While Audi’s electric vehicle effort still mostly only exist in press releases and concepts, it looks like it’s about to move to production in a significant way if we are to believe them.
The German automaker confirmed today that the e-tron Sportback, which they were just teasing Tesla and Elon Musk about in a new billboard ad, will go into production at its Brussels plant in 2019.
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They had already chosen the Brussels plant for the production of the e-tron quattro starting in 2018 and they recently unveiled the first stages of expansions at the plant to support electric car production.
Now Audi writes in a press release today:
“Audi is expanding its model portfolio with a new e-tron-model. Production of the Audi e-tron Sportback will start at Audi Brussels (Belgium) in 2019. That Audi plant will therefore be responsible for producing a second fully electric model. The Audi e-tron electric SUV will drive off the assembly line there as of 2018.”
Prof. Dr. Hubert Waltl, Member of the Board of Management for Production and Logistics at AUDI AG, commented on the announcement:
“With the decision on the Audi e-tron Sportback, we are showing that Audi takes the issue of electric mobility seriously. A second battery-electric model will lead to optimal capacity utilization at our plant in Brussels.”
Audi also said that those two vehicles will not be compliance cars and that they plan to mass produce them in order to make them globally available.
After the quattro in 2018 and the Sportsback in 2019, Audi confirmed that it plans a third new all-electric vehicle for 2020.
Audi and Porsche, both brands of the VW group, plan to be able to release new electric vehicles faster after having greenlighted cooperation on a shared architecture for electric and autonomous vehicles earlier this year. Those vehicles will use similar technology as Porsche’s upcoming Mission E planned for 2019.
Again, we really need to see those plans coming to fruition, but they seem pretty serious about it. Earlier this year, Audi told its dealerships to get behind electric vehicles because it will dominate the market within 10 years.