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:
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.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.