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Why the cars in the Tour de France aren’t all electric yet

July 17, 2023

A morning of cycling with Tour winner Andy Schleck

At Škoda’s invitation, we were able to experience this firsthand during the 12th stage from Roanne to Belleville-en-Beaujolais. A skillful VIP program has been put together throughout the Tour de France to fully immerse people in the wonderful world of cycling. From a morning cycling with Tour winner Andy Schleck to a visit to the Village Départ – the riders’ village at the start of the stage, where you also walk past the team buses.

Skoda is the main sponsor

Škoda is popping up everywhere. As the main sponsor of the green sprint jersey, its expressions are not to be missed, and in terms of its fleet of vehicles, it is Škoda that beats the drum. Both as purveyor of the organization, and as sponsor of, for example, the successful Dutch team Team Jumbo-Visma. A special feature this year is that almost the entire fleet of Tour de France cars has been electrified by Škoda. Of the 209 Škodas delivered to the Tour organization, as many as 207 are equipped with a hybrid or fully electric powertrain.

Skoda Superb - Tour de France 2023

Electric Skoda Enyaq iV

Tour director Christian Prudhomme is being driven around in a modified and all-electric Enyaq iV. The car features a large panoramic glass roof. From the back seat, Prudhomme can open the roof so he can stand upright for a perfect view of the peloton and wave the white flag at “kilometer zero. Furthermore, the car is equipped with six antennas, special sirens and state-of-the-art communication equipment, such as a transceiver that allows the course director to receive information and give instructions.

Why aren’t all cars electric?

Yet there are (still) only three all-electric Škodas present at the Tour. The reason quickly becomes clear when you get into the belly of the immense caravan of followers: it is logistically impossible to recharge all the cars every stage. There are hundreds of cars that travel distances of hundreds of miles every day and they should all charge more or less at the same place. The electrification of the vehicle fleet has indeed begun – thanks in part to Škoda – but it may be quite some time before the caravan is fully electric.

Helicopter flight

After an impressive helicopter flight over the peloton, the highlight of our day arrived: riding along in a Škoda Superb among the riders. Our fate is in good hands with driver and former rider Staf Scheirlinckx, because how fast it goes at times. Very hard. And how closely it listens with spectators, riders, motorcycles and other follow cars. The special “Tour horn” comes in handy more than once. On the hilly course in the Beaujolais region, Scheirlinckx puts the Superb to the test, but we can assure you: the car passes this litmus test with flying colors in terms of suspension, safety and driving dynamics.

Fastest sprinter in the pack

In addition to its role as a car partner, Škoda also sponsors the green jersey, which is awarded to the fastest sprinter in the peloton. In addition, Škoda designs the trophies for the Tour winner and the winners in the various points rankings. Škoda continues its commitment to cycling as the main sponsor of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift Once. The cars used for the Tour de France will also be present at this women’s event.


Immediately after the stage finishes, the movement for the next stage begins: the finish village is torn down, the fences removed and the teams and followers set course for various hotels. Gas stations in the region are running overtime, although that is only a matter of time.