The reasons for this move are more complicated than you might think…
Audi is making a bold move, one you might even think is rash, by halting development of new combustion engines. This comes from an interview Audi’s current CEO Markus Duesmann recently did with German news outlet Frankfurter Allgemeine where he drops this shocking development.
Learn more about more stringent EU emissions regulations here.
Spurring Audi’s big shift has been the European Union’s movement toward likely far more stringent Euro 7 emissions, an issue we’ve covered before. Rather than jump through all the hoops, Audi has decided to just jump in headfirst on electrification, despite its admittedly awkward and marginally-successful attempts thus far.
This doesn’t mean Audi will stop making internal combustion engines. It does mean the German automaker will just be adapting what it has already to the new standards. Duesmann added that the new requirements from Euro 7 could be “technically huge” while offering “little benefit for the environment.” In other words, he doesn’t seem to be a fan of the changes.
A timeline for ditching internal combustion engines wasn’t even alluded to during the interview, but people will obviously speculate about that. Even if the EU moves to ban their sale on the continent, other parts of the world will likely still allow them and Audi will no doubt provide them, even if the engines are old designs with updated internal components.
Other companies could see opportunity as European automakers shift their product strategy to make EU regulators happy. It could turn out that the new vehicle offerings on different continents might differ even more than they do now, creating an interesting situation for the future of automobiles worldwide. In fact, these stringent regulations could mean few Europeans will be able to afford cars, restricting their freedom in many ways.
It seems like these days the trendy thing to do is declare internal combustion engines are bad and electrification is the future, despite the vast majority of vehicles on the road requiring gas or diesel to run. Even if electrification turns out to be the future of transportation, it will take a long time, maybe even decades, to switch over. Elon Musk, the great promoter of EVs, agrees with this assessment. So is this really a wise move by Audi? Time will tell.
Source: Frankfurter Allgemeine