It’s a bold statement to make. Audi‘s audacious dream to sell US customers 25% electric vehicles may seem like a pipe dream, but it’s well within reach. The luxury car brand announced its road map to electrification at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Audi has begun to talk more openly and candidly about the addition of plug-in vehicles to its portfolio. Audi’s vision means the manufacturer might potentially equal (or go above) Tesla Motor’s efforts.
Audi’s Audacious Dream Or Pipe Dream?
To put this claim into perspective, Audi sold 1.7 million cars globally in 2014, of which 182,000 went to U.S. buyers. Assuming Audi sells at least 2 million vehicles that means the company would sell half a million electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles a year by 2025.
Audi expects that 25 percent of the cars it sells in just 10 years will be either battery-electric or plug-in hybrid models, according to Scott Keogh, president of Audi of America.
Audi says the production version of the all-electric Audi e-Tron Quattro Concept will go on sale in 2018.
“It’s got three electric engines, it’s going to drive like a crazy cool car, it’s going to be the hot product and that’s what’s going to drive this,” Keogh said
And Keogh suggested there would be additional battery-electric models beyond the production e-Tron Quattro crossover utility vehicle.
Audi is now releasing its first vehicle with a plug — the 2016 Audi A3 e-Tron Sportback plug-in hybrid, with a 16-mile electric range, which will go on sale nationwide — the first simultaneous full national rollout of any plug-in vehicle. It will offer plug-in hybrid versions of many of its mainstream vehicles, including the large Q7 sport-utility vehicle and several sedan models, also.
More Important Than Cars To Audi’s Audacious Dream
As important as the electric vehicle plan, Audi said — without providing any specifics — which it plans to offer a DC quick-charging network operating at 150 kilowatts along with the 2018 launch of the e-Tron Quattro. The charging network will provide an 80 percent charge to the SUV model in only 30 minutes, allowing the electric vehicle to drive 200 miles.
It may also pave the way for use of the Combined Charging Standard (CCS) quick-charging protocol a standard for all electric and hybrid car users, giving users a strong national charging network for the vehicles.
The goal will be to offer a vehicle and a robust national charging network that at least equal the Tesla Model X crossover and the fast-growing global Supercharger network whose use is free to all Tesla Model S and Model X owners.
Audi joins BMW with an electric vehicle plan, leaving Mercedes-Benz lagging in public plans for battery-electric vehicles.