Audi Following VW into Electrification Push Post Dieselgate

With the Volkswagen Group focusing on electrification in the wake of the last year’s Dieselgate scandal, it should come as no shock that Audi is doing the same.

The luxury brand will look to boost sales of EVs so that they make up about a quarter of the brand’s sales by 2025.

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Audi is also about to spend around a third of its research and development budget on electric cars, digital services, and autonomous driving technology, according to what two sources told Reuters.

That means Audi sees a future that’s not only heavier on EVs, but on autonomous tech. That makes sense, as more and more autonomous tech reaches vehicles and as full autonomous cars may be on the market in the near future.

With Audi having sold 1.8 million cars last year, if that number holds going forward, Audi would be selling 450,000 units at a minimum, and if sales bump up, that would put them on par with Tesla – which believes it can have sales of 500,000 units a year by 2020, maybe even sooner.

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Other than BMW, German automakers have trailed the pack on EV development, and until Dieselgate broke, Volkswagen and its related brands had focused on diesel technology. A shift towards a heavier EV focus in the wake of the scandal may not be surprising, but the budget news should serve as confirmation of the pivot.

Audi CEO Rupert Stadler is expected to talk about the future plans with 2,000 Audi managers in Munich in a closed-door session.

The pivot also makes sense in another way – although sales of EVs have been slow in Europe up to this point, regulators are likely to tighten up restrictions on diesels in the wake of the VW scandal, which could give EV sales a boost as potential diesel buyers might look at electrified cars instead.