Audi A3 e-tron

Audi A3 e-tron

"The electric car is the future," declares Ulrich Hackenberg, a high-level engineer at Volkswagen Group and Audi board member for technical development.

A3 E-tron Cutaway

A3 E-tron Cutaway

Hackenberg was recently interviewed by Guido Reinking, editor of Automobilwoche.

As we all know, Volkswagen Group has long been EV naysayers.  However, the tide is quickly changing and that's clearly evident in the way in which Hackenburg answers several plug-in vehicle questions posed by Reinking.

Reinking: The electric car has been regarded quite critically in the Volkswagen Group for its high costs and restricted range. Aren’t you overlooking the emotionality and driving fun of e-mobility?

Hackenberg:  The electric car is the future. That has been clear to us for a long time. I definitely see the emotional side but the framework data has to fit -- ranging from the available technology, to the infrastructure, all the way to customers’ expectations.

Audi R8 E-Tron

Audi R8 E-Tron

Reinking: Does Audi need to offer a car like the Tesla Model S?

Hackenberg in Front of VW XL1

Hackenberg in Front of VW XL1

Hackenberg: In a few months the A3 E-tron will be launched as a plug-in hybrid, which is the most attractive alternative powertrain -- and the one most suited to the customer -- in many markets in the world. In markets where there are many early adopters, take California as an example, I can also imagine a high-end electric sports car.

Reinking:  Will that be the R8 E-tron for Audi?

Hackenberg:  The R8 E-tron is more than a technology platform. Every component represents high-end technology at its finest. We have solved the problem of restricted range.

Reinking:  Will the R8 E-tron be built?

Hackenberg:  I am just now championing it.

We confirmed yesterday that the Audi R8 e-tron will be built.

Source: Automotive News Europe