Remember when Audi of America President Johan de Nysschen said that the Chevy Volt was a car for idiots and that pure electric vehicles were "for the intellectual elite who want to show what enlightened souls they are"? Good times. Unfortunately for de Nysschen, his company is pushing forward with electric mobility in a strong manner, so much so that the company is calling hybrid and plug-in vehicles an "integrated concept."
In Geneva, for example, Audi will unveil the A1 e-tron electric vehicle (EV) with a Wankel range extender for the first time. The company is also unveiling a Q5 hybrid in 2010 and customers can order a A8 hybrid starting in late 2011. The A8 concept has decently low CO2 emissions numbers for a full-size sedan, just 144 grams per kilometer. And Audi hopes to do with e-tron what it did for Quattro.
Whatever de Nysschen's personal feelings are on plug-ins and hybrids, Audi is showing that it does not think that electric vehicles are totally idiotic. In fact, Rupert Stadler, Audi AG's chairman of the board of management, said in a statement that, "We shall offer electric power in the best possible forms for a wide range of mobility needs. The hybrid driveline will be followed by all-electric vehicles." Michael Dick, a member of the Audi AG's board of management for technical development said that plug-in vehicles will certainly play a role for some drivers, "The strength of the electric car clearly lies in the urban mobility area, where the demand for emission-free local transportation will strongly increase." Read more about Audi's "integrated concept" for EVs after the jump.