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Execs at Audi will make a decision within the next 1–2 years about the potential future manufacturing of plug-in electric vehicle batteries in Germany, Audi CEO Rupert Stadler has revealed.


Audi CEO: Decision On Possible EV Battery Production In Germany In 1–2 Years

Execs at Audi will make a decision within the next 1–2 years about the potential future manufacturing of plug-in electric vehicle batteries in Germany, Audi CEO Rupert Stadler has revealed.

Execs at Audi will make a decision within the next 1–2 years about the potential future manufacturing of plug-in electric vehicle batteries in Germany, Audi CEO Rupert Stadler has revealed.

Prof. Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, beside the concept car Audi e-tron quattro concept at the International Auto Show 2015 in Frankfurt/Main.

We were actually shocked one year ago when CleanTechnica heard from an Audi exec that the Volkswagen Group board was still debating whether to build a battery factory in Europe (probably Germany if so) or continue to buy batteries from an outside company as its EV business picked up. Why were we shocked? Because if this was still a matter of debate, the company was even further behind than we thought. If it is still a matter of debate, yikes. Volkswagen Group plans to have 25% of its sales coming from electric vehicles by 2025, and plans to launch numerous plug-in models within the next few years, yet it doesn’t know what its battery strategy will be? Of course, Audi is an arm of Volkswagen Group, so it seems this uncertainty, lack of a real plan, and extended delay is plaguing the various sub-brands of the slow-moving corporate giant.

While the new statement possibly represents nothing more than continued stalling on the part of the German auto manufacturers with regard to electric vehicles (EVs), if Stadler is to be believed, then Audi execs actually are still considering the production of EV batteries in Germany.

Labor leaders at Audi are of course pushing for just such an outcome, but labor costs are fairly high in Germany, so there’s a chance that the company wouldn’t be able to produce at a low enough cost to compete with firms located elsewhere in the world — which would reduce margins on any EVs it was to sell using such batteries.

With that in mind, it may very well be the case that Audi execs are shoveling smoke with regard to idea.

Stalker was quoted as saying: “We have not yet taken a decision on this matter. … It’s also a question of space. Here (in Germany) it is definitely a bit more complex. We will have to decide this in the next one to two years.”

Reuters provides more: “Audi’s labor leaders have urged management to invest in battery-cell technology and to assemble powerpacks at the 2 core factories in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm, where R&D operations and two-thirds of the 91,000 workforce are based.

“Audi has set up battery-making facilities in Brussels where the carmaker will start making the all-electric e-tron sport-utility vehicle this year. Audi has picked the small plant, with a staff of 2,700 people, as a lead factory for electric mobility within the parent Volkswagen group.”

On a related note, some of the new Euro 6 diesel cars sold by Audi in Europe are continuing to be recalled in large numbers due to the presence of illegal defeat devices meant to game the emissions testing process. The company doesn’t seem to have changed its way of doing business much in recent times, despite the Volkswagen diesel emissions testing cheating scandal.

Related: How Far Behind Tesla Is Big Auto? How Long Till It Catches Up?

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Written By

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.


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