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Audi’s Green Portfolio in Line with Sustainability Goals

By Alejandro Enríquez | Thu, 09/17/2020 - 09:35

Audi remains consistent with its plans to advance green vehicles, whether these be hybrid, natural-gas or electric. Over the last weeks, the German automaker has introduced different models and new versions of existing ones that complement its offering. Audi’s green portfolio will level up during the upcoming Greentech Festival, where the company will present its carbon neutrality plan for 2050.

Audi is a co-founder of Greentech Festival, a two-day event with panels and discussions about initiatives on sustainability, climate protection and related technologies. In this year’s edition, to be celebrated in September 17-18, Hyundai will also take part in a mobility panel. During this event, Audi is presenting the Q4 e-tron product line. A new concept that will be the second electric model in the SUV segment which is expected to go into production next year.

"There are worldwide discussions about climate change, CO2 emissions and sustainability. This is a strategic pillar for us, as we understand that future mobility means not everybody will buy their own car and some may use a shared or an electric vehicle," told Andreas Lehe, former President of Audi México, to Mexico Business News in 2019 when addressing the role sustainability plays for the automotive group.

You can read our interview with Andreas Lehe here

A new version of the e-tron, Audi's electric SUV, was presented a week ago. The Audi e-tron S and the Audi e-tron S Sportback are new versions of a vehicle with fully electric drive that use three electric motors and electric torque vectoring with variable torque distribution on the rear axle. These features will improve efficiency while enhancing the driver's experience. Although the model will be first launched in the European market in the fall, the model sets a precedent of what can reach other markets.

Moving on from electric vehicles, there is also the gas natural version of a best seller. The A3 Sportback 30 g-tron operates with natural gas or biomethane that makes the compact model more economical and eco-friendlier. The first version of an A3 Sportback was introduced in 2014. Its successor, according to Audi, will improve fuel efficiency. The four-cylinder model has both systems: gasoline and compressed natural gas (CNG) but mostly operates with the latter. "The vehicle runs on CNG, only injecting slight amounts of gasoline under rare operating conditions," Audi mentions on a statement.

Vehicles fueled by CNG present a unique advantage in terms of lower costs and lower emissions, approximately 20 percent less CO2 than a similar gasoline model. Availability of CNG stations remains an issue for these models, however. In Germany there are 850 CNG gas stations and more than a half of them also sell biomethane, which A3 g-tron can operate with. Acerall Energy Solutions, one of the most relevant players in configuration of CNG systems for vehicles in the country, told Mexico Business News that this technology can become a new normal for the industry, particularly for fleet companies, considering infrastructure obstacles are overcome. "Once the final customer ditches the myths around it, natural gas will become the industry’s new normal. Natural gas will grow exponentially. Any fleet or transportation company looking to reduce costs should turn to natural gas," said César Stackpole, CEO of Acerall Energy solutions.

You can read our interview with César Stackpole here

As vehicles phase out gasoline fuel systems, the supply chain will be accountable for a major portion of CO2 emissions in the future. "The production of high-voltage batteries, in particular, is very energy intensive. Audi, therefore, launched the CO2 program in 2018 and conducts regular workshops with suppliers to identify and exploit savings potential," mentioned the company on a statement.

During the Greentech festival, Audi will present further details on its approach toward a greener supply chain, as well as its expected vision of a net CO2 neutrality by 2050. Consistency remains key.

Photo by:   Audi AG
Alejandro Enríquez Alejandro Enríquez Journalist and Industry Analyst