Recent reports from various online media suggest that Audi has cancelled the development of the A2 Electric and the A1 e-tron Plug-In Hybrid models. Originally scheduled for market introduction in 2015, the Audi A2 was expected to cost around 40.000€, designed as a competitor to BMW’s i3 electric car. The A1 e-tron was even further in development, with a prototype fleet already out in the streets of Europe.
The most important reason behind Audi’s desicion is the limited commercial viability of the e-tron project. Despite we have currently no information about the fate of the R8 e-tron, the slow sales of the already on-sale electric and hybrid electric cars in Europe, like the Nissan Leaf and the Mitshubishi i-MiEV, suggest that the profit margins would be tiny, if any at all. Also, BMW has taken a very aggressive approach to the hybrid/electric car issue, since the joint venture with the SGL Group and the announcement of a CFRP monocoque chassis for both the i3 and i8.
What remains to be seen is whether there the project of a hybrid-electric supercar is still viable. All three big german car manufacturers have previewed an electric supercar prototype, more specifically Audi’s R8 e-tron, BMW’s i8 and MB’s SLS E-Cell, but we are still at a very early stage of product development.
Source: Car Magazine via MotorTrend
Posted in: Audi