Audi plans to use the E-tron designation for its electric vehicles. Audi cars will carry the E-tron logo on their rear, similar to the way models now bear the “quattro” designation. Audi plans to produce an initial run of 100 units of its E-tron electric sports car at its factory in Ingolstadt, Germany, in 2012. The car was unveiled at the 2009 Frankfurt auto show.
An expansion of this small production volume to 1,000 units is planned. No decision has yet been made on where the vehicle will be built long term.
“It doesn’t necessarily have to be built in Ingolstadt,” Audi CEO Rupert Stadler said on the sidelines of the presentation of the new A8 in Casares, Spain. It is certain, however, that Audi will manufacture its electric cars in Germany.
The fact that Audi’s electronics center is in Ingolstadt works in Germany’s favor. And the R8 supercar is built at the company’s Neckarsulm, Germany, factory, which specializes in lightweight construction. The E-tron is taking a modified platform as well as its aluminum construction from the R8.
Stadler considers the company to be “well on the way” to achieving the goals of his current road map, called Route 15. He wants to sell 1.5 million vehicles by 2015 and to become the most successful premium manufacturer in the world.
This year, Audi is launching new models such as the A1, A7 and A8 and intends to sell more than a million vehicles. A total of 1.3 million units are planned for 2012. Audi’s 2020 corporate strategy for the next 10 years says that the automaker has to position itself with alternative drives to meet rising customer requirements. Launching E-tron cars is part of the company’s plan to meet an expected increasing demand for zero emission cars.