Mercedes-Benz will equip its plug-in vehicles with higher-capacity batteries as it expands its electric model range. While the PHEVs it has released so far have electric driving ranges between 14 and 20 miles, better batteries should extend that range starting around model years 2018 or 2019. After releasing a slew of plug-ins by the end of next year, Mercedes-Benz development director Dr. Thomas Weber says, "The next-generation vehicle will overcome the 30-km to 50-km hurdle and then the next generation after that will be 80-100 km when they run as pure electric cars." Read more at Green Car Reports, or from Motoring.
Audi will build its pure electric SUV at its plant in Brussels, Belgium. The batteries for the vehicle based on the Audi E-Tron Quattro concept (perhaps to be called the Q6) will also be built at the Brussels plant when production begins in 2018. With this announcement comes news that production of the A1 will shift from Brussels to Martorell, Spain, while Q3 production will move from Spain to Győr Hungary. Audi says the Brussels facility will "become a key plant for electric mobility at the Volkswagen Group." Read more at Green Car Congress, or in the press release below.
- Premium manufacturer to produce large series of electric cars in Brussels as of 2018
- New models for Martorell (Spain) and Győr (Hungary)
- Audi CEO Rupert Stadler: "We are increasing our efficiency and bundling key competencies"
Audi is preparing its international production network for the mobility of the future. Large series production of the first purely electric driven SUV from Audi will begin at the site in Brussels in 2018. The plant will also produce its own batteries. The company will transfer production of the Audi A1 from Belgium to Martorell in Spain. The Audi Q3, which is currently produced in Spain, will be built in Győr (Hungary) in the future.
The model rotation will benefit all the sites of Audi's global production network. "The new model distribution will enhance our production efficiency and strengthen all of the sites involved," stated Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG. "It will allow us to utilize further synergies within the Volkswagen Group and to bundle key competencies." The model decisions protect jobs and promote the internationalization of the production network.
As of 2018, Audi Brussels will exclusively produce the first battery‑electric SUV from the brand with the Four Rings for the world market. The Audi e-tron quattro concept study that was presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2015 provides a clear indication of the final production version. The sporty SUV will fit between the Audi Q7 and the Audi Q5 in the product portfolio. Equipped with three electric motors and a high‑capacity battery, the Audi e-tron model will offer a maximum of sportiness, driving dynamics and efficiency. It will have full everyday practicality with a range of more than 500 kilometers and will feature quick battery charging.
The Brussels plant will also have its own battery production. The site in Belgium will thus become a key plant for electric mobility at the Volkswagen Group.
In the context of this restructuring, the Audi A1, which is currently produced in Brussels, will be built in Martorell in Spain in the future. The Audi Hungaria plant in Győr will take over production of the Audi Q3, which is currently built in Spain. The site in Hungary already produces four Audi models: the Audi A3 Sedan, the Audi A3 Cabriolet, the Audi TT and the Audi TT Roadster.