An e-tron won't cost more than a Q5 for much longer.
Audi, like virtually every other automaker, is undergoing its most significant metamorphosis in decades. It all comes down to electrification, of course. We already know that Audi will not be developing another combustion engine but in a new interview with Autocar, CEO Markus Duesmann painted an even clearer picture of the company's plans over the next few years.
By the middle of the decade - around the year 2025 - Duesmann predicts that battery costs will decline by 50 percent. This, together with the cost of getting gas engines to meet imminent Euro 7 efficiency standards, has massive implications. By the middle of the decade, Duesmann expects that the cost of combustion cars and EVs will cross over.
Recent research indicates that EVs will be cheaper to produce by 2027. This is big news for consumers still reluctant to make the move to EVs. Today, a new Audi Q5 starts at $43,300 and the similarly sized e-tron begins at $65,900. In just a few years, we could see that gap close entirely. "Meeting Euro 7 [standards] adds a lot of cost to combustion engines," said Duesmann. "A crossover point is coming - we think by the middle of the decade at the latest."
The CEO made numerous other intriguing statements about the brand's future. He admitted that the total number of Audi models offered is unlikely to rise and may drop with further electrification. However, it seems unlikely that the company will make an EV smaller than the Q4 e-tron.
"The Volkswagen Group provides other opportunities for people who want smaller and lower-cost EVs," said Duesmann when asked if something like a Q3 e-tron is a possibility. He admitted that Audi's smallest models are "not where we make money" but models like Q2 sold overseas still form part of the long-term plans.
With more luxurious models like the A6 e-tron Concept, it's clear that the allure of an Audi will not be lost simply because there isn't a combustion engine under the hood. "Battery cars are becoming more and more significant in the market, and we're finding that our BEV clients don't want to go back [to ICE], so we're expecting strong growth," said Duessman.