Audi is still planning to launch its first major battery-electric vehicle — to be based on the Audi e-Tron Quattro concept SUV — in 2018, according to recent reports.
In anticipation of that launch, and of course other launches as well, the company is still planning to continue with “high-levels” of investment in 2016 — with more than €3 billion in capital expenditure planned for the year. Roughly half of that funding is reportedly to be used at the company’s Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm sites.
The company is currently planning to expand its range of offerings up to 60 (different models) by the year 2020.
“A significant proportion of our investment is naturally in the field of alternative drive systems,” stated Audi CEO Rupert Stadler — echoing previous comments (but not many concrete actions) from the company.
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Audi also continues to accelerate its efforts in the area of digitalization. In early December, the company acquired a one‑third interest in HERE, thus safeguarding the cooperation with a leading provider of digital maps and location-based services. Audi’s share of the purchase price amounts to €0.85 billion.
Thomas Sigi, Board of Management Member for Human Resources at Audi AG, said the company is also looking for experts in areas important for the future. Demand is particularly strong for specialists in alternative drive systems and lightweight construction, but also for IT specialists, who will further develop the fields of Audi connect, Audi mobility and smart factory in the context of digitalization.
While the talk has periodically been there, Audi has yet to really embrace electric vehicles in any concrete way — the Audi e-Tron Quattro concept being the best that we’ve been give so far. We’ll have to wait to see how the production model ends up, before any real comments can be made about the company’s commitment to the technology.