Confirmation of this new timeline comes by way of Automobilwoche, a German-language sister publication of Automotive News. According to the report, Duesmann made the official announcement last week during a meeting at Audi’s Ingolstadt, Germany headquarters.
It is important to note that 2026 won’t immediately mark the extinction of Audi’s ICE-powered vehicles. Cars and SUVs with traditional powertrains developed before the 2026 deadline are slated to be sold into the early 2030s. As such, the last internal combustion-powered Audi is likely to be the upcoming Q8 SUV, which will launch alongside an electric Q8 e-tron model in 2026. Reports from Germany’s Handelsblatt suggest that the fossil-fuel-powered Q8 will leave production in 2032, at which point Audi intends to go fully electric.
Audi’s current electric vehicle stable consists of six models: the E-Tron and E-Tron Sportback crossovers, E-Tron GT and RS E-Tron GT performance sedans (the latter of which is shown above), Q4 E-Tron and Q4 E-Tron Sportback utility vehicles. That said, the automaker has confirmed that it plans to roll out 20 new EVs globally by 2025. The Audi A6 E-Tron is expected to be the next EV to join the product line, debuting alongside an internal-combustion-powered A6 model in 2023. The new A5 is expected to follow a similar rollout, whereas the updated A3 and A4 are expected to arrive as EV-only products moving forwards. The wave of new electric products from Audi comes as the Volkswagen Group tries to position itself as the world’s largest EV manufacturer as a result of settlement agreements stemming from the Dieselgate emissions cheating scandal.
With this announcement from Duesmann, Audi has done more to publicly solidify its electric vehicle plans than Mercedes or BMW. Mercedes has confirmed its intention to speed up EV development, but has yet to clarify any sort of product timeline. BMW has promised half of its sales will come from fully-electric models by 2030, but has affirmed numerous times that it has no plans to phase out internal combustion in the near future. Audi, then, is in new territory for a luxury German automaker, though the industry as a whole is marching in that direction.