Audi puts a PHEV in the pipeline

German automakers are looking at tough fleet-average CO2 regulations in 2015, and tougher ones in 2020, so each is searching for the perfect mix of electrons and hydrocarbons in their product lineup.

 

Heiko Seegatz, product manager for Audi’s e-tron series of concept cars, gave a speech in Japan last week in which he discussed the company’s plans for different types of low-emission vehicles. German automakers are looking at tough fleet-average CO2 regulations in 2015, and tougher ones in 2020, so each is searching for the perfect mix of electrons and hydrocarbons in their product lineup.

Audi has all kinds of e-tron models out back, including a pure EV with a motor for each wheel, a PHEV with a V6 diesel and a PHEV with a tiny rotary gas engine. Which will be the first to make it to production?

Mr Seegatz’s money is on the PHEV. “Studies show that customers want a range of 300km to 400km, and most of the EVs have a range of around 150km … so it does not fit to the customer’s needs. I think the plug-in hybrid will be the next.”

He also said nein danke to Better Place’s battery-swapping, which has been embraced by Renault, across the Rhine. “[It’s] not a solution for the German car-makers. It would mean an A1 would have to have the same battery as an R8, or even like a BMW … but everybody has a different battery. It’s like with the mobile phone … everybody has different batteries and different ideas as to what they want to do with their batteries. At this stage everybody is at the beginning, and trying to find their own solution … therefore it is not possible for a solution like Better Place because there might be hundreds of different types of batteries.”

 

Image: Audi