Audi CEO Says Carmaker Wants To Release Three New Electric Models By 2020

Audi CEO Rupert Stadler said that Audi wants to release three new electric models by 2020. The car maker also wants electric models to account for about one-third of its sales by 2025.

Just Auto reported that the Audi chief wanted to include A-segment vehicles in their offerings. An A-segment vehicle is a classification of vehicle established by the European Commission that refers to mini cars. Audi’s parent company, Volkswagen, plans for Audi to focus on electric cars, autonomous driving, and digital services.

Stadler said that Audi plans to set up a subsidiary called SDS Company to build an autonomous car.

“This is about a robot car that may not even need a steering wheel or pedals, so it’s ideal for urban traffic. 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.”

Auto News reported that the Audi CEO presented the plan last week to Audi managers. More resources will be focused on digital services, autonomous driving, and electrical cars. Audi is currently looking for joint venture partners for their latest subsidiary as they plan to establish to create the autonomous cars.

So far, Audi has built an electric SUV at its plant in Belgium. The concept for the vehicle was unveiled at the 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show, and it is based on the e-tron quattro concept. Plans may also be in the works for an electric Q5 midsize SUV.

Tech News reported that Audi would actually introduce the three electric models in 2020. Audi has been slow to enter the autonomous auto industry and has finally announced they will enter the market in a big way. Although slow to embrace this technology, Audi will invest about one-third of its research and development into these new technologies. Audi is doing a strategic overhaul after the diesel emission scandal that Volkswagen was involved in.

Since the scandal took place, regulatory agencies across the globe have been encouraging carmakers to consider building zero emission cars. Audi will focus on innovative features in the electric car industry in order to command a strong place in the market. Even Apple is getting involved in the autonomous car industry, although the company postponed unveiling its Project Titan.

EE Times reported that Audi moved into the fast lane to introduce new electric cars to customers. In addition to announcing the new electric cars at a board meeting, Audi CEO Rupert Stadler also gave his assessment of fuel cell technology. Audi’s investment in the new technologies will be massive, and the company’s goal is to command 25 to 30 percent of the market share on electric cars by 2025. Currently, Audi has no electric cars in its catalog at all.

The target market for Audi’s new line of electric cars is China. Stadler believes that the charging infrastructure for electric cars will greatly increase in Europe and especially Germany. He failed to say what changes would take place in China or how the electric cars would be charged in China.

Audi already has an electric SUV scheduled for release in 2018. A compact model is also in the works, and eventually, Audi will tackle the midsize range cars. Audi indicated that hydrogen fuel cell technology isn’t dead and that there are plans to further develop the technology. Details on how Audi planned to further develop this technology have yet to be released.

[Photo via Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images]