Audi plots 'flexible' switch to EVs based on demand

Audi is still planning to phase out all of its ICE cars by 2033, but boss Gernot Döllner hasn’t ruled out moving that date back if electric car demand doesn’t pick up.

While several car makers have scaled back or delayed plans to transition to an all-electric line-up in the wake of weakening demand for EVs, Dollner said there was “no doubt” that “the future of the vehicle is electric”.

Audi will begin a major product offensive this year, with the new Q6 e-tron electric SUV the first of 20 models – with both ICE and EV powertrains – that will launch in 2024 and 2025.

It will be followed later this year by a new A6 e-tron electric saloon and new versions of the A4 saloon and estate (rebranded A5) and Q5 SUV.

Audi is aiming to have an EV in “all core segments” by 2026, with the aim to also launch its final new ICE car that year, working towards a previously announced date to phase out non-EV sales in 2033.

Asked at Audi’s annual media conference about that 2033 date, Döllner said the firm was “fully committed to e-mobility” but it had to be “ambidextrous” in its future planning, hinting that plug-in hybrids will also play a key role.

“We have and will ensure that a combination of battery-electric and clean, efficient combustion engines and plug-in hybrid powertrains will be available for the transition period [towards electric],” said llner.

“We are renewing our entire portfolio, so we are very flexibly positioned.

“The plan is for the last combustion and PHEV premieres to take place in 2026, and in 2033 we plan to conduct the phase-out of combustion vehicles – but if there are any ups and downs, we can flexibly react to it.”

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