Audi CEO Rupert Stadler has outlined the brand’s ambition to add three electric vehicles to its range by 2020, signalling a shift in focus to electrification and autonomous systems.
In the wake of the larger Volkswagen Group diesel emissions scandal that rocked the company last year, Audi is looking harder at high-tech green solutions, with electric vehicles taking the lead.
By 2025 Audi’s goal is for electric vehicle to make up 25 percent of the brand’s sales, with the targeted EV sales figure approaching the same 500,000 vehicles per year that Tesla has claimed it will be producing by 2020.
Stadler also described other propulsion systems as essential, with fuel cell vehicles also a possibility, although with a more sketchy timeline.
Before the hydrogen push arrives, Europe’s refuelling infrastructure would need to be extended, pushing a production hydrogen-fuelled Audi beyond a 2020 introduction.
Audi’s current electrification program has focussed on plug-in hybrid variants of existing vehicles, like the A3 e-tron offered in Australia, but it set to expand beyond hybrid technology with the e-tron banner set to cover both hybrid and pure-electric vehicles.
To cover the investment-intensive development of the new range of vehicles, Audi’s existing development budget will be redirected with the like casualties set to be the broad spread of variants in areas like engines and transmissions.
More streamlined ranges, and behind the scenes cost-savings plans are another legacy of the Volkswagen Group’s reshaping of the entire automotive empire, in a move to recover profitability after the knocks suffered following the diesel emissions issue.
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