Audi has decreed that by the year 2025 at least a quarter of its new car sales in the US will be electric vehicles.
The announcement was made by Audi of America president Scott Keogh at the launch of the A3 Sportback e-tron plug-in hybrid at this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show. The car will go on sale before the end of 2015.
As part of the electrification roadmap, Audi also pledged to develop a nationwide 150 kW fast-charging network in order to allow its coming fully electric vehicle, based on the Audi e-tron quattro concept introduced at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, to recharge its batteries to 80% in 30 minutes and provide another 320 km of driving.
The e-tron quattro concept featured a 95 kWh electric battery integrated into the floor of the vehicle to balance out load and lower the vehicle’s centre of gravity. The battery would provide power to three electric motors – one to drive the front wheels and two in rear to vector torque back and forth as needed to provide the automatic all-wheel drive worthy of the quattro badge – giving the vehicle a potential range of 500 km (under ideal conditions) on a full charge (which reportedly takes less than an hour with the 150 kW charger). The sport utility vehicle also has a solar panel roof to help charge trickle charge the battery as it drives along on sunny days.
The e-tron SUV will reportedly be in production by 2018, with rumours having it being named Q6 e-tron. Other vehicles will be introduced along the way to 2025. Audi already markets a hybrid electric/diesel Q7 SUV and R8 sports coupe in other parts of the globe.
“With the cars on this stage – the Audi A3 e-tron hybrid plug-in and the Audi e-tron quattro electric SUV – we are, in full force, joining the electric revolution,” said Keogh at the introduction of the vehicles to the North American market. “Now is the time to make electric driving more available to the mainstream.”
Unlike other launches of electric vehicles, the A3 Sportback e-tron will be available across the US at launch. Other manufacturers have launched their electrified vehicles in stages, usually starting with warm-weather states (and primarily in California, which is known for its alternative-energy mindset).