Audi to enter plug-in hybrid market in 2014

Trevor Hofmann - CAP staff
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With BMW, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and other premium carmakers already selling hybrids, and more on the way including two from Audi, a hybrid A8 and Q5 already announced, it should hardly be unexpected that the German carmaker will be releasing a plug-in variant shortly thereafter. Thanks to its efforts in electric car development, witnessed by the R8-based e-tron, a plug-in hybrid will be ideal to bridge the gap before its full electric program gets underway.

And how serious is Audi about electric cars? According to quote from Franciscus van Meel, the brand's manager for electric mobility, as reported by AutoWeek after attending a technical workshop at the company's headquarters in Ingolstadt, Germany, Audi hopes to be the "leading premium seller of electric vehicles" by 2020. No less than 5 percent of Audi's vehicles will be electrically powered, says the report.

The plug-in hybrid will hit the road in 2014, and Audi remains tightlipped as to any specifics. It comes as part of a plan to improve the carmaker's overall efficiency in traditional internal combustion engines, too, said board member for technology, Michael Dick according to the report. By 2020 Audi plans to make its engines 30 percent more fuel-efficient.

Fuel saving technologies will no doubt trickle down to Volkswagen AG's namesake brand, and the more price conscious brands within the company's umbrella, namely Skoda and Seat, while at the same time move upwards to Bentley and possibly even Lamborghini and Bugatti. After all, VW AG plans to be the world's predominant maker of hybrid and electric cars before 2030 arrives, although Toyota and its Lexus brand might have something to say about that.

©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: HEV, EV, PHEV, Audi, Electric, Hybrid, Plug-In Hybrid,

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