Audi Shares More On Its Road To Electrification and E-Tron Lineup

An Audi executive revealed more on the automaker’s plan to release three electric vehicles by 2020 and to electrify all of its fleet.

During the Audi Summit held in Barcelona last week, Audi Chief Strategy Officer Dr. Roland Villinger confirmed that an all-electric e-tron large SUV will be first with a 2018 launch. It will be followed by an e-tron Sportback battery electric SUV in 2019.

By 2020, another sports EV will be released, but there’s been no mention of the body style. It will be a “third all-electric, high-performance vehicle from Audi,” Villinger said.

The 2018 SUV will be a direct competitor to the Tesla Model X.

The third model in 2020 will kick off electrification of the entire Audi vehicle series, including hybrid models.

“Subsequently after that, we will electrify all our vehicle series, all our models including hybrid solutions. Audi is so committed to the electrification of our vehicles in fact, we’re planning by the middle of the next decade to have one-third of vehicles electrified,” he said.

Villinger called the 2018 launch vehicle the “first the first high performance, fully electric SUV by a premium-OEM [Original Equipment Manufacturer] with a 500 kilometer range [on a single charge].”

If that per-charge range becomes accurate, at 500 km (310 miles) per charge, it would beat the 295 miles of range that the Tesla Model X 100D gets. However, the German automaker is probably using Europe’s NEDC standard, which will be much less than 310 miles under the Environmental Protection Agency’s rating system.

With all of the Audi vehicles eventually having an electrified variation, there’s speculation over what the high-performance third model will be. New generations of the TT and R8 are not scheduled to roll out until well into the next decade, Motor reported.

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There are also questions about what “electrified” means. During last week’s launch of the fourth generation A8, the company defined electrification of the model to include a plug-in hybrid coming out soon and a 48-volt electrical system coming out in all its iterations.

There’s been talk in recent years about Audi bringing out plug-in hybrid variations of existing vehicles as part of the e-tron family. The company does offer the 2017 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron as a PHEV.

The Audi A8’s 48-volt system will power a number of functions increasing fuel efficiency, including an extended start/stop function, and an energy recovery output of up to 12 kW. The 48-volt system could be what Villinger was referring to when he said that all future models will eventually include “hybrid solutions.”

Whatever style it’s given, the third EV coming out in 2020 and all other Audi models will benefit from the Volkswagen’s subsidiary’s plant to share components between models and bring down costs. That will give Audi a competitive edge.

Motor


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