For its first official project, Audi Tongji Joint Labs will be tasked with transforming a conventional A6L over to electric power. While converting this vehicle will certainly be a learning experience, we don't believe that a production-level electric A6 is part of Audi's current battery-powered game plan. However, Audi's electric vehicle strategy often changes and a juiced A6L might just weasel its way into the company's lineup at a some later date. We wouldn't complain.
Audi initiates partnership with Tongji University
* Audi launches partnership with Tongji University in Shanghai with an A6L electric car
* Cooperation efforts aimed at electromobility
The new partnership between Audi and China's renowned Tongji University centers on research, instruction and services dealing with electromobility. The ceremony marking the founding of the "Audi Tongji Joint Lab" was attended by Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, An Tiecheng, President of FAW-Volkswagen, Prof. Dr. Yu Zhuoping, Dean of the College of Automotive Engineering of Tongji University Shanghai, Wan Gang, Chinese Minister of Science and Technology, and numerous other high-ranking Chinese officials.
"Audi has been represented in the Chinese market for 22 years now, and with great success. China is an important driver for electromobility. That is why we are investing locally, with the Audi Tongji Joint Lab, in research and education," said Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG.
Audi has been cooperating with Tongji University Shanghai since January. Students at TUS work together with the car manufacturer on various technical projects as part of their coursework for a bachelor's or master's degree or doctorate. An annual student exchange program will also be conducted. The first project for the "Audi Tongji Joint Labs" is the joint development of an Audi A6L as an electric car.
"Together with our long-time partner, Audi, we want to continue to shape China's automotive industry. Electromobility plays a major role here," said An Tiecheng, President of FAW-Volkswagen. "The Audi Tongji Joint Lab is an important milestone on our path to this goal."
More than 59,000 students attend Tongji University in Shanghai, where they receive instruction from 4,200 professors and researchers in 22 different departments. "The goal of our research is sustainable development. With Audi and FAW-Volkswagen, we've gained strong partners with whom we can promote this promising issue more intensively," said Prof. Dr. Yu Zhuoping, Dean of the College of Automotive Engineering of Tongji University Shanghai.
Audi has been successfully involved in China since 1988. Together with its joint-venture partner, FAW, Audi produces the Audi A4L, the Audi A6L and, since 2009, the Audi Q5 in Changchun. Between January and September 2010, Audi delivered about 175,000 cars to Chinese customers, making it the country's undisputed market leader in the premium segment.