Having already plunged head-first into the electric vehicle market with its e-tron lineup, Audi has announced that it will only launch pure electric models starting in 2026. The news confirms a German report from last week, which carried a quote from CEO Markus Duesmann.
Duesmann himself was present at the 2021 Greentech Festival in Berlin to make the announcement. “Through our innovative strength, we offer individuals sustainable and carbon-neutral mobility options,” he said. “I don’t believe in the success of bans. I believe in the success of technology and innovation.”
To support the move, Ingolstadt will gradually phase out the production of internal combustion engines. This is expected to last until 2033, although the exact timing will ultimately be decided by legislation and customer demand. However, the company is expecting China to continue buying petrol and diesel vehicles beyond 2033, so it says it may supply vehicles with locally-produced engines. A get-out-of-jail card of sorts.
Audi adds that it is already launching more electric cars than those with regular engines this year, having pulled the covers off the e-tron GT and the Q4 and Q4 Sportback e-tron; it plans to have more than 20 EVs in its lineup by 2025. “With this roadmap, we are creating the clarity necessary to make a decisive and powerful transition to the electric age. We’re sending the signal that Audi is ready,” said Duesmann.
But an electrification strategy can only go so far without the infrastructure to support it, so Audi is also doing its part to expand the charging network, launching a charging hub project with its own reservation system and lounge just a few weeks ago. The company is also partnering with energy suppliers to promote the expansion of renewable energy sources.
Audi isn’t quite giving up on petrolheads just yet, however, promising to invest all its efforts in ICE development to improve efficiency right up until its discontinuation. Duesmann capped off his speech with a bold proclamation, saying “Audi’s last internal combustion engine will be the best we’ve ever built.”
GALLERY: Audi e-tron GT
GALLERY: Audi Q4 and Q4 Sportback e-tron