Audi Wants to Challenge Tesla with Electric Cars, But Is It Too Late?

By Stephen Fuchs on Email @StephenWFuchs

Tesla is the first car company that probably comes to mind when thinking of an all-electric car, and they no doubt have made a solid name for themselves in the auto industry, causing auto veterans to make an effort to catch up. Audi is the latest to announce electric vehicles, but with a timeline of 2020 and somewhat disappointing specs, is it going to be too late?

The German auto maker announced their electric car roadmap when Audi CEO Rupert Stadler spoke with Autocar earlier this week.

“By 2020 we will have three EVs in the line-up”

“By 2020 we will have three EVs in the line-up,” Stadler promised. “We’ll start with the production version of the e-tron quattro concept car, which will have a range of up to 500km. By 2025, 25% of our line-up will be battery-driven models.”

Stadler gave some leeway with the date of releases, mentioning a possible vehicle hitting the road by 2018, but as Tesla has shown, ramping up production on electric cars to meet deadlines is not an easy task.

Competition is always a good thing, but it has to actually be competitive. Audi’s dreamed up specs would be good for a car released today, but even with their most ambitious goal of a range of up to 500km (310 miles) by 2020 is a little pitiful. Tesla’s range currently maxes out at 613 km (381 miles) and by 2020 that number will no doubt be higher.

Audi’s head of R&D, Stefan Knirsch, told Autocar that the company would be leveraging their asynchronous motor technology and tuning of the electric drive system to set them apart from the competition. “You’ll see significant differences in the torque vectoring, the four-wheel drive set-up and the power electronic packages,” he claimed.

Maybe by the time Audi releases their vision of the electric car they will have found a way to improve battery capacity, or at least find a way to price the vehicle way below the current Tesla offerings. The biggest obstacle in getting consumers onboard for an all-electric drive comes down to one thing: how far you can drive on a charge.

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Sources: Autocar

Photo: AUDI AG

Stephen Fuchs
Stephen founded German Pulse and LGBT Germany out of a passion to introduce Americans to a Germany that goes beyond beer and polka (although with enough beer he has been known to polka it up a bit). He's a coffee addict, lover of wine and good times, a hit in the kitchen and editor of TV commercials. You can follow him on Twitter (@StephenWFuchs) to find out a lot more.
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