Audi may be looking to get seriously competitive in the electric vehicle market, according to a report from Reuters. The company has plans prepared for a range of EVs that would compete with the likes of BMW and Tesla. In a market where innovation is seen as valuable, getting on board with electrification could help Audi avoid appearing out of step with the rest of the crowd (and the market), with analysts predicting a sharp uptick in battery-powered cars in the next several years.

Building on the E-Tron line, which already includes the A3 E-Tron, Audi will begin offering an electric version of its R8 supercar in Europe next year. According to two confidential sources at Audi, the company also has plans for high-performance electric sedans and SUVs. It appears as though Audi is taking direct aim at Tesla with alternatives to the current Model S and the upcoming Model X SUV.

Advantage: Audi?

Without getting into too many specifics about such plans, the sources did confirm the existence of blueprints for an Audi Q8 E-Tron. Audi has said that any future electric cars would have a target range of 400 kilometers (about 249 miles), but previous reports suggest that the Q8 E-Tron could have a range of about 370 miles. That could be a serious challenge for Tesla. Advantage: Audi?

All the German automakers have electric tricks up their sleeves. BMW has its i line, with the i3 making headway and the i8 expected to sell well. Mercedes-Benz has gotten into the game the B-Class Electric Drive. Also, its parent company Daimler has a stake in Tesla. Now, Audi appears poised to launch its own diverse electric fleet, and the next move might just be an SUV. And while this added competition might seem like tough news for Tesla, the proliferation of EVs, and the growing infrastructure that goes along with it, is more likely a tide that raises all (electric) ships - something that Elon Musk seems to understand very well.


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  • 53 Comments
      c5
      • 7 Months Ago
      Audi has the best product line of the Germans, at least in the US market where they have consistently been taking market share for years now. There is no magic bullet when it comes to EV's however...if they want that sort of range they will need to find room to put a very large battery pack in the car, and that battery pack will be very expensive. The advantage Tesla has for now is that their vehicles are single purpose--they have been built as EV's only from the beginning. Until the Leaf and now the I3 and I8, other ev's are just repackaged traditional cars which as a design does not work nearly as well. The question is whether they are bothering to design an ev from scratch or are just repackaging as most have done. We'll see. I welcome more offerings in the segment however, good news for consumers.
        Actionable Mango
        • 1 Month Ago
        @c5
        Their newer platforms are designed to accept a variety of powertrains, so they won't be making dedicated EV platforms, but they also won't be simply shoving batteries into an ICE platform.
      Electron
      • 7 Months Ago
      Great to have some blueprints for Tesla rivals. I wonder if Audi also has the blueprints for a Supercharger infrastructure and a Megafactory for large scale/low cost battery production? If only we could drive blueprints...
      The Friendly Grizzly
      • 7 Months Ago
      Will it require precision German electricity?
        Mike
        • 1 Month Ago
        @The Friendly Grizzly
        I think what The Friendly Grizzly meant was "precision German electronics". To which I will say Toyota and Honda do a far better job of getting right than German auto makers.
        Daniel D
        • 1 Month Ago
        @The Friendly Grizzly
        It will require electricity to be on for charging, which in previous years in parts of the US, has prove to be a challenge.
          Mike
          • 1 Month Ago
          @Daniel D
          CaptTesla, that electricity is generated by a very tiny battery and recharged with an alternator run off a belt from the ICE. So, no...it's not the same.
          spannermonkeyuk
          • 1 Month Ago
          @Daniel D
          @Mike I think what Jesse Gurr means is that the pumps at gas stations are electrically powered. If there's no electricity, it's not just EVs that will be stranded. Also, and Mr/Mrs (?) Grizzly can correct me, but I think the original comment about "precision electrons" is that European cars tend to require higher quality gasoline than some of the moonshine-quality crap that gets sold here in the US.
          Jesse Gurr
          • 1 Month Ago
          @Daniel D
          You mean when huge storms have taken out the electric grid? That doesn't happen very often. What exactly do you mean by that?
          CaptTesla
          • 1 Month Ago
          @Daniel D
          I guess that same electricity isn't needed to get gas into your ICE car?
      Hernan
      • 7 Months Ago
      What always comes to mind when talking about Audi SUVs for me is: WHERE IS THE NEW Q7???
      CruzControl
      • 7 Months Ago
      Audi is a day late and a dollar short as usual. I guess it takes an American start-up to spur innovation at Audi. The only advantage Audi has over Tesla and BMW is a pipe-dream e-tron program that is yet to produce 1 production vehicle.
        Mike
        • 1 Month Ago
        @CruzControl
        Interesting, VW Group, Toyota and BMW have all been the leaders in R&D of EV and HFCV for over twice as long as Tesla has been around. BMW is already able to produce more EV's than Tesla, VW/Audi use MQB which allows them to launch cars into production at an insane rate. . BTW, that American Startup was funded by American Tax dollars and Toyota!
      PeterScott
      • 7 Months Ago
      I believe when I see it. Audi seems mostly interested in keeping it's name in the forefront of EV news without actually building an EV. I seem to remember 2 years ago, when they claimed the fastest "production" EV around the "Ring", for an EV with still no sign of it entering production.
      FREEPAT75014
      • 7 Months Ago
      If they come out with a large enough Electric SUV, adding a German ICE Range Extender to it, and selling that at a price point where there are still customers left (Say 60K€ base price including VAT), with a decent battery (Say 40KWH, no need to go to Tesla 65 to 85KWH if they have an ICE Range Extender !), then they could STOP Tesla Model X Right away in Europe.
        Grendal
        • 1 Month Ago
        @FREEPAT75014
        Actions speak louder than words. I'll believe it when I see it. Good luck to them though.
      Technoir
      • 7 Months Ago
      No it won't.
      thecommentator2013
      • 7 Months Ago
      LOL!!
      mcc1975
      • 7 Months Ago
      I don't know if I said this already but: more Vaporware!!! ;-) Amazing marketing team, creating a lot of buzz about basically nothing. Well done, Audi!
      EVnerdGene
      • 7 Months Ago
      What the world needs now another FUV
      SloopJohnB
      • 7 Months Ago
      Easiest way would be for Audi to simply buy Tesla.
        Rr778
        • 7 Months Ago
        @SloopJohnB
        Audi can't afford to buy tesla
          express2day
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Rr778
          Financially, VW would be doing the buying and they could "afford" it. They couldn't "afford" the bad investment, though. Tesla simply isn’t worth $28B+.
          express2day
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Rr778
          @elctrNmbliT Even Elon Musk said last October that the stock, and thereby the company, was overvalued and that was when Tesla was valued at around $21B. That stock continues to have WAY too much emotion and speculation built into it.
          elctrNmbliT
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Rr778
          @express2day some in the investment world would disagree with you. http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-hy-tesla-most-important-automaker-20140620-story.html
          Grendal
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Rr778
          Actions and history are very clear that money is not the motivating factor for Elon. His goal is to have every car on the planet run on electricity. He is well aware that it will take many decades to achieve that goal and it will not happen by Tesla alone.
          Grendal
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Rr778
          Which would be part of the reason that Audi would not be buying and the other reason is that Tesla is not selling. Nor is Tesla even interested in selling. Elon wouldn't take the chance that Audi would downplay the electric program in favor of any other powertrain.
          Hek!
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Rr778
          Someone doesn't have any idea just how big VWAG's pile-o-cash is...
        jonnybimmer
        • 7 Months Ago
        @SloopJohnB
        Pretty sure Daimler/Toyota wouldn't make it so easy, even if VAG has seemingly unlimited funds.
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