Audi e-tron Detroit Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

By 2020, Audi aims to corner the premium segment of the hybrid and electric vehicle market. To do so, the automaker has planned numerous upcoming electric-drive model launches, including: hybrid versions of the A8 sedan and Q5 SUV, both due in late 2011; a hybrid A6 scheduled to arrive in 2012; and a range of electric cars, which includes the battery-powered e-tron slated for a 2012 debut.

While speaking at a technical workshop at the company's headquarters in Germany, Franciscus van Meel, manager for Audi's electric mobility strategy, stated:
By 2020, we want to be the leading premium seller of electric vehicles. We will successively bring out a variety of hybrid models and electric vehicles, such as our first plug-in hybrid in 2014. Today we're assuming that our sales of Audi e-tron electric cars will rise to a six-figure volume by 2020.
To help it meet that six-figure goal, Audi recently opened a $90 million, 150,690-square-feet electric-drive development and test center in Ingolstadt, Germany. The automaker plans to hire 840 people to staff its consolidated e-mobility development site. Audi's electric car sales goal seems overly optimistic but, at least for now, we'll give the automaker the benefit of the doubt.

Photos by Drew Phillips
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[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]

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