Zellmer acknowledged the cost-related challenges they pose. “However, the challenge with plug-in hybrids is the cost factor.

In a cost-sensitive country, it’s more advisable to look at mild hybrids, and strong and plug-in hybrids can maybe come in the upper segment,” he explained. This cost sensitivity is a crucial consideration for the Indian market, where affordability often drives consumer choices.

Current Hybrid Offerings

Skoda’s current lineup demonstrates its hybrid strategy. The new Octavia facelift, for instance, is equipped with a 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine paired with a 48V mild-hybrid system. This setup offers improved fuel efficiency and lower emissions compared to a traditional ICE vehicle, making it a viable option for cost-conscious buyers.

On the other hand, the more premium models, such as the Superb and Kodiaq, feature a sophisticated plug-in hybrid system that includes a larger 25.7 kWh battery, providing a substantial electric-only range.

Future Plans: MQB A0 37 Platform

Looking ahead, Skoda is evaluating the MQB A0 37 platform for the Indian market. This platform is designed to support petrol-hybrid powertrains and will be equipped with advanced electronics.

Vehicles based on this architecture are expected to include modern features like Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), a 360-degree camera, and other high-tech amenities. These enhancements align with Skoda’s commitment to offering technologically advanced and environmentally friendly vehicles.

Latest Developments

In addition to these plans, Skoda has been making strides in electrification globally. The brand recently launched the all-electric Enyaq iV, which has been well-received in several markets. Introducing mild-hybrid technology in India could serve as a stepping stone towards greater electrification, providing consumers with a taste of electric driving without the higher costs associated with full BEVs or PHEVs.

Furthermore, Skoda’s parent company, Volkswagen Group, has been investing heavily in electric and hybrid technologies. This backing could facilitate the introduction of more hybrid options in Skoda’s Indian portfolio, leveraging the group’s extensive research and development capabilities.

Key Takeaways

  • Hybrid Preference: Consumers in Europe and China are increasingly opting for hybrid vehicles, a trend Skoda is keen to explore in India.
  • Cost Sensitivity: Mild hybrids are seen as a more affordable alternative for the Indian market compared to plug-in hybrids.
  • Current Models: Skoda’s Octavia facelift features a 48V mild-hybrid system, while the Superb and Kodiaq offer advanced plug-in hybrid options.
  • Future Plans: The MQB A0 37 platform will support petrol-hybrid powertrains and come with advanced features like ADAS.
  • Technological Advancements: Skoda’s focus on electrification is evident from global launches like the Enyaq iV, indicating a potential shift towards more eco-friendly vehicles in India.

Important Information in Tabular Form

Feature/Model Octavia Facelift Superb & Kodiaq Plug-In Hybrids MQB A0 37 Platform
Engine 1.5-litre turbo-petrol Advanced plug-in hybrid system Supports petrol-hybrid
Hybrid System 48V mild-hybrid 25.7 kWh battery Advanced electronics
Electric Range Limited > 100 km Enhanced features like ADAS
Market Position Cost-effective Premium segment Future models with advanced features
Advanced Features

Providing most accurate Delhi NCR, National and Stock Market, Automobile stuffs since 2014. Experience in Journalism with 12 Years and Awarded by 4 Journalism HONORS in career. Putting best effort to provide most reliable news point.