Audi admit their EV program is years behind Tesla
The German automaker conceded that they aren't quite as advanced as the often-controversial Tesla
Love them or loathe them, Tesla are currently dominating the EV market in a massive way, leaving 'mainstream' manufacturers such as Mercedes, VW and even Audi racing to catch up to them and bag a slice of the EV pie for themselves.
Currently Audis only fully-electric vehicle on offer is the E-Tron, which has been fantastically well-received by critics and consumers, with Audi themselves being incredibly proud of the E-Tron, even stating in a press release that the E-Tron is the “world market leader in its segment." The figures back this up to, with 17,641 E-Trons being delivered in the first half of 2020 across the globe - impressive stuff indeed.
Despite these good numbers, Audi CEO Markus Duesmann concedes that they still have a long way to go to catch up to Tesla, largely in regards to their technology developments; Whilst the E-Tron has sold well, the range has always been its weak point, coming in at 204 miles whilst the Model X has 351 miles of range (EPA ratings.)
"Currently, Tesla has larger batteries because their cars are built around the batteries. Tesla is two years ahead in terms of computing and software architecture, and in autonomous driving as well,” Markus Deusmann, via Reuters.
Whilst it is almost unheard of for manufacturers to plainly admit they are behind the competition, with Markus being brought in specifically to catch Audi up with the competition in terms of technology, it is encouraging to see that he is taking a good, honest look at the situation.
It seems that Audi are acting on their position too, having announced back in May that they are launching a project with the specific intention of creating an EV to take on the likes of Tesla. Named 'Artemis' the project aims to have a new EV ready by 2024. The focus will be on newly-designed technology and architecture for fully-electric, highly autonomous driving, along with an "extensive ecosystem" - suggesting that Audi will also be developing their own charging and 'lifestyle' architecture to go along with the vehicle.
Whether Audi hit their target will remain to be seen, but with a 4-year development cycle being around the same as that of a traditional ICE car, it seems perfectly reasonable. In the mean time, Audi continue to develop their E-Tron with 'Sportback' and 'GT' models in the pipeline, as well as adding PHEV versions of their current models to the market, such as the A7 Sportback TFSI e Quattro released earlier this year.