Audi bosses have reportedly agreed on a plan that will lead the brand to launch its last combustion engine car as early as 2026.
According to a report by German publication Süddeutsche Zeitung, Audi CEO Markus Duesmann presented the new electrification schedule to the board yesterday (June 17).
The news should be made official in the coming days.
Such an acceleration of Audi’s electrification targets would be in line with the broader ambitions set by its parent company in the Volkswagen Group, which previously hinted that it would focus entirely on electrified vehicles in Europe from 2026.
Audi’s range of electric vehicles is expanding rapidly. Since launching its first E-tron SUV in 2018, it has launched the E-tron GT fastback and Q4 E-tron crossover, and will unveil the A6 E-tron sedan and Q5 E-tron SUV in 2022.
Almost all mainstream passenger cars in the Audi lineup are now also available with a plug-in hybrid powertrain.
Audi is expected to sell combustion engine cars in the 2030s, however, the final ICE model is expected to have a conventional lifecycle of around seven years from 2026. It is not yet clear which one. model will feature Ingolstadt’s final engine, but the current generation Q5 will be replaced around that time.
If the reports are true, Audi will be the last in a flurry of manufacturers to end its ICE development program. Fiat will phase out all ICEs by 2030, Jaguar will be reinvented as an all-electric luxury brand in 2025, and Mini will launch its last ICE car in 2025.
It is likely that the imminent roll-out of tough new EU emissions regulations, known as Euro 7, has influenced Audi’s decision to focus on purely electric powertrains.
Last month, Duesmann told Autocar: “It is certainly true that meeting Euro 7 [standards] adds a lot of cost to combustion engines and a crossover point happens; we think at the latest in the middle of the decade. Euro 7 is a real headache, especially since it does not do much to improve the environment. So we will soon reach this crossroads.
At that time, Duesmann gave no date for the phase-out, but suggested that the latest combustion-engined Audi models would be “the best of their kind we’ve ever made.”
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This notice was published: 2021-06-18 13:51:59