Audi CEO Markus Duesmann will not focus on a push toward electrification. Instead, the German automaker’s frontman will continue developing the company’s combustion engine vehicles because he believes they “will live for a very long time.”
In a recent interview with Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder, Duesmann indicated that the combustion engine would be apart of Audi’s future plans, and the German automaker would also continue to develop technologies for its gas and diesel-powered engines. This strategy is in place of advancing its fleet toward a sustainable lineup of vehicles that would be powered by batteries.
Even though the number of electric cars on the road is expected to increase significantly by the mid-2020s, Duesmann said the market share of combustion engines will still be 60 to 70 percent. Duesmann worked as an engine developer earlier in his career and continues to hold an appreciation for high-quality combustion motors, Automobilwoche said.
His plan to further develop Audi’s fleet of gas and diesel cars comes down to quality and development, which he believes could effectively reduce CO2 and pollutant emissions. “They have to be great,” he said.
Duesmann added that the project would require the cooperation of suppliers, which Audi requires. He recently campaigned for suppliers who could help Audi currently contracted companies with stability amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, which has negatively impacted many automakers all over the world. “We don’t work without suppliers,” Duesmann said. “That’s why we have a huge interest in the fact that the suppliers are stable. Because we need the suppliers.”
Currently, Audi has its e-Tron, which has a Supercar variant, and the Q2L SUV, which is aimed toward the Chinese market.
Audi has sold around 7,000 e-Tron units in the United States so far since its release in June 2019, InsideEVs reported in April 2020. The company has also unveiled several hybrid models, but they are not in production as of July 2020.
Interestingly enough, Audi is one of the companies that is operated by Volkswagen Automotive Group. Volkswagen has initiated a strong push toward a fleet of electric vehicles, starting with its ID.3 sedan that is utilizing the automaker’s first attempt at EV software.
Although VW has experienced several issues with the ID.3 since beginning production, 150 units of the vehicle were given to employees at German production facilities for real-world testing. The company has also started transitioning several of its German manufacturing plants into electric vehicle production facilities while training current employees about EV infrastructure.
While Duesmann wants to continue with the development of combustion engines, Audi will have to adapt to increasingly strict CO2 restrictions across the world. Combustion engines could undoubtedly be cleaner if developed correctly, but the environmentally-conscious option remains evident: Electric vehicles are the way to go.