Audi Technical Development Board Member Speaks Of Automaker’s Plugged-In Future

MAR 17 2015 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 10

Audi R8 e-tron

Audi R8 e-tron

Audi Q7 e-tron

Audi Q7 e-tron

Professor Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management at Audi AG for Technical Development, spoke at the automaker’s recent annual press conference.  Much of his speech focused on plug-in electric cars.  Here’s that portion of his speech verbatim:

Plug-in hybrids, natural gas and battery-electric drive systems have a key role to play in achieving CO2 targets. The Audi A3 e-tron* as a plug-in hybrid and the Audi A3 g-tron* powered by natural gas were successfully launched on the market in 2014. Both of them already have successors: the electrified Audi Q7 and the future Audi A4 g-tron based on the second generation of the modular longitudinal platform (MLB 2). We plan to have a plug-in hybrid in every model series in the coming years.

In 2014, we announced that we will produce our sportiest ambassador for electric mobility, the Audi R8 e-tron, to customer order in a tailor-made manufacturing process. The time has come.

Its range is a good 450 kilometers in the fuel-consumption cycle. With its efficient drivetrain, the Audi R8 e-tron offers competitive and customer-focused long-range electric mobility. We have redesigned the battery’s technology from its ground and achieved a new level of performance and energy density.

Audi A3 Sportback e-tron

Audi A3 Sportback e-tron

Its fluid-cooled lithium-ion battery has a capacity of more than 90 kWh and is integrated into the Audi Space Frame structure of the car. We manufacture this battery at the Audi center of excellence for battery technology in the Ingolstadt area. This is a great proof for the engineering power of Audi. In addition, the Audi R8 e-tron continues to be our technology carrier for future electric cars.

In early 2018, we will launch a battery-powered sports activity vehicle in the large premium segment with a range of more than 500 kilometers. It will have a new, very attractive design, which we are developing especially for the e-tron range and for battery-electric vehicles. This sports activity vehicle will be built on the second generation of the modular longitudinal platform. From the very beginning, this tool for optimal drivetrain diversity implementation has been designed for a broad variety of concepts.

As an alternative to battery-electric drivetrains and with regard to the future of the automobile, we presented our concept for fuel-cell technology in November 2014. On board of a fuel-cell powered car, electric energy is generated by a synthesis of hydrogen and oxygen. In our Audi A7 h-tron quattro technology carrier, we demonstrated the viability of this concept. And, this technology is ready for series development. Only four weeks ago, we acquired a number of strategically important patents from Ballard Power Systems, Inc., a global leader in fuel cell technology. This will further strengthen both our broad patent portfolio and our competitive advantage in terms of fuel cell technology development.

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10 Comments on "Audi Technical Development Board Member Speaks Of Automaker’s Plugged-In Future"

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More “leadership in plug-in press releases” from Audi. Still no plug-in product available from Audi in the United States. Is there an on-sale date for the A3 eTron yet?

I don’t think Audi has an electric car on the US market, but they are so good about promoting themselves that most people will think it’s the second-generation Audi electric car when they do see one. When in fact it will be the first electric car that Audi puts on the US market. For years I have been reading these press releases. A lot of hot air, that’s all this is.

Talk is cheap. Let’s see Audi actually start making and selling compelling EVs.

They are making and selling a compelling EV. Well, “compelling” obviously is a matter of opinion.

I guess “selling” is a matter of opinion too, unless you’re referring to something other than the R8 (in which case, what are you referring to?).

They are selling. The A3 started sales end of 2014 in Europe.

Ah, this is the A3 PHEV you’re talking about? I hadn’t realized any of those were on the road in any country, glad to hear they are. They’ve been promised in the US for years…

“On board of a fuel-cell powered car, electric energy is generated by a synthesis of hydrogen and oxygen.”

No, that would be subsidies, natural gas, and process inefficiencies.

“we acquired a number of strategically important patents from Ballard Power Systems, Inc., a global leader in fuel cell technology. ”

No, that would be someone smart enough to ditch the ruse, and hold a clearance sale.

Isn’t it cute how Audi named its battery electric vehicles e-trons and its hydrogen fuel cell vehicles h-trons. 😀

Seems like these car companies want to get in on the “aura” of feel-good electric advertising, then stall as long as possible before bringing anything out.

And as far as natural gas vehicles, the only car I’m aware of brand new other than the Honda Civic CNG is the 2015 Chevy Impala (cars that is – there are several trucks and vans that are already CNG or dual – fuel and those are probably competing with VIA for sales).

With full factory warranty(which is what everyone is waiting for so as not to be left stranded with an orphan), this is an accomplishment. And GM isn’t even really advertising it since I’m sure people don’t know about its availability, unless their gas company tells them.

But I love to hear some details on a 90 kwh full electric. Nice to see another car with a decently sized battery.