Audi expects combustion engines to cede about half of the global premium-car market to electric variants by the end of this decade, highlighting the dramatic erosion of their dominance as the shift accelerates toward battery power.
Hybrid cars that blend conventional and battery power are contributing to the transition, and purely electric vehicles will prevail after 2030, Chief Executive Officer Markus Duesmann said on Thursday in a speech at the Vienna Engine Symposium.
“From a technical point of view, it makes no sense to have both drive trains on board,” Duesmann said. “We can see no reason why future customers should not choose a battery-electric vehicle once the right infrastructure is in place.”
Audi’s parent Volkswagen AG put the premium brand at the center of a massive push to overtake Tesla Inc. as electric-car leader by 2025 after previous efforts failed to narrow the gap. Sharing key components and software across the group’s stable of 12 brands is a critical part of its strategy to fend off new rivals and keep existing ones at bay.
The recently launched Audi e-tron GT sports car shares about 40% of parts with the Taycan model from sister brand Porsche, Duesmann said. The Q6 e-tron SUV, to be launched next year, will be the brand’s first car based on new underpinnings for upscale electric cars, dubbed PPE, that was co-developed with Porsche to divide costs.
Duesmann said the plan is to sell 7 million vehicles in the premium and luxury segments based on the PPE platform by 2030. For compact and mid-sized electric cars like the Q4 e-tron, Audi is relying on the electric components of the main VW car brand. By 2030, there will be about 19 million vehicles using the technology across Europe’s largest automaker, he said.