Audi Analyzes the Trends in Mobility to Hone Its 2030 EV Strategy08/27/2021
Along with parent company Volkswagen, Audi has continued to share details about its electrification plans for this decade, dubbed Vorsprung 2030. The name itself is a nod to Audi’s longtime Vorsprung durch Technik slogan, which translates to “progress through technology,” and Ingolstadt’s plans for the next few years certainly aim to achieve a substantial amount of progress in record time, having announced a fairly concrete timeframe for dropping internal combustion car development.
With several EVs on the market and more on the way before the year is over, Audi is not an automaker that is just starting out in the field of EVs, but the days of its internal combustion offerings certainly appear numbered. Earlier this year Audi CEO Markus Duesmann indicated that the automaker would only launch new EV models starting in 2026, placing the end of internal combustion development close enough to be seen with binoculars.
Vorsprung 2030 details Ingolstadt’s plans further with Audi chief strategist Silja Pieh and her team, along with 500 Audi employees from around the world, having examined automotive trends aimed toward the end of the decade. The months-long effort looked at 600 global trends in mobility in order to identify those that are expected to be relevant to Audi in the coming years.
Among those trends is focus on software and connected services, with Volkswagen’s in-house CARIAD software unit aiming to develop a scalable software platform with a standardized operating system for all brands in the Volkswagen Group by 2025. Autonomous driving capability will be another trend that Audi intends to focus on, echoing Volkswagen’s own New Auto strategy outlined in July of this year. Ingolstadt also intends to create a seamless ecosystem for electric and autonomous driving, in addition to offering more flexibility in vehicle upgrades, allowing customers to upgrade and install various subsystems.
“As of result of the changes, Audi will be in closer and more frequent contact with their customers in the future, with new digital and physical offerings,” said John Newman, head of digitalization at Audi.
Another part of Vorsprung 2030 is the Audi DNA project, which is an effort to place a focus on Audi innovations that customers themselves can experience and associate with the brand. The automaker is effectively looking at creating a one-of-a-kind Audi feel for its customers, including elements like acoustics, hand torque, and steering-angle requirements to isolate that one-of-a-kind experience.
“We need to give our products a clear, unmistakable DNA. In the future, we will be very explicit in our definition of what driving an Audi should feel like. This also applies to highly automated driving, by the way,” said Oliver Hoffmann, member of the Board of Management for technical development at Audi.
Sustainability is another trend that Audi intends to focus on in the coming years, wanting to prove that it’s possible to reconcile a commitment to sustainability with what the company calls premium individual mobility.
“One thing our entire team finds extremely encouraging is that many employees and the Board of Management are already deeply committed to the issue of sustainability. We want to further emphasize responsible business practices in the future and rigorously adhere to them,” Audi chief strategist Silja Pieh noted.
Of course, internal combustion engines will remain on the menu for some time, with Audi indicating earlier this year that in some markets demand is expected to persist. Audi noted that it expects to see demand in China beyond 2033, though China is hardly the sole market where internal combustion-engined cars will live on past the end of the decade. Like a number of other automakers, Audi is still leaving itself some room to maneuver on just when it could switch to an all-EV lineup, and drop internal combustion models entirely.
“The world and especially the transportation sector are rapidly evolving. We will respond to changes even more quickly and with greater flexibility in the future,” Pieh added.
A lot of that flexibility will no doubt be dictated by customer preferences, which are in turn influenced by many other factors such as the charging infrastructure in their respective countries, as well as vehicle prices. At the moment there are plenty of countries that border Germany where EV adoption rates do not appear to be evolving fast enough to respond to the automaker’s targets for the near future, and doubts persist about Germany’s own ability to increase its share of EV sales to reflect a number of automaker’s long-term plans. So while Audi is not setting a hard deadline by which it will stop internal combustion car production, even though it signaled earlier this year that this could happen by 2033, it’s clear that we’re still in the early stages of electrification.
“‘Vorsprung durch Technik‘ remains necessary because we can only solve many of the world’s major problems, such as carbon emissions and global warming, through the use of clean technologies. We view ourselves as a company that guarantees the freedom and individual mobility of our customers,” Duesmann said.
Will there still be demand for Audi’s internal combustion cars after 2030 in the US and Europe? Let us know in the comments below.
Source: Read Full Article