Electric and digital: Audi sketches its technological future

Electric and digital: Audi sketches its technological future

Business news |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

The figures include capital expenditure on property, plant and equipment as well as spendings on research and development in the areas of electric vehicles, digital technology and automation of driving. Just recently, Audi’s parent company Volkswagen announced an investment program worth 44 billion euros – for largely the same topics as Audi today. However, the figures for Volkswagen and Audi cannot be added together – the money for Audi’s investment program is already included in the VW announcement. Nor will the establishment of an own battery production facility – which market observers consider essential to the success of the strategy – take place at Audi itself. Instead, the vehicle manufacturer will rely on the parent company, a company spokesman explained. Only recently, Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess announced that the company is considering a participation in a battery cell production facility.

Starting with the e-tron, Audi’s first all-electric SUV, the company plans to launch numerous electric cars in the coming years. In 2025, the car manufacturer plans to offer around 20 electrified models, about half of which will be purely electric. Research into CO2-neutral fuels also remains a component of Audi’s roadmap, the spokesman explained. However, he declined to elaborate what significance these technologies would have in the future.

At the same time as electrifying the drive system, Audi wants to push ahead with the digitization of its vehicles and plants. At the same time, the company plans to expand its business model with new digital services – such as “functions on demand”. This, in turn, would require the software installed to be able to be updated via the air interface (OTA updates) – a technology that Audi is researching, but about which the company is keeping quiet.

According to the plan presented, the share of funds for future topics in total expenditure should increase significantly over the course of the planning period. One reason for this is the decision to scale electromobility in the second half of the planning horizon on the basis of cross-brand architectures with high Group synergies. To this end, Audi is working with Porsche to develop the premium electrification architecture (PPE) for large electric cars; the modular electric drive system (MEB) is being developed together with Volkswagen.

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