Audi will launch its last new car with an internal combustion engine within five years – from 2026 every new Audi model will be all-electric.
Audi CEO Markus Duesmann made the announcement at the Climate Neutrality Foundation conference in Berlin, Germany, commenting: “Audi is ready to make its decisive and powerful move into the electric age.”
As well as only making new electric cars from 2026, the German brand will also accelerate the phasing-out of its internal-combustion engines, intending to cease producing them entirely by 2033.
In making the announcement Duesman claimed that forthcoming bans on sales of new petrol and diesel cars, such as that announced by the UK government, were not a factor in Audi’s decision. “I don’t believe in the success of bans – I believe in the success of technology and innovation,” he said.
The exact dates when Audi moves entirely away from internal combustion engines will be decided by its customer demand. The brand expects to still see demand for traditional engines in China beyond 2033, and this could be met by sourcing engines manufactured locally.
As part of the strategy Audi intends to significantly expand its range of EVs. Current models available or on the way include the e-tron, e-tron Sportback, e-tron GT, RS e-tron GT, Q4 e-tron and Q4 Sportback e-tron, meaning that Audi will launch more electric than i/c-engined cars this year.
By 2025 the brand intends to offer a model line-up including more than 25 EVs. Audi is also investing in schemes to improve the roll-out of charging options across its markets.
Duesman was keen to stress, however, that Audi will not be running down combustion engine production before its demise, but will be investing in the development of these engines, further improving existing units to achieve greater efficiency.
“Audi’s last internal combustion engine will be the best we’ve ever built,” Duesmann said.