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Audi outlines corporate EV strategy

Electric avenue: Audi’s first full EV, the e-tron SUV, will arrive globally later this year ahead of an Australian release in 2019.

800k electrified vehicle sales, profit boosts, carbon-neutral plants for Audi

Audi logo10 May 2018

By ROBBIE WALLIS

AUDI has revealed that it is expecting to increase annual sales of electrified models to 800,000 units by 2025, following a rollout of more than 20 electrified offerings across its product portfolio.
 
Consisting primarily of battery electric vehicles and a smaller number of plug-in hybrids, every Audi model line will be offered with an electrified variant, with the manufacturer predicting that about one-third of buyers will choose electric power by the middle of next decade.
 
The first EV to be released by Audi will be the e-tron SUV that’s due to arrive globally later this year and in Australia in 2019, followed by its second model, the e-tron Sportback globally in 2019.
 
Audi Sport’s first EV, the e-tron GT, will arrive at the turn of the decade, as will its first EV in the compact segment.
 
Adding to its green credentials, the German car-maker plans to have all of its worldwide production sites carbon neutral by 2030. The e-tron will be the first premium car to be produced in high-volume CO2-neutral production out of its facility in Brussels.
 
Cost-saving measures will be implemented by sharing EV development technology with VW Group sister brands Volkswagen and Porsche, with the former collaborating on compact EV architecture – possibly based off VW’s ID architecture – and the latter co-developing the platforms for medium, large and luxury electric cars. 
 
Audi says the collaborations will reduce “reduce development costs substantially.”
 
Digitalisation will play a part in Audi’s EV future, with the production version of the e-tron concept to provide owners with the option to subsequently purchase vehicle features such as driver assistance systems or infotainment features after they have bought the vehicle. New digital content and services will also be gradually made available to passengers.
 
The car-maker believes the new business models can result in up to €1 billion (A$1.58b) of operating profit by 2025.
 
Following the reveal of the Aicon autonomous EV concept at the Frankfurt motor show last year, Audi has announced that an initial pilot fleet of the production version will be unveiled in 2021, ahead of the production version due around the middle of the decade.
 
To deal with the raft of new EVs, European Audi owners will benefit from the development of fast-charging infrastructure through the Ionity joint venture, which collaborates with BMW, Mercedes-Benz Ford and Volkswagen to rapidly build a fast-charging EV network across the continent.
 
As previously reported by GoAuto, the first e-tron production model will be the first car capable of being charged with up to 150kW, meaning it can cover a long-distance journey in 30 minutes.  
 
Audi believes that by 2025, its new strategy will result in approximately €40b (A$63.6b) of investment flowing into areas such as e-mobility, autonomous driving and digitisation.
 
Audi member of the board of management for finance Alexander Seitz said the rollout of the plan over the coming years will result in increasing profit for the car-maker.
 
“Since January, we have implemented the first measures of the Action and Transformation Plan amounting to a low three-digit million figure,” he said. 
 
“Identified measures will have a sustained effect and a long-term impact on revenue and costs. We will therefore gain the greatest benefits as of 2020, when our plan unfolds its full power, yielding a total of €10b (A$15.8b) by 2022. Audi will thus be able to secure its strong profitability despite high levels of investment.”

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