Audi CEO Markus Duesmann is pushing against politicians in Europe who oppose the bans internal combustion engine ban in 2035 while resolidifying his company’s plans to only offer fully-electric vehicles from 2026 on.
“Our plan for phasing out combustion engine technology is in place,” Duesmann said in an interview with WirtschaftsWoche, a German magazine. “From 2026, Audi will only be launching purely electric models.”
Duesmann was among a number of automotive CEOs that pushed to delay EV production several years ago. In July 2020, Duesmann figured Audi’s product lineup would likely consist of both combustion engine and electric powertrains. “They will live for a very long time,” he said. “The combustion engine is far from dead.”
However, Duesmann has seen the domination that companies like Volkswagen and Tesla have seen in the EV industry, and Audi has tasted some of its own successes, too. “In the first quarter of 2022, [EV sales] were over 66 percent more than in the same period last year,” Duesmann said in the interview. “The trend is confirmed.”
Duesmann sees Audi tasting success in the EV market and is now pushing for European politicians to begin considering a faster transition to electrification and electromobility. Federal Finance Minister Christain Lindner does not back the 2035 plan in the EU to phase out ICE engines, and Duesmann believes there could be a bigger push toward a quicker transition, and it could start at the political level.
“It is important that the ambitious political goals are also underpinned by appropriate regulatory measures in all member states,” he said. Duesmann believes there also needs to be an accelerated development of other things that deal with EVs, like charging infrastructure and more EV battery production projects.
Earlier this week, Lindner said he opposed the EU legislation that would ban all ICE vehicles in 2035. “Germany will … not be able to agree to the fleet limits with the de facto ban on internal combustion engines,” he said at a conference earlier this week, according to POLITICO. Lindner instead wants the government to develop alternative fuels, something he has been vocal about in the past.
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