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Audi: three new full-electric cars by 2020

Coupe and a smaller mainstream Audi EVs are coming. But first, an SUV previewed by e-tron

Published: 07 Mar 2017

Audi plans three full-electric cars by 2020. First of them is a big crossover. Then there will be a big coupe, and finally a smaller more mainstream car.

The small one, last to appear, will use the VW Group's flat-floor MEB platform, Audi boss Rupert Stadler told It can have motors front and rear for quattro drive. It could sell in big numbers, as Stadler says within the next 10-15 years 20-30 percent of cars will be battery vehicles.

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The second one is an 'emotional shape', he says. A coupe then? He just smiles.

The first one is previewed by the e-Tron concept at the Frankfurt show 18 months ago. It's a long way down the development path, and goes on sale next year. Think Tesla Model X but normal doors.

It's claimed to have a 300-mile approximate range, and can recharge from empty to 250 miles range in half an hour on the 350kW chargers Porsche is developing for motorway service stations. The plan is to have 250 of these in place in Europe by the time the car is fully on sale by the end of 2018, and 400 a year after. "But research shows early customers will recharge at home overnight," Stadler says.

He adds that the e-Tron brand will be used for Audi's plug-in hybrids and EVs. Will the crossover be called Q6 e-Tron? He won't say. "The name Q6 fixes a price for it, just as Q8 fixes a price. I'd like to be free of that."

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It's a crossover because those sell, even though making an EV crossover is hard because the extra aerodynamic drag and weight of a tall vehicle will reduce range.

So will it make money? "Does Tesla make money?" Stadler shoots back. So it won't make money, I reply. "I didn't answer your question," he says. But he explains Audi will need electric cars and lots of diesels if it's to meet the European CO2 target of 95g/km CO2 by 2021.

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