Audi confirms EV plans: Petrol engines culled by 2033

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Words: Matthew Hansen   |   Photos Tom Gasnier
23 Jun 2021

After a fascinating week of rumour and innuendo, Audi has formally confirmed that it will be moving towards full electrification by 2033 in all markets except China — having revealed its ‘Systematic Transition to e-mobility’ roadmap.

"Through our innovative strength, we offer individuals sustainable and carbon-neutral mobility options," said Audi CEO Markus Duesmann.

"With this roadmap, we are creating the clarity necessary to make a decisive and powerful transition to the electric age. We're sending the signal that Audi is ready."

It had been reported earlier by Reuters and others (including ourselves) that the marque would be pulling the pin on internal combustion engines in 2026. But the brand has since said that this is not the case.

Instead, it says 2026 will mark the year where all of its new cars will be fully electric, leaving an unknown selection of internal combustion models to continue selling beyond 2026 until ultimately being replaced by 2033 in all markets except China.

China’s separation from the rest of the world by Audi is due to expected demand in the region. This despite the country’s strong early adoption of fully electric models. “[Audi] expects to see continued demand in China beyond 2033, which is why there could be a supply of vehicles there with combustion engines manufactured locally,” Audi said in a statement.

Speculation is rife as to which models will switch to full electrification first. Audi has already confirmed plans to have 20 electric models on offer by 2025. These include the upcoming e-tron GT and the recently revealed Q4 e-tron.

Reports from Europe claim that the current A3, A4, A5, and A6 are the last of each variant that will be offered with an internal combustion engine — each to be replaced by a fully electric model with their next full update. It’s also been rumoured that the last internal combustion engine model Audi will send out the door will be the next-gen Q8.

It will be curious to find out which models are likely to be made with internal combustion engines beyond 2033 in Audi’s Chinese plant. Currently, the First Automobile Works factory in Changchun produces long-wheelbase versions of the A4, A6, and Q5.

In 2020, 674,700 Chinese-made Audis were delivered, showing a seven per cent increase over the previous year. China represents the manufacturer’s largest market on the planet.

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