Audi says no more combustion after 2033
Every plant will build EVs by 2029
As part of its electrification plans, Audi has just announced it will launch only fully electric models from 2026. And it says it will phase out combustion models gradually by 2033. So now it is getting the factories ready for the switch instead of building new ones.
“Step by step, we are bringing all our sites into the future,” says Audi Board Member for Production and Logistics Gerd Walker. “We don’t want any standalone lighthouse projects on greenfield sites. Instead, we are investing in our existing plants so they end up being just as efficient and flexible as newly built production sites or greenfield plants.” The move recognizes that building a series of new plants and mothballing the old ones in order to create cleaner vehicles is a process that itself is harmful to the planet.
Audi currently has two plants producing EVs, its tech-heavy Böllinger Höfe plant and one in Brussels. Starting next year, Audi’s Ingolstadt plant will build its first EV. The Audi Q6 e-tron will roll off the line alongside the A4 and A5 on the same line. By 2029, every one of the brand’s production sites will be building at least one all-electric model, the company says.
There will still be some new facilities, including a joint venture site in Changchun China. Audi says this will happen only where more capacity is needed, and not to replace an existing plant. Construction of that plant, Audi’s first all-EV plant in China is set to finish in 2024.
Along with the new EVs, Audi says it will make its plants more productive. “We will use the transition to e-mobility to make major leaps in productivity and optimization,” said Walker. The company plans to cut factory costs in half by 2033 by reducing vehicle complexity and using more efficient computing solutions for vehicle development. Audi plans to reduce energy use and even fresh water consumption – its Mexican plant is completely wastewater-free.
“We still have a long way to go,” says Walker. “But the direction we’re headed in and the steps to get there are clear.”