“By 2033, we will be fully electric”

With more electric vehicles (EVs) registered in 2021 than in the past five years combined, many automakers, including traditional automakers, plan to transition to all-electric lineups over the next decade. Audi has also joined the movement – and according to Audi’s US chairman, Daniel Weissland, the German automaker aims to roll its latest internal combustion car off the assembly line by 2033.

“We are not planning to launch [internal combustion engine] vehicles after 2026 plus. And that means that by 2033 we will be fully electric,” Weissland told Yahoo Finance Live.

Audi, which is part of the Volkswagen Group (VWAGY), posted a 5% year-over-year increase in US deliveries in 2021, topping 196,000 vehicles while increasing its electric vehicle sales by more than 50%. Weissland joined Yahoo Finance Live to discuss 2021 car sales, Audi’s electric vehicle portfolio, its gasoline vehicle phase-out schedule, and the outlook for electric vehicles and autonomous driving.

In 2022, Weissland said Audi expects to have the “largest all-electric portfolio” of any U.S. automaker with launches of the Q4 and the Q4 Sportback e-tron. According to him, the company will continue to increase its sales of electric vehicles as a proportion of its total vehicle deliveries, which will eventually lead to its sales of electric vehicles exceeding those of internal combustion vehicles after 2025.

“So we really want to lead the way towards transformation, towards electric vehicles. And that’s what I look forward to,” he said. “Customers want it, we see the demand in the market, and that’s what Audi will stand for in the future.”

An Audi Quattro e-tron electric vehicle is shown Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, following a press conference in Olympia, Wash., where Governor Jay Inslee announced several climate-related proposals for the 2022 legislative session, including including a plan to offer rebates on the purchase of new and used electric vehicles for qualified buyers. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

The future of EVs

Batteries continue to be one of the costliest components in electric vehicles, and as demand for batteries increases, prices are expected to fall below $100 per kWh by 2030. However, as electric vehicles typically have fewer individual parts than internal combustion vehicles, it can only be a matter of time before EV manufacturing costs become lower than gas-powered cars.

Weissland believes that in the short term, the value proposition of EVs in terms of their cost of ownership makes them an attractive product.

“I think if you look at the comparison between electric vehicles and combustion engine vehicles, we have to look at the cost of ownership,” he said. “And yes, the cost of ownership is expected to decrease and become even less [than] a combustion engine vehicle.

As for barriers that may hinder more widespread adoption and confidence in going electric, Weissland cited the lack of consumer awareness of the benefits electric vehicles can offer. He said it is the responsibility of automakers like Audi to educate drivers about what going electric is.

“I like the fact that I don’t have to see a gas station anymore,” he added. “I recharge at home, like I do with my mobile phone. I plug it in at night, unplug it in the morning, and off you go – and speeding up, and I know I’m doing something good for the environment – saving our planet, the future of our children and grandchildren. -children.

Thomas Hum is a staff writer at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @thomashumTV

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Kevin E. Boling