Audi CEO Rupert Stadler (via Reuters) told a German newspaper that the company is planning to work on three electric car models by 2020. He also added that the company hopes for electric vehicles to account for 25 to 30 percent of its sales by 2025.
There have been various reports about Audi trying to shift its focus to electric cars, as of this week. The whole electric cars push is part of a strategic overhaul after its parent company Volkswagen had to deal with the infamous emissions scandal. The plan directs the company to dedicate most of its resources and time to electric car production.
Audi’s ambition seems to be parallel to Tesla’s plan in more ways than one. For instance, the targeted EV sales figure of the company approaches the same 500,000 vehicles per year that Tesla has claimed it will be producing by 2020.
Not just this, Stadler added that the company will also be working more actively on digital services and autonomous driving. In this wake, Audi is supposedly setting up a new subsidiary, dedicated thoroughly to develop an autonomous system, called the SDS Company.
The CEO also talked about bringing in newer, more advanced propulsion systems into the mainstream market including hydrogen push. Other aims are to work on a robot car that may not even need a steering wheel or pedals. This, Stadler believes, could be the answer to urban traffic. The company is apparently looking for joint venture partners who would help with the required technology.
Currently, Audi’s electrification approach has been subtle. The company has been providing plug-in hybrid variants of existing vehicles. The A3 e-tron, for instance, is offered in Australia. It set to expand beyond hybrid technology with the e-tron banner set to cover both hybrid and pure-electric vehicles. Stadler added that Audi’s future electric cars would also include small vehicles in the A-segment.
The CEO also said that many cars from the Volkswagen subsidiary will now have reduced complexity. The time required for this work will instead be utilized to step up up its focus on electric vehicles, autonomous driving and digital services.
“We have discussed what would happen if we dropped the two-door version of the A3. I think we would barely lose any customers. We’d rather invest the money that is freed up in new models and other derivatives,”