The Ingolstadt carmaker’s love/hate relationship with electric cars built in series seems to have finally taken a turn for the better, as the company is said to launch two purely electric vehicles by 2018. The information comes straight from Audi’s CEO Rupert Stadler, who mentioned this rather important piece of information to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper, as quoted by Reuters.

One of the models will be an electric sports car not unlike the defunct 2015 R8 e-tron or other various e-tron concept cars of the past, while the other will be a crossover with a range of more than 310 miles on one charge. Both cars are expected to be part of the multi-billion investment plan that Audi has made from 2015 through 2019, of which around $2.4 billion of will be diverted to electric cars and digital technologies.

It is not yet clear if the proposed sports car and crossover are based on upcoming Audi models with internal-combustion propulsion or if they will get their own architecture, like Mercedes-Benz and its upcoming Ecoluxe platform. Either way, this is not the first time that Audi has had concrete plans of adding a fully electric model to its lineup, all of them having been discarded mainly because of insufficient range or not making a very good business case in those times. With battery technology evolving exponentially and its competitors actively pursuing similar endeavors, it seems that Audi is back on track from this perspective.

Click past the jump to read more about Audi’s future electric plans.

Why it matters

Having started the so-called "e-tron" line of concepts as early as 2009, which so far only culminated with the production of the Audi A3 e-tron plug-in hybrid, the Audi is a bit behind its competitors from Munich and Stuttgart in terms of electric mobility for the masses. That situation will apparently be resolved if Stadler’s plans becomes a reality and the two aforementioned models will actually enter series production.

This can only mean good news for electric car fans around the world, as the diversification of EV offerings should improve competition, therefore the technology should evolve at an even faster rate. On the other hand, Audi is jumping on the bandwagon a bit late and may come out short in the end, or at least when it comes to the first generation of electric vehicles. 2018 is not that far from 2015, and although Audi obviously isn’t short on resources, it should be a pretty tight schedule for developing two new cars from the ground up. It will all depend if the two proposed models are actually based on other Audi models or not, as that would obviously speed things up.

Audi R8 E-tron

2016 Audi R8 E-Tron Exterior Spyshots
- image 451355

Source: Reuters

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: