Audi Director Of Electric Vehicles: I Hate To Admit It, But Tesla Did Everything Right

Speaking at the recent annual Technical Congress of the German Association of the Automotive Industry outside of Stuttgart, the director of battery electric vehicles at Audi, Stefan Niemand, laid down the gauntlet, so to speak, stating that German auto-manufacturers were falling far behind the competition with regard to electric vehicles.

“These cars are slower than those with conventional drive and they have a much lower range — and in compensation they are more expensive,” is how Niemand put it. Without a change in approach, electric vehicles (EVs) won’t make any real inroads into the marketplace, he commented.

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Niemand also noted something along the lines of: “Those who had ever driven electrically are lost for the internal combustion engine (ICE) for all times.” Which is something that I’ve heard from a great many people — once you’ve owned a well-made EV the thought of going back to an ICE vehicle is not enticing.

The Audi exec also, surprisingly, complemented Tesla, stating: “I hate to admit it, but Tesla did everything right,” when talking about the company’s impressive Supercharger network.

Teslarati provides more on that:

He marveled at how Tesla created a system of 611 Supercharger locations with more that 3,600 individual chargers in such a short period of time. The inference left for his colleagues to draw upon was that unless they are willing to make a similar commitment, they are in danger of falling further and further behind their American rival.

…Niemand said buyers want to buy cars that do not degrade the environment and are even willing to pay a premium for them, but only if they do not have to give up the fun of driving them. In particular, he lamented that Europe does not yet have a comprehensive infrastructure of fast charging stations. He told his colleagues that they must commit to building a system that features charging stations with at least 350 kW of power.

“We need awesome cars and a seamless infrastructure,” he concluded. The provision of these two things would allow EV adoption to surge, according to Niemand.

Of course, achieving that aim while still maintaining current levels of profit is easier said than done. Especially when a company like Tesla is providing such strong competition, and such fresh ideas.

6 thoughts on “Audi Director Of Electric Vehicles: I Hate To Admit It, But Tesla Did Everything Right

  1. It would appear Stefan Niemand has a good head on his shoulders and if the company puts its research into gear I am confident that a good outcome should be forthcoming.
    One aspect of charging however is that a common method must be forthcoming.
    Perhaps induction plates that will allow small kW to large kW charging according to the capacity of the vehicles technology would be a good method to pursue.
    I feel cables are not exactly looking toward a better method of transferring power from a charge station to a vehicle.
    Tesla are already making induction plates available to be rolled out shortly.

    1. I would be quite surprised if induction ever goes anywhere above niche product. It extremely wasteful with upto 20% in loss. That amount to huge losses when multiplied. It is simply not sustainable. Cable is the way to go for the foreseeable future.

      1. You’re forgetting about the convenience factor, especially when you add in cars that can self park and align themselves over the induction pad.
        Also, there is no 1 perfect place on a car to put the plug; for me, the smart EV has the perfect location, and all others don’t. The only 1 universal place to have the charger is underneath.
        Finally, the loss with wireless charging is, I believe, closer to 10% than 20%.
        QC may still use plugs, which is fine, since they will be used much less often.

        1. Yes and .now. a company minded by being green will likely not go that route. The snake robot properly made will address your other concerns

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