Although Toyota, Honda, Nissan and even Volvo have already showcased plug-in hybrid/electric cars (run all day and charge at night), some German manufacturers have acted a little slowly.
BMW still hasn’t decided if it will build electric cars, Mercedes has recently begun work, so has Porsche and now, Volkswagen’s luxury brand Audi has joined the fight.
Audi boss Rupert Stadler told Welt am Sonntag (German weekly) in a recent interview that the company sees “great opportunities in electric cars” and will have Audis with no exhaust emissions in showrooms within ten years.
The concept of an electric car is relatively simple, so simple in fact, that GM had already built a working and running model, which it sold in the late 90s (EV-1). The key to a successful electric car is the battery. Manufacturers are all currently working on next-generation batteries to store the huge amounts of energy needed to power their electric cars.
Mr Stadler was asked if his company was falling behind domestic rivals Mercedes and BMW in the development of lithium-ion batteries, he said Audi’s research capacities were larger than those of its German competitors.
“Electric cars offer great opportunities, which we have already seized on,” Stadler said without elaborating.
The push to be green is not vital for mainstream manufacturers as they try and beat new stricter emission regulations both in Europe and in the U.S.