As parent company Volkswagen Group shifts from diesel to electric vehicles, Audi plans to have at least three EVs by 2020 as part of a new major plan.
The shift in focus was presented to managers last week, and CEO Rupert Stadler told a German newspaper that it expects electric vehicles to account for 25 to 30 percent of its sales by 2025.
Standler also told the daily Heilbronner Stimme in an interview the electric car line up would also include an entry-level A- (minicar) segment car.
The first electric model will be an electric crossover SUV based on the e-tron quattro concept that was unveiled at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show.
Arriving in 2018, the SUV is rumored to be called Audi Q6 e-tron and will be built at the company’s Belgium facility.
In addition to EVs, Audi will invest more resources in digital services and autonomous driving technologies Automotive News reported.
The German automaker will set up a new subsidiary that will work on self-driving vehicles called the SDS Company.
“This is about a robot car that may not even need a steering wheel or pedals, so it’s ideal for urban traffic,” Stadler said.
But like Volvo, Audi is in need of collaboration and partners to help with the technology.
In order to focus on EVs and autonomous technologies, the company will reduce complexity in other areas of its business, Stadler said.
“We have discussed what would happen if we dropped the two-door version of the A3,” he commented. “I think we would barely lose any customers. We’d rather invest the money that is freed up in new models and other derivatives,” Stadler said.
In addition to electric and autonomous vehicles, Stadler said, fuel cell cars are a “must,” though he couldn’t say how large a market it might be. “That is less a question of technology, we are already quite good at that. It’s rather going to be a question of infrastructure,” he said.
In a separate interview, Audi’s technical development chief Stefan Knirsch told another German newspaper he expected production of a fuel cell car would not start before 2020 because of the lack of fueling stations.Audi