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All Audis to be offered with plug-in technology

Audi has underlined the importance of electric cars in its future model line-up

Audi Q6 - front

Audi has confirmed its future commitment to electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) during a round table interview with member of the board, Dr Ulrich Hackenberg.

The brand is currently investing in its new Tesla Model X-rivalling Q6 SUV – previewed by Frankfurt’s e-tron Quattro concept – with European production scheduled for 2018.

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Designed primarily for the US and Chinese markets, the e-tron SUV will also allow utilisation of Germany’s forthcoming fast charge infrastructure, which Hackenberg says should offer drivers a usable 250-mile range in just 30 minutes.

All the news from the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show

It’ll also debut a scalable battery solution – much like the system used by Tesla – to give buyers a choice of batteries ranging from 60kWh to 95kWh. The latter is likely to be the fastest and most expensive, but also the most efficient, offering a total electric-only range of up to 310 miles, and 0-62mph in less than four seconds.

Hackenberg said: “We’ll use this car to introduce technology to our customers. We’ll cover all our cars with plug-in technology. More or less every [Audi] drivetrain can be electrified.”

Audi Q7 e-tron

We asked Hackenberg why Audi was kicking off its pure-EV surge with such a large vehicle, and he replied: “You need a large car to realise the space of 500km (310 miles).

“Our customers want unlimited mobility”, he said, saying that to get a drag coefficient as low as 0.25cd on such a large car, the brand needs to utilise technology like the active aerodynamics and virtual mirrors.

“We can’t realise these features on a standard car. We’re working on the homologation.”

If all goes according to plan, we should see plug-in e-tron versions of the Q5, Q7 and A8 next year, with the fully-electric SUV (dubbed Q6) in showrooms by 2018.

Are you looking forward to buying an Audi electric car? Let us know why below...

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Deputy editor

Richard has been part of the team for over a decade. During this time he has covered a huge amount of news and reviews for Auto Express, as well as being the face of Carbuyer and DrivingElectric on Youtube. In his current role as deputy editor, he is now responsible for keeping our content flowing and managing our team of talented writers.

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