Audi's stance on alternative energy vehicles has changed quite often in the past few months.  The company is persistent that its diesel technology is the way of the future, but has not completely written off hybrids and electrics.  Though the E-tron electric vehicle will see limited production in 2012, the Q5 Hybrid is likely to see considerably higher production numbers.

The Q5 crossover SUV will be Audi's first hybrid for sale in North America when it hits the market sometime in 2011.  This hybrid will be part of a bigger plan for Audi who has committed to investing some $12.5 billion into advanced propulsion technology over the course of the next three years.  According to many reports, this program is likely to result in several more hybrid and electric vehicles in Audi's near future.

Details about the Q5 hybrid are limited at this time.  The company is reportedly going to employ nickel metal hydride batteries in the Q5 and some sources believe the gas engine utilized will be the 2.0 liter turbocharged 4 cylinder found in many Audi vehicles.  Pricing and a release date have not been announced.

Audi remains committed to diesel technology, but will offer hybrids and electric to compete with rival car companies.  The company firmly believes that diesels are more cost effective and efficient than hybrids but the demand for hybrids and electrics is apparent and the company must remain competitive in all segments.

Look for additional information about the Audi Q5 Hybrid SUV as its release date draws near.  Expect sales to begin in early 2011.

Source:    U.S. News and World Report  via