Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW are all currently jostling with each other in an attempt to show consumers that they’re the most committed to electrification and reducing emissions.
It’s up for debate exactly which of the three marques is leading the charge (pun not intended), but you’d have to think that Audi would be at the pointy end.
The four rings released its excellent e-tron GT this year, pairing with its e-tron and e-tron Sportback SUVs, and the Q4 e-tron on the way.
The firm also announced earlier this year that it plans to have 20 fully electric cars in its line-up by 2025, launching only electric cars from 2026 onwards, on its way to a phasing out of internal combustion engines in most markets by 2033.
Audi CEO Markus Duesmann has unsurprisingly been outspoken about electrification of late, with his most recent comments driving home a desire to lower emissions.
Speaking at a climate conference panel organised by German outlet Der Speigel, Duesmann stressed the importance of not only building up electric vehicles, but also ceasing the production and use of fossil fuels.
“Climate change is caused by the fossil fuels we’re extracting from the ground. That has to stop. We need a fossil-free society,” he said.
Duesmann’s comments will likely draw ire from some car enthusiasts, but it’s worth noting that Audi’s sister firm, Porsche, is currently working on a synthetic fuel alternative for traditional petrol, with production commencing earlier this year.
Duesmann added that plug-in hybrids “bridge the gap” between petrol cars and EVs, “smoothing the transition to all-electric driving”, adding that hybrids “still [have] a place for the next few years”
“Wherever there are cars, there has to be the charging infrastructure. We really can’t overdo it,” he added.
The comments follow an October interview, where Duesmann showed optimism in the amount of profit manufacturers were making from electric vehicles relative to petrol ones.
“The point where we earn as much money with electric cars as with combustion engine cars is now, or […] next year, 2023. They are very even now, the prices,” he said.