All-Electric Audi in Developmental Stages Dec20

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All-Electric Audi in Developmental Stages

Audi Mission Viejo

Image via Flickr by Frankenspotter Photography

An all-electric car that you will want to own will become a reality in the not so distant future. Audi, and its team of German engineers, recently revealed two all-electric automobiles as Audi models being developed by its 400-person team.

The Big Reveal

Design director, Marc Lichte, revealed his excitement over the electric car to TopGear.com. In an interview about Audi’s future automobile plans, he is quoted as saying, “I’ll tell you a secret. The one I’m really excited about is the battery electric car. It will be something totally different. I don’t like the word ‘radical’, but it will be… different. Everyone in my department is crazy to work on this car.”

The new Audi he is referring to is expected to have an EV range of 300 miles before the need to recharge. This makes it serious competition for Tesla, the leader in the electric car market. Audi confirmed plans for both all-electric vehicles to be released by 2017.

All-Electric R8 Expected January 2015

The Audi R8 eTron super-sportscar, planned reveal in Detroit in January 2015. It hopes to have an EV range of 200 miles.

Tesla may be leading the way in the EV market, but Audi is determined to become a serious contender. The all-electric Audi R8 with an EV range of approximately 200 miles is close to the Tesla Roadster now out of production. The Roadster sold only 2,500 vehicles from 2008 until production ended in 2012. The Roadster stopped production partly because it did not sell well.

Audi may have the same problem when it unveils its all-electric Audi R8. The two-seater super sports car is expected to have an average price tag around $140,000. This may be too costly for an all-electric version of a vehicle now available in a gas model for around $115,000.

All-Electric Family Vehicle Expected in 2017

Audi is not completely banking on the all-electric R8 to set sales records, but it may be banking on the five-seat all-electric family vehicle’s anticipated release in 2017. Audi spokespersons are super excited about this vehicle.

Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, chief of Audi’s research and development, says the all-electric family car is targeting the 300 mile range because that is where the competition (Tesla) is today. He did not release any details about the body style of the new family vehicle so it is unclear whether there will be options for a sedan or hatchback. Those watching look forward to learning more in the next year as the vehicle comes closer to production.

Audi is not completely new to the all-electric auto market. It has conducted research in the market through its Audi A3 Pilot program for a couple of years. They have taken much of the information learned in that program and applied it to the new all-electric vehicles to be introduced soon.

This is the first time any automobile manufacturer has seriously challenged Tesla in the electric car market. Could this be the beginning of serious competition in an emerging market? Stay tuned!