In an attempt to close the gap on Tesla for electric vehicles sales, Audi have announced that a third of their research and development budget will go towards developing electric vehicles, digital services and autonomous driving.
After parent company Volkswagen’s recent emissions scandal, Audi have aimed for 25 per cent of their sales to be EVs by 2025, which based on current figures would mean that they would be selling over 450,000 units per year.
Out of their current UK range, only two models are electric-powered, the A3 Sportback e-tron and the Q7 e-tron, putting them 22nd amongst manufacturers for total hybrid and EV sales and behind the likes of Mercedes, BMW and Lexus. According to Reuters, the R&D budget for Audi in 2015 was over £3.5billion.
A closed-door meeting was held on Wednesday in Munich, where over 2,000 managers discussed the company’s future and, according to German business daily Handelsblatt, Audi CEO Rupert Stadler reportedly discussed the company’s future plans.
In figures released by the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), only 186,170 new cars registered in the EU and European Free Trade Association were electric vehicles and 234,170 were hybrids, creating very little impact on the 14,202,024 total new registrations in 2015.
Sales of electric vehicles this year have been slowing also, with JATO Dynamics saying that after 55 per cent rise in sales of EVs last year, there has been only a 15 per cent increase in 2016.
The Audi sources also told Reuters that the company plan to cutback on conventional combustion and transmission combinations to reduce country-specific variations.
After completing his university studies in English and Creative Writing in Cardiff, Jack is now a full time motoring writer at Blackball Media. His love of cars stems from his childhood years when he began to live and breathe all-things automotive.