More automakers are plotting a path to fully electric lineups, though the transition will take time. Audi, as recently as last October, said it still sees a viable future for combustion engines. However, the German automaker understands where the industry is heading. Company CEO Markus Duesmann told WirtschaftsWoche that the company would focus more on sustainability going forward. That could see the company go fully electric within 20 years.
According to the publication, Audi is developing a transition timeline that will be ready in the coming months and feature hard target dates for the transition. This will provide a better overview of the company’s plan, which will include phase-out dates for producing combustion engines at the company’s individual factories. However, the forecasted 10- to 15-year switch is an estimate. Planning out two decades of development is no easy feat, even as the company prepares to launch several new electric vehicles by the middle of this decade.
At the end of 2020, Audi offered 17 plug-in models – five EVs and 12 plug-in hybrids. That numbers will only increase, as the company plans to offer about 30 plug-in vehicles, including around 20 all-electric models, by the middle of the new decade. The company expects overall plug-in sales to increase from 3.5 percent to 40 percent by then, too. Until Audi switches completely over, the company will continue to work to make combustion engines as efficient as possible.
Production of Audi’s next EV is already underway before the company has even revealed the new model. The E-Tron GT is set to go on sale in the spring of 2021 and will likely arrive in the US several months after that with a six-figure price tag. The RS E-Tron clocked blistering acceleration times earlier this year, too, hitting 60 miles per hour (96 kilometers per hour) in 2.88 seconds and 100 mph (160 kph) in 6.86 seconds. It’s the next step in Audi’s long road to full electrification.