Starting In 2018, Audi’s Belgian Factory Will Only Produce Long-Range e-tron SUV & Battery Packs

2 years ago by Mark Kane 39

Audi e-tron quattro concept

Audi e-tron quattro concept

Audi e-tron quattro concept - charging inlet CCS Combo

Audi e-tron quattro concept – charging inlet CCS Combo

The all-electric SUV announced by Audi for 2018 will be produced in Brussels, Belgium.

The German manufacturer again stressed that it treats the production version of e-tron quattro concept as a large series project.

The Brussels plant will not only assemble the cars, but also produce batteries, which we understand as pack/module assembly.

The lithium-ion cells will be manufactured in Europe – as Audi has established a partnership with both LG Chem and Samsung SDI, although we don’t know details on location (none of those suppliers have a cell production factory in Europe).

“The Brussels plant will also have its own battery production. The site in Belgium will thus become a key plant for electric mobility at the Volkswagen Group.”

Anyways, the Brussels facility will be busy enough to focus only on the e-tron SUV and will move Audi A1 production to another location.

“Audi is preparing its international production network for the mobility of the future. Large series production of the first purely electric driven SUV from Audi will begin at the site in Brussels in 2018. The plant will also produce its own batteries. The company will transfer production of the Audi A1 from Belgium to Martorell in Spain. The Audi Q3, which is currently produced in Spain, will be built in Győr (Hungary) in the future.”

Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG said:

“The new model distribution will enhance our production efficiency and strengthen all of the sites involved. It will allow us to utilize further synergies within the Volkswagen Group and to bundle key competencies.”

What we know about Audi e-tron SUV:

  • all-electric sporty SUV
  • long range (more than 500 km / 310 miles)
  • CCS fast charging with some 150 kW power
  • AWD with three electric motors (two for rear wheels and one for front axle)
  • between the Audi Q7 and the Audi Q5 in the product portfolio
  • concept was a clear indication of the final production version
  • production in Brussels, Belgium from 2018
  • battery suppliers LG Chem and/or Samsung SDI
Audi e-tron quattro concept - Electric drivetrain with up to 370 kW

Audi e-tron quattro concept – Electric drivetrain with up to 370 kW

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39 responses to "Starting In 2018, Audi’s Belgian Factory Will Only Produce Long-Range e-tron SUV & Battery Packs"

  1. Three Electrics says:

    The dragon has awoken.

    1. Tech01x says:

      Looks like the dragon has to pay up for some significant damages… and further, this dragon has proven to be more adept at weaving fanciful tales of the future.

    2. pk says:

      The dragon might awake in 2 years if it’s not just another Audi press release.

      1. Speculawyer says:

        This. Audi has zero credibility with me at this point after creating and cancelling more etrons than I can remember.

      2. evcarnut says:

        If the Dragon comes to be ,it will be 0ne expensive little Dragon..they’d better do something about the aerodynamics on that parachute grill design.

    3. Yup says:

      … and it has a NASTY hangover!

    4. ffbj says:

      Go back to sleep.

  2. So it will be “between the Q7 and the Q5 in the product portfolio” according to this article. Taking a look at Audi’s US website, the Q5 starts at $41k and the Q7 at $55k. Does this mean we can expect the e-tron to be slotted between those two price ranges? The current Q5 hybrid starts at $52,500 so almost as much as the Q7. Perhaps the e-tron will be priced similarly, in the low $50s. Yeah, I know, that’s likely wishful thinking.

    1. Michael Toberman says:

      I would guess it would be $67K, so after the federal $7500 credit, around $59K. Assuming they can get the same deal GM got for the Bolt batteries, they will have around $14K in batteries, so $53K for the car without the batteries seems reasonable for Audi to be profitable with this vehicle.

      1. Robb Stark says:

        This assumes VW Group,like GM, is buying all their high value added electronics from LG as well.

        Motor,Inverter,Gauge Cluster,Infotainment system,Telemetrics, etc.

    2. tom911 says:

      There is a Q6 coming as well.

      “…the Q5 can continue as an Audi-slick, family-oriented SUV, while the Q6 hoovers up the sportier coupe-influenced crossover market.”

    3. Anton Wahlman says:

      I thought they meant between the Q5 and Q7 in terms of the length of the car, not the price of the car.

  3. William says:

    Tesla Model X better ramp up production quick! Market share is on the line for full production in 2019. Completion is great, when it finally arrives!

    1. Philip d says:

      The etron Quattro has 4 seats and the Model X seats 7. I don’t think the Quattro will take sales away from the Model X.

      1. Priusmaniac says:

        Indeed, four seats is a real mistak. That a real problem that ice manufacturers seem to be willing to ever impose on electric cars. Volt, i3 and now this one again. In comparison four seat ice cars are proportionaly virtually non existant.

        1. Philip d says:

          The Volt is the only one to be limited to 4 seats for a reason. The i3 is narrow but there is absolutely no reason that they couldn’t have just had a bench seat for 3 in the back. The middle pad could be narrow but satisfy the need for at least the possibility of having 3 passengers in the back in a pinch. Instead there are 2 cup holders and a strip of plastic.

      2. Nick says:

        Also hobbled by CCS vs Tesla super charger.

        1. Robb Stark says:

          On what planet where there be a network of 150 kWh CCS charging stations by 2018?

      3. Anton Wahlman says:

        Just as with the Bolt, the concept had 4 seats, but just as with the Bolt, obviously the final car will have 5.

  4. Aaron says:

    Two things:

    1. Why put a grille there when the entire thing is solid? I guess we humans aren’t used to vehicles without a grille yet.

    2. Why put the charging outlet on the side opposite of the steering wheel?! While I don’t think the LEAF’s charging port is in a good place (for avoiding crash damage), at least they don’t have to switch sides when the steering wheel moves.

    1. Yup says:

      I’m not opposed to the grill. Big grills haven’t been necessary for decades. For example, here’s a 1987 Ford Taurus. No visible grill.

      However, for aesthetic reasons, grills just look good, otherwise there isn’t a nice visual focal point at the front of the car. The Model X went grill-less, but probably would have looked better if it stuck with the Model S nose cone. Maybe we could go with a big metal hood ornament instead? 🙂

      On a side note, there other radiators in your car besides the engine radiator. The air conditioner has a radiator, and if it’s a big towing vehicle there might be radiators for gearboxes (careful not to say transmission here).

      1. Speculawyer says:

        I don’t agree that they look good. They just look like what you are used to. We also used to put wood paneling and then fake wood grain vinyl on cars because that is what people were used to.

        We were able to let go of the wood grain and we can let go of the grille. Especially because the grill creates counter-productive DRAG.

        1. ffbj says:

          Fake plastic wood. I mean really. Just says my car is garbage. So yeah, we got used to garbage ice so now we just expect it.

        2. Yup says:

          We also don’t need “spokes” or spoke-like things on wheels. It’s cheaper to make steel wheels with plastic hub caps, but they look nice. Big deal if we don’t need it any more, who really cares other than zealots?

          Do you realize how bland everything would look if you were absolutely pragmatic about everything? If you’re wondering, consider 1960s architecture. They started making everything out of unpainted cement and removed all the unnecessary bits. Lo and behold, we’re now tearing all those buildings down as quickly as we can because they’re ugly, and new buildings have all sorts of unnecessary design elements like buttresses.

          A design decision a little closer to the topic of EVs was the nasty 20 year trend of Teutonic design in cars. Every bit of chrome and other decoration was stripped from cars until even luxury cars looked cheap. We have fortunately come out the other side of that trend and cars are finally becoming attractive again. Let’s not repeat that mistake.

          1. Speculawyer says:

            But this is a design element that is harmful to the car’s operation. And with EVs, the aerodynamics are EXTREMELY important because they help increase the range.

            Besides . . . they are UGLY. But I guess you provide me with the type of customer that explains why they gave us simulate wood grain for years.

        3. mr. M says:

          More Drag would be good for drag races. Americans love drag races. Conclusion make the drag as big as possible to sell more cars 😉

      2. evcarnut says:

        The Taurus Grill is Underneath the bumper , Just like the 0ld 1960’s designed Studebaker Avanti…

    2. Yup says:

      Oh, and I agree completely about putting the charge port on the other side. I think that’s just German arrogance. They’re following the rest of the industry in EVs, but they want to make it look like they’re not following, so they’re making needless and detrimental changes to protect their pride.

      It’s a good thing nobody else has put their charging port on the passenger side yet, because then they may have had to resort to putting it on the bottom of the car.

      1. James says:

        The right hand drive Tesla Model S in the UK has the charge port on the passenger side of the vehicle. While this might not sound ideal, if it wasn’t on that side we wouldn’t be able to use the superchargers in the rest of Europe, so that seems like a pretty good reason to me.

        1. Yup says:

          So Tesla left the charging port on the same side of the car that it is normally on? In other words, looking at the front of the car, the port is on the right?

          That seems to support what I’m saying… even in the case of the UK, it makes sense to keep the charging port on the same side of the car. That supports the argument that Audi is doing something nonsensical to move it to the other side.

          What was the point you were trying to make?

      2. Carsten says:

        Port is on the passenger side due to street parking parallel to curb and chargers at the curb. I would prefer a central position aka Leaf, since it negates the change for RHD to LHD.

      3. evcarnut says:

        YUP,. The Germans don’t care that people won’t buy their cars.. But., I know where they can stick their charger..No more german cars fro me, I’m done with that! ..

      4. Dan says:

        It’s actually required by law in Germany. It reduces the risk of getting hit by traffic. It is a holdover from the ICE days where the risk was quite real for a disabled car on the side of the highway getting fuel from a can. A similar argument can be made for charging while parallel parked, which is quite common in Europe as well.

  5. tom911 says:

    There were rumors of a Q5 plug-in (and other new ICE engines) coinciding with the revamped Q5 design coming in 2017/2018. Personally I’m hoping for any brand of VAG (or others) CUV plug-in as I’m tired of waiting.

  6. Speculawyer says:

    Uh . . . are they really going to be able to push battery prices down to an affordable level with a factory in Brussels, Belgium?

    It seems like high land costs, high local labor rates, and lack of the needed raw materials nearby would make that a nonstarter.

    The Tesla Gigafactory is being build out in the desert on cheap land, in rural Nevada with cheap labor, and near Lithium mines in Nevada & Mexico. They also have good rail service to bring in raw materials from other places cheaply. I’m a bit skeptical of an Audi plant in Brussels, Belgium being able to compete.

    1. Speculawyer says:

      Oh . . . they are not building the cells in Brussels, Belgium. That makes a bit more sense then.

      But they still probably won’t be as efficient as the Tesla ambitious project of:
      (Raw materials) -> Gigafactory -> Full Battery pack

  7. Nix says:

    long range (more than 500 km / 310 miles)

    Since it mentions “km”, it is pretty clear this isn’t EPA test cycle. They don’t do km. So this is likely EU cycle, which is notoriously generous.

    EPA cycle will likely be somewhere more like mid-200 mile EPA rated range.

    In other words, they are targeting something less than Model X range, about 3 years after Model X sales began. With no Supercharger access.

    I hope they don’t expect to get Model X dollars for these. It will fail unless it is substantially less expensive than the Model X. Especially if Tesla upgrades the X by 2018. Which they’ve already done with the Model S multiple times….

  8. Rich says:

    Propaganda galore
    2018 target manufacturing date.
    Where’s the commitment to sell this nationwide in the USA?