Audi has announced plans to accelerate its transition to electric cars, with the brand set to only introduce new EVs from 2026.

At the same time, it will also launch its last new internal combustion engine – likely in the large Q8 SUV – with Audi also saying that it will gradually phase out its engines up until 2033. It has also set a target to become a net-zero emissions company by 2050 ‘at the latest’.

The announcements were made by Audi CEO Markus Duesmann at the Berlin Climate Conference yesterday as the brand aims to accelerate its electrification plans.

Duesmann said: “Through our innovative strength, we offer individuals sustainable and carbon-neutral mobility options. I don’t believe in the success of bans. I believe in the success of technology and innovation.”

“But with this roadmap, we are creating the clarity necessary to make a decisive and powerful transition to the electric age. We’re sending the signal that Audi is ready.”

Though engines will be phased out globally, Audi has said it will continue ‘investing all its efforts’ into the development of engines up until then and that it’s last combustion engines will be the ‘best it’s ever built’. There is the possibility of some petrol and diesel engines remaining on sale locally in individual markets – China, for example – if demand is still there.

Audi also offers a range of EVs in its line-up – the e-tron, Q4 e-tron and e-tron GT – with the firm anticipating that by 2025 it will have more than 20 electric cars in its range. Even in 2021, more electric models are being introduced than combustion-powered options.