Czech automaker Skoda will launch into the realm of electric propulsion at the end of the decade, with the company's chairman confirming a 2019 arrival for a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) variant of the still-fresh Skoda Superb.
Speaking to UK outlet AutoExpress, Skoda chief Bernhard Maier said the Superb plug-in will be the opening salvo in the VW-owned automaker's foray into green motoring.
"We strongly believe that a big number of our customers will be dependent on normal engines as well but the plug-in hybrid solution, starting with the Superb in 2019, is our plan," Maier said.
"We think that the market for [the Superb hybrid] is quite strong and that it's the best way to start... but there will be other models as well."
The plug-in Superb, which will be able to charge up its battery pack from a household power outlet or, when the battery is depleted, from its on-board combustion engine , will be part of what Maier terms a "transition phase" between current-gen petrol and diesel powertrains and the broader uptake of electrically-powered vehicles.
Roughly two years after the Superb PHEV launches, Skoda is expected to debut its first all-electric model.
Built on the Volkswagen Group's EV-specific MEB platform, Skoda is reportedly targeting a 480km-plus range and 15-minute charging time for its first-ever electric car - as well as a pricetag that allows it to compete with combustion-engined vehicles.
A hybrid version of the upcoming Kodiak 7-seat SUV will likely follow the Superb PHEV, which should probably come as no suprise given the VisionS concept (above) that's believed to be the Kodiak's basis debuted at this year's Geneva Motor Show as a plug-in hybrid.
The VisionS featured a 115kW/250Nm 1.4 litre turbo petrol engine and 85kW electric motor, a similar powerplant to Volkswagen's new Passat GTE plug-in hybrid (and one that's a no-brainer for the upcoming Superb hybrid).
In the Passat GTE, total EV range is a modest 50km - expect similar performance from the Superb PHEV.