Audi is ushering in an era of electric mobility
Audi intends to put more than 30 electrified models on the market by 2025, which constitutes a 40 percent share in sales.
Audi is transforming into a provider of electric mobility, a process that involves all areas of the company.
Audi is becoming a provider of integrated, carbon-neutral premium mobility with the goal of taking the leadership role in the competition. To this end, the manufacturer is accelerating its electrification road map and company-wide decarbonization. By 2025, the carbon footprint of the vehicle fleet across the entire life cycle is to be reduced by 30 percent as compared to 2015. In the future, the return on investment as the central financial control parameter will also show the CO2 performance of the four rings, with sustainable management helping to increase it to more than 21 percent.
In the context of the Volkswagen Group’s consistent focus on electric mobility, the four rings are taking a targeted approach to aligning their drive portfolio with the specific requirement profiles of premium customers. With a considerable portion of large vehicle segments, the corresponding power requirements and frequent use for long-distance journeys, Audi is relying on plug-in hybrid drives in addition to all-electric vehicles.
The brand’s trade partners all over the world are crucial ambassadors of the new technology. In order to get their businesses ready for the e-tron*, the dealers have already been installing the suitable charging infrastructure for many months. Audi has trained more than 9,500 international dealership employees for the market introduction of the Audi e-tron*. In order to ensure optimum service, the brand with the four rings is relying on innovative virtual reality (VR) technology: Service technicians in more than 40 markets are using a specially developed VR training course to familiarize themselves with the details of the high-voltage battery in the Audi e-tron.
Furthermore, Audi has a clear mission to achieve company-wide carbon neutrality on balance by 2050.
Reuse and recycling of batteries
Audi and Volkswagen are already in the process of developing concepts for handling used high-voltage batteries. If a battery has lost a certain percentage of its charging capacity over the course of several years, it can still be used for a stationary application. Among the many available possibilities here, Audi is currently testing two as part of pilot projects: use in forklift trucks and tractor units at the main plant in Ingolstadt and use of the batteries as stationary energy storage on a campus in Berlin.
The first phase of a strategic research cooperation, as part of which Audi and Belgian recycling and materials technology specialist Umicore developed a closed circuit for the elements of HV batteries, has already been completed. The aim is to salvage valuable materials such as cobalt and nickel and use them in new HV batteries.
Preparations for the production model of Audi e-tron GT concept, which will roll off the assembly line in the Böllinger Höfe near Neckarsulm together with the Audi R8 as of the end of 2020, are also already underway. While the high-performance sports car with a combustion engine is still made predominantly by hand, the electric Gran Turismo is to be manufactured with a higher degree of automation in the body shop. Both models pass through the same assembly, which is currently being expanded by 20 cycles to 36 cycles, as well as an overhead conveyor.
Specific electric elements of the vehicle, such as the battery system, the drive or the thermal management, are prepared in special pre-assemblies and installed on the assembly line as a finished module.