Audi CEO: Hybrids Are Only A “Bridging Technology” To Pure Electric Cars

1 year ago by Eric Loveday 32

The Audi A3 Sportback e-tron

The Audi A3 Sportback e-tron

Audi Q7 e-tron quattro

Audi Q7 e-tron quattro

Audi CEO Rupert Stadler is slowly but surely starting to discover what some automakers have already realized…electric cars are the future.

According to Stadler, who spoke at the Geneva Motor Show, hybrids (both conventional and plug-in hybrids) are a “bridging technology” to get to pure electric cars.

Stadler believes this “bridge” will only be in place for around 10 years before the transition to electric begins in earnest. Quoting Stadler:

“Hybrid and plug-in hybrids are a transitional and bridge technology for about the next ten years. In parallel we will offer various battery-electric models in different volume series models until 2025. But, of course, only the customers can decide the sales mix between electrified and conventionally-engined vehicles.”

Stadler expects electrified cars (hybrids, plug-in hybrids and pure electrics) to account for up to 25% of all new sales by 2025.

Additionally, Audi reiterated its long-term commitment to fuel cell technology. Stefan Knirsche, Audi board member in charge of technology, stated:

“Our development spending will focus on the fuel cell as we do believe it can play an important role in future, but this requires the necessary infrastructure. So in the meantime we will focus on battery-electric car investment.”

Source: Autocar

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32 responses to "Audi CEO: Hybrids Are Only A “Bridging Technology” To Pure Electric Cars"

  1. Someone out there says:

    Well… duh!

    1. ziv says:

      I think most people realized in 2010 before the Volt came out that EREV makes more sense if a cost effective (sub $30k after any tax credits) BEV lacks either 250 miles of AER and/or fastcharging plus the network of fast chargers sufficient to traveling longer distances reasonably pleasant.
      What I don’t think may people realized was how slowly EREV’s would lose their shine, so to speak.
      Even after the First Gen $30k or less (after tax credit) BEV’s with 200 or more miles of AER hit the market, there will still be a large market for EREV’s. But the size of that market will be impacted heavily by the price of gasoline and the rapidity of the drop in price of battery packs.
      I really thought that the market share BEV’s and PHEV’s have now would have been achieved by late 2013 or early 2014. But with oil up from $28 a barrel to around $36, it may be that the best days for cheap oil/gasoline are behind us. But I wouldn’t bet against the frackers finding a way to pump tight oil profitably at sub $40 a barrel prices.

  2. Three Electrics says:

    Also, electric cars are only a bridging technology to fuel cells:

    “Our development spending will focus on the fuel cell as we do believe it can play an important role in future, but this requires the necessary infrastructure. So in the meantime we will focus on battery-electric car investment.”

    1. Will says:

      No, you’ve got it all backward. Fuel Cells will become irrelevant in the mass market when we’ve got batteries that can rival gasoline in terms of range and recharge times.

      I think in the aviation and HGV sectors, fuel cells are most definitely the future, as we’re talking huge vehicles that depend on travelling vast distances in places where there’s nowhere to reliably charge.

      But for the personal transportation sector, IE: consumer level cars? No, Elon sees it true: when electric car tech reaches a certain threshold, nobody will want hydrogen cars. At all. It’ll be like “why? My battery EV does plenty of range, charges fast, can be charged at home, etc”

      I can see why other people on this site insult you and call you names like “Three Oil Companies”. No matter how many times people set you straight and point out the massive flaws in your logic, you keep soldiering on as if you haven’t heard a word.

      1. sven says:

        Hey, that quote is from an Audi board member and is Audi’s view of the future. It’s right there if the news story. Did you even bother to read the news story, or did you just go straight to the comments section to post your juvenile ad hominem attack?

        1. Will says:

          What does it matter? Three Electrics agrees with Audi, and I disagree with them both.

        2. Will says:

          Furthermore the ‘juvenile ad hominem attack’ was stuck on the end because I loathe this Three Electrics guy enough to forego any civility or maturity. If you’ve seen most of his other comments on the site, you’ll know why he’s basically See Through version 2.0.

    2. mr. M says:

      My understanding of the sentence is:

      We don’t know which technology will win (in the long run), so we spent research budget in both fields. But since fuel cells are much more expensive we go with a production BEV first.

    3. ffbj says:

      A bridge to far.

      1. sven says:

        A bridge over troubled water.

    4. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Three Electrics said:

      “Also, electric cars are only a bridging technology to fuel cells:”

      LOL! That’s like Karl Marx claiming that democracy is only a bridge to communism. 😀

      1. wavelet says:

        Marx did in fact say that (specifically, that using democratic means to gain power was a valid tactic to force the establishment of the Dictatorship of the Proletriat.)

    5. Bret says:

      There are two huge problems with “Fool Cells”:

      1. The efficiency sucks. They offer roughly 67 MPGe for a Toyota Mirai vs. 115 MPGe for a BMW i3. Over millions of vehicles, that is a huge amount of energy wasted. I also suspect hydrogen will be way more expensive than electricity to operate on.

      2. The infrastructure sucks. Not only are hydrogen refilling stations expensive and non-existent, they will soon be run by the same monopolists that rip us off for gasoline. Electricity is ubiquitous and comes from many sources. Waking up to a “full” EV every morning is a better deal than waiting in line at a filling station.

    6. JakeY says:

      That is not what he said, he said it will “play an important role,” not that FCVs will replace EVs.

  3. If BEV’s are just a bridging technology to Fuel Cell Cars, how are we going to get to Mr. Fusion?

    1. sault says:

      Fuel cell cars will give us real-world experience with unicorn horn extraction, refining, distribution and storage technologies. Once the required infrastructure is built overnight and for free, it will allow miniature arc reactors to become feasible for the flying cars that will definitely be coming out by the 2030’s at the latest!

      1. mr. M says:

        Cool, can’t wait for the day seeing a unicorn in real 😀 🙂

      2. Get Real says:

        ROTFLMAO! That made my day!

      3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        +infinity… and beyond!

      4. Rick Danger says:

        WTG sault!

    2. Will says:

      You and Sven are saying that Audi said hybrids and EVs are a bridge to fuel cells but in no part of the article do they mention this. They do say:

      “Our development spending will focus on the fuel cell as we do believe it can play an important role in future”

      But that doesn’t say ‘we believe fuel cells are the ultimate future’. All it says is ‘we will focus investments in fuel cells’ Saying we’ll invest in something and saying it’s the ultimate end-of-the-line are two entirely different things.

      1. Sammy says:

        ICE Cars are relics. Diesel gate, cheat devices, … they have got a nerve talking about future of transportation without fixing the shit that sold. Instead of admitting some companies based on battery technologies are ahead … and try to catch up to them… they are misdirecting public with what will or will not happen in fugure.

  4. SJC says:

    FFV hybrids are cost effective, a good use of fewer batteries and renewable fuel.

  5. pjwood1 says:

    I wonder if Audi is sticking with the Venn diagram that puts ‘Customer’ in one circle and people who want ‘flat handling, quieter, quicker, more environmental, less $ on gas and repairs’, in another. What’s the term? “Mutually Exclusive”?

    1. mr. M says:

      The term for the venn diagramm is dissection?

      But what of the Audi’s statement that they will concentrate on BEVs soon leads you to the point that no customer will drive them?

      1. pjwood1 says:

        There will be lots of hybrid mean time, to 2025, and even odds that the number of compelling BEVs will be zero.

        Too much margin in that old gaser.

        Tesla, with Audi’s double-wishbones and Bilsteins = Good times. The water is warm.

  6. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    “…hybrids (both conventional and plug-in hybrids) are a ‘bridging technology’ to get to pure electric cars.”

    I’m glad you realize that, sir. Now, what is Audi going to do about it? Actions speak louder than words.

    1. Bone says:

      A3 PHEV in production.
      Q7 PHEV SUV production starts next year.
      Long range BEV SUV planned for 2018.

      1. Sammy says:

        I’ve planned to win the 60 million jackpot in the next year and retire.

  7. vdiv says:

    Oh, yeah! That’ll sell a few A3 e-trons…

  8. Get Real says:

    What is tragic is that European OEMs basically chose diesel over hybrid technology (in its hey-day) and boy did that blow-up in their faces.

    Now conventional hybrid technology is rapidly being eclipsed by plug-in electric technology and the Germans are really finding themselves playing catchup.

  9. Foo says:

    Hmm, “conventionally-engined” vehicles? I think they meant to say, “efficiency-challenged”.