Audi To Launch A Full Range Of Electric Cars
|   Thursday, July 03, 2014
Audi prepares to enter electric vehicles segment with an entire range, headlines Reuters quoting sources from the German brand. The Ingolstadt manufacturer is preparing this range for when electric vehicles become popular, hoping to get new customers with these vehicles and to recoup development costs as quickly as possible by large volumes.

Sources cited by Reuters did not disclose the year in which the respective Audi models will be released.
In any case, the projected launch date is at the end of this decade.

Postponing the launch of an electric vehicle range is caused by the lack of success registered by 100 percent electric models. These vehicles are not so popular among customers because of charging stations infrastructure, less developed than that of fossil fuel power stations and because of the high prices on these models, compared with their conventional or hybrid propulsion counterparts. However, industry experts are convinced that electric vehicles will become popular by the end of the current decade, although they will still be far from overthrowing hybrids.

It is expected that electric vehicles will pave the way for fuel cell vehicles powered by hydrogen or other types of fuel from renewable sources with zero carbon emissions.

The range of electric vehicles from Audi now includes only the R8 e-tron and A1 e-tron. The latter is rather a prototype with many production elements.
The R8 was scheduled to be launched initially in 2012, but the model has been delayed due to concerns about low autonomy, only 215 km, but will be marketed in some Audi dealerships from 2015. It announces a range of 450 kilometers (280 miles), close to the 502 km (311 miles) scored by Tesla's Model S, most successful electric car marketed globally.

Audi, owned by Volkswagen, has set a range target of at least 400 km, for any electric model launched on the market, according to some sources.
Development chief Ulrich Hackenberg said Audi has overcome the range limits by increasing the efficiency of the electric drivetrain and reducing on-board power consumption.

"Electric mobility is a key focus of our development strategy," he said back in March. "We are ideally prepared for the future with our strategic roadmap and a well-filled development pipeline."

Tesla managed to keep the leading position with new technology that has extended driving range and cost savings. The success of Tesla and the enthusiasm about the new "I" series electric cars by BMW have attracted the attention of Audi. Some analysts have said that the lack of involvement in the field of electrical cars involves risks such as looking like a lazy man in an industry where innovation is a big attraction for customers.

"Germany's major carmakers all have their electric-car plans ready in the drawer," said Frank Schwope, NordLB analyst. "They want to be prepared when demand accelerates," he continued.

According to business consultancy Frost & Sullivan, sales of electric cars are expected to grow to 2.7 million globally by 2018, up from 180,000 last year. As more cars come on the market, battery costs will go down and the number of charging stations will also increase.
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