Audi starts mass production of its first all-electric SUV
Sep 3, 2018 Kirsten Korosec
[image / Audi AG
The Audi e-tron prototype in Copenhagen
Audi began production of its first all-electric SUV on Monday, three years
after the German automaker unveiled a concept version of the vehicle at the
International Motor Show in Frankfurt.
The company won’t reveal the production-version of the Audi e-tron SUV until
Sept. 17, in a what promises to be a splashy event in San Francisco.
Audi, which is owned by Volkswagen Group, has been working towards mass
production of the e-tron quattro for years now, offering periodic updates
and teasers on the pricing, range, and interior design. The Audi e-tron is
being produced at Audi’s factory in Brussels, which has been undergoing an
extensive renovation since 2016 to prepare for the new vehicle. The Brussels
factor has become the cornerstone of Volkswagen Group’s electric vehicle
Audi rebuilt the body shop, paint shop and assembly line at the Brussels
factory, the company said. It also set up its own battery production there.
The five-seater SUV will have DC fast-charging capability of up 150
kilowatts. The company has previously said the SUV would have a 95 kwh
battery with a range of more than 500 kilometers (about 310 miles). That
range has since been adjusted to somewhere around 250 miles, although the
global reveal later this month should provide finalized numbers. Sales of
the e-tron SUV are expected to begin by the end of the year.
The Audi e-tron is the first in what the company says will be a new line of
all-electric vehicles. By 2020, Audi plans to also produce a four-door Gran
Turismo (the production version of the Audi e-tron Sportback concept) and a
compact vehicle. The company has outlined plans to launch more than 20
electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids by 2025.
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