One of Tesla’s competitors in the premium segment, German automaker Audi, has announced that it is abandoning the development of new internal combustion engines. The statement was related by Audi CEO Markus Duesmann in a recent interview with German media.
While addressing Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Duesmann explained that Audi’s decision is partly due to the EU’s plans for a stricter Euro 7 emissions standard. “We will no longer develop a new combustion engine, but will adapt our existing combustion engines to new emission guidelines,” he said, adding that the Euro 7 standard plans are “technically a huge challenge with at the same time little benefit for the environment.”
“This places extreme restrictions on the internal combustion engine,” Duesmann added.
The Audi CEO did not share the date when the last Audi with an ICE would be sold. Considering that some areas of the globe remain lagging in electric vehicle charging infrastructure, however, Duesmann noted that Audi would continue to sell combustion engines for many years to come. The cars will just have to be equipped with the company’s existing combustion engines.
Audi’s strategy mirrors that of fellow premium automaker Mercedes-Benz, which announced recently that no new generations of combustion engines would be developed. In a statement to Handelsblatt, board member Markus Schäfer noted that all the development expenditure had already been completed for the luxury automaker’s FAME engine family. This means that a good portion of Mercedes-Benz’s investments could go into electromobility.
Duesmann, for his part, stated that Audi is aiming to offer 20 electric models in five years. He also shared his hopes that the Q4 e-tron, which is based on Volkswagen’s MEB platform, will reach new customer groups following fellow all-electric cars like the Tesla Model X-rivaling e-tron SUV and the Tesla Model S-rivaling e-tron GT. As per the Audi CEO, the Q4 e-tron would be affordable for many people and the entry into e-mobility at Audi.” The vehicle will also be built at VW in Zwickau.
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