With Audi getting ready to put the internal combustion engine in its rearview mirror, the German luxury brand is planning ahead for the inevitable EV dominance. It’s taking extra measures to make sure it will be ready for the all-electric era expected to arrive in some parts of the world as early as the 2030s. The company is already developing high-voltage batteries for its plug-in hybrid vehicles, and with new investment, it will be doing the same for fully electric cars.
At its Neckarsulm site, the Four Rings are building a new technical center for developing and testing battery prototypes that will eventually go into zero-emissions production vehicles. Employees working in the Neckarsulm Technical Development will receive additional training to speed up the development process for next-generation EVs. Starting 2023, testing of prototypes equipped with next-gen high-voltage batteries will commence.
To safeguard its future in a changing automotive industry, Audi is currently constructing a new building for its technical development unit that will be finished towards the end of next year. In addition, a new paint shop will be operational by the middle of the decade and plans are also in motion for a new building where new electric vehicles will be assembled.
All these investments are needed considering Audi has already announced it will unveil its last new production car with a combustion engine in 2025, with all product launches from 2026 to be EVs. The final car with a gasoline or diesel engine will roll off the assembly line in 2033, although the Four Rings have said ICE production could continue for a while in China.
Following the launch of the E-Tron GT sedan, the next order of business is to unveil the Q6 E-Tron, a dedicated EV due in 2022 and twinned with the next-generation Porsche Macan EV by riding on the same PPE platform.