Budget-priced Skoda Epiq electric car wanted in Australia - SUV VEHICLE

Budget-priced Skoda Epiq electric car wanted in Australia


Skoda’s upcoming MG and BYD electric-car rival is in discussion for Australia, but there is a chance it may wear a different name locally.

The Skoda Epiq electric car – a city-sized SUV with a targeted European price of €25,000 ($AU41,500) – is on the wish list for Australia after its European launch in 2025.

It is the Volkswagen-owned Czech car maker’s new entry-level electric vehicle – as a 4.1-metre-long SUV smaller than a petrol Skoda Kamiq – and has siblings from VW and Cupra in the ID.2 and Raval respectively.

A near-production concept shown by Skoda in Europe last month promises more than 400km of estimated driving range, a minimalist interior, and a larger boot than the Kamiq.

However if Skoda can build a business case to sell the Epiq in Australia, there is a possibility it may need to wear a new name locally, as Hyundai already uses the Epiq badge on the flagship variants of its Ioniq 5 and Ioniq 6 electric vehicles.

While the South Korean car maker has not yet trademarked the badge, it could do so – given it began using the name 18 months before Skoda announced its new model.

“It’s a bit too early for this. To be honest, we need to look into the trademark situation there,” Skoda Australia director Michael Irmer told Drive, when asked if the Epiq would need a new name for Australia.

“It’s not the name of a model there, it’s a model … variant. With variants, I don’t know if it’s trademarked or not, so I really can’t answer you right now.”

The targeted base price of €25,000 ($AU41,500) in Europe would apply to an entry-level model with the shortest driving range and fewer features, however a better-equipped model sent to Australia could end up carrying a similar price tag.

“This [target price] is no doubt a lower specification than what we’d get … [but] because we have the benefit in Australia – driven by the competitive forces – that our price level, for a similar spec, is quite a bit lower than in Europe,” Mr Irmer told local media.

“If you configure the cars here in our range, and in Europe you configure it – it’s easy to be done, because they have the same technology just to whatever their local offering is – you can see how far the difference is.”

A 1.0-litre Skoda Kamiq costs about $AU44,000 in the Czech Republic when optioned to match the equipment level of Australia’s $37,990 drive-away Style variant – before the extra cost of shipping to Australia, and import tariffs are factored in.

In Australia, rivals for the Skoda Epiq would include budget-priced Chinese electric cars – including the MG 4 ($39,990 drive-away), MG ZS EV (also from $39,990 drive-away), BYD Dolphin ($38,890 plus on-roads) and GWM Ora (from $36,638 drive-away for a limited time).

The Epiq shown in Europe is pitched as a design study – before the showroom version is introduced next year – but Mr Irmer said “studies in the past from Skoda haven’t been too far from reality.”

“We’re really happy, we can’t wait for this car to come – it’s going to be awesome,” he told media.

“At the moment we are working in the business case phase, so it’s a bit too early to confirm any release dates or so.”

Before the Epiq, Skoda plans to introduce a larger electric SUV known as the Elroq, which will be a similar size to today’s petrol Karoq – and similar to a Hyundai Kona Electric, Kia Niro EV or BYD Atto 3.

Mr Irmer did not explicitly confirm this model for Australia, but suggested it is on the cards for local sale.

“What we know is we get the Elroq as well. The Elroq has not been shown in full, but it has been shown with this [static design] model … the Elroq will [come] before as a medium [SUV] between the Enyaq and the Epiq.”

Skoda Elroq design model, billed as a ‘sculpture’.

The executive has previously said Australia will get Skoda’s new electric cars much faster than the four years took the larger Enyaq electric SUV to arrive, from its European unveiling in September 2020, to an Australian arrival due in October 2024.

“We used to [introduce] six to nine months roughly behind; 12 months is long already,” Mr Irmer told Drive in June 2023.

“Three months is the travel time, that’s clear. And then because sometimes the factory staggers the ramp-up phase in production in batches, because it has almost a hundred countries and they have different requirement specifications … [Australia] might not be in the first production week but maybe in the eighth production week.

“So there’s an additional delay but it’s not massive, about two [to three] months or so … so that’s why I say six months, maybe nine [to reach Australia].”

MORE:Search Used SKODA Cars for Sale
MORE:Search Used SKODA Cars for Sale


Alex Misoyannis

Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed for Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020.

Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines at a young age, to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.

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