Automakers aren’t switching to electric vehicles because it’s fun. They’re doing so because our environment’s health depends on us eliminating our dependence on the burning of fossil fuels. Audi CEO Markus Duesmann knows this and wants to kick the use of fossil fuels altogether.
- “Climate change is caused by the fossil fuels we’re extracting from the ground. That has to stop. We need a fossil-free society.” said Duesmann during a Climate Conference with other automotive industry execs.
During the conference, Duesmann had some very interesting things about electrification and the future of the automobile. He understands that pure EVs are the future but also that plug-in hybrids offer a great stop-gap, until we can all switch to electric.
- “[electric vehicles] are by far the most efficient technology in propelling us toward an electricity-based society.” he said. “Plug-in hybrid technology bridges the gap, smoothing the transition to all-electric driving. As such, it still has a place for the next few years. That said, the goal to reach must be 100 percent [electric vehicles]. Only that means we’re carbon neutral.”
One of the biggest hurdles for all automotive brands to deal with, as they switch to electrification, is charging. Despite it growing faster than ever, the current global charging infrastructure just isn’t up to the challenge of mass EV adoption. However, Duesmann is fully aware of the need for a larger charging infrastructure and Audi is going to do its part of improve it.
- “Audi is investing in electric vehicles, and that means we are also investing in charging infrastructure. Wherever there are cars, there has to be the charging infrastructure. We really can’t overdo it when it comes to creating this charging infrastructure. Maybe it’ll be even more convenient than today’s gas stations. I’m convinced that governments and companies together can get us there.”
It’s good to hear this from Duesmann. Audi has the ability to help lead the entire industry during its shift into electrification. Having someone who understands exactly where the brand, and the industry as a whole, needs to go is hugely important.