Reports Of Pruned EV Plans At Audi Off The Mark, Says Exec

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Earlier this week a report from the UK’s CAR suggested that Audi had nixed production plans for an electric city car based on its A2 concept.

In addition to this, the report went on to claim that plans for a production version of the smaller A1 e-tron concept were also being putting on the shelf.

The reason for the scaled-back plans was said to be a depressed European market and fears that a projected €40,000 (approximately $49,825) cost for the A2 model would make the car too expensive.

While Audi has stated in the past that its A2 was positioned as a direct rival for BMW’s i3, a similar advanced electric car on track for a sales debut next year, the director of its e-mobility and sustainability strategy in the U.S., Jeff Curry, has told The New York Times that neither the A1 nor A2 electric cars were intended for production and that they were simply developed for testing purposes.

“It’s hard to unplug something that was never part of the production program,” he said.

Speaking of the A2 specifically, Curry went on to explain, “It’s not a developmental prototype with a test program, but a one-off concept car to be shown at auto shows, gather reactions and highlight what could be done with a small, urban electric vehicle.”

As we’ve said for some time, in the early phases of electric-car rollout, progress will be slow and production volumes will take years to build. That being said, Audi is still committed to the launch of several electrified vehicles in the coming years.

Later this year the company will start selling its high-performance R8 e-tron electric supercar, and in 2014 an A3 e-tron will be offered for retail sale alongside a similar model based on the Volkswagen Golf. A prototype of the A3 e-tron is currently conducting trials in the U.S. in preparation for the arrival of the production model.

In addition to these all-electrics, Audi will also be launching plug-in hybrid versions of mainstream models like the A4 and Q7 SUV. These are expected to arrive in 2014.

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