Twenty-two ŠKODA students from nine different professional fields have designed and built the fourth apprentice car since 2014, calling the electric buggy ŠKODA Element.
Every year, students from ŠKODA design and build a student car. This time, following the three successful design studies from recent years, the students decided on an electric buggy that bears the name ŠKODA Element. The “E” stands for electricity, and “Element” for the elementary and fundamental drive system of the future – e-mobility. With great dedication, the students spent approximately 1,500 hours working on the open beach buggy.
Building their own vehicle isn’t just fascinating for the students at ŠKODA; it is also good advertising for the brand and the ŠKODA Vocational School.
Since October last year, 22 of the 900 students between the ages of 17 and 18 who are currently attending ŠKODA’s vocational school have been able to experience what it feels like to be a car designer. The young people didn’t take the easy way out when deciding what type of vehicle they wanted to build.
“Electromobility is not just a temporary trend – it is the future. That’s why we have opted to build a car with an electric drive system,” said student Daniel Launa, explaining the choice of the students.
The ŠKODA Element is based on the ŠKODA Citigo. The beach buggy has no roof, no doors and only two seats. It has an electric motor with a power output of 60 kW (80 horsepower) under its bonnet. Implementing their creative ideas, the students have also completely redesigned the interior.
The 2017 student car project began in autumn 2016 with initial drawings of a model. Since January 2017, the highly motivated young people from various vocational courses have been working on the car not only on paper and at their computers, but more and more also at the work bench, with welding equipment and tin snips. The roof had to be removed, the entire side has been redesigned, the boot was fitted with a lid. Manufacturing the individual body components was the most complicated part. However, with each task, the students’ skills grew. They have learned to work as a team, practiced their technical and organizational skills, and experienced what it means to have to manage with a set budget.
For this, “Simply Clever” concepts have been most welcome. Of course, one or two tips from the experts from the Body Shop, Design or Technical Development were also much appreciated. The team that included four girls have invested over 1,500 hours in the project; the development work was part of their formal lessons.
The 22 trainee engineers come from nine different professional fields – among them body painters, car electricians, body makers, motor mechanics and logistics specialists. Incidentally, students have designed and built their own vehicle every single year since 2014. In 2014 they built a two-seater version of the ŠKODA Citigo, the ŠKODA Fabia pick-up in 2015 based on the ŠKODA Fabia, and in 2016 they built a coupé version of the ŠKODA Rapid Spaceback.
Projects such as the construction of a student car are not just motivating for the new recruits at ŠKODA, but they also inspire young people who are still searching for their dream job. ŠKODA is scoring points with this in the competition for the best talent. As there is currently a shortage of young engineers in many technical trades, it is more important than ever to offer young professionals particularly attractive training opportunities.