Audi reiterated its focus on electrification Wednesday and said it is planning three new battery-powered electric vehicles by 2020. The announcement, made at Audi's annual corporate press conference in Ingolstadt, Germany, also confirmed more electric models will follow after 2020.
Audi, which is clearly making electrification one of its core strategies, has trained more than 6,000 workers in high-voltage technology and is working on quick-charging public infrastructure.
While Audi did not specify the new models, it is expected to expand use the E-tron name as a sub-brand throughout its portfolio, with a new sport utility vehicle the first to arrive. Audi showed a Q8 plug-in hybrid concept in January at the Detroit Auto Show (above) and an E-Tron Quattro concept styled like a future Q6 at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. Conversely, Audi said last year it would kill off the R8 E-tron supercar in a move that allows it to focus on SUVs, which offer broader sales potential.
The electrification strategy is part of Audi's role as the technology lead within the Volkswagen Group, which also highlights autonomous driving. Audi has a subsidiary that's developing solutions for cities, including a robot taxi service that could be used across the VW portfolio.
Meanwhile, Audi said it took a $1.9 billion charge as a result of the VW Group diesel-emission and Takata airbag scandals and turned an operating profit of $3.3 billion as part of its Wednesday announcement.
The company also reiterated its product cadence, and the next-generation A7 is due in 2018 along with the Q8. A new Q4 model will join the portfolio in 2019.