The company will launch more EV models in the coming years to meet the ambitious target.
Audi India has just entered the premium electric vehicle segment in the country with the launch of the e-tron and e-tron Sportback. While the company is just taking its first steps in India’s EV space, it is already plotting a much bigger future in the sector. “We are looking at a 15 percent volume from electric cars by the year 2025,” said Balbir Singh Dhillon, Head of Audi India, in an interview with Autocar India.
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Audi has debuted the e-tron in our market in three versions – the e-tron 50, e-tron 55 and e-tron Sportback 55. “We are starting with these three cars, but you will hear from us again within this year to launch even more e-trons,” said, Dhillon, alluding to the imminent launch of the Audi e-tron GT, the company’s all-electric sedan which shares its underpinnings with the Porsche Taycan.
The Audi India chief mentioned that the carmaker will be bringing in more EVs in the years to come, reaffirming his 2025 commitment. As such, the German marque already has the Q4 e-tron in its global portfolio, and is also working on the A6 e-tron and Q6 e-tron.
In addition to EVs starting to gain attention in India, another reason for Audi India’s push towards electrification is the Ingolstadt-based carmaker’s global strategy. “We are very confident and optimistic about our strategy in the electric space, and this is also aligned with our global strategy,” mentioned Dhillon.
Audi will launch its final combustion-engined car in 2026 in international markets, in an effort to shift focus and more investment towards EVs. The company is, however, expected to continue selling combustion-engined cars into the 2030s. “So we are also aligning ourselves with the headquarters so that we bring in the latest that we have globally to India,” Dhillon said.
Customer acceptance of EVs to improve
Today, Indian customers are wary of buying EVs, considering a limited driving range and feeble charging infrastructure across the nation. However, the Audi India boss has a positive outlook going towards 2025. He said, “Customer acceptability will definitely grow.”
He added, “There is a lot of focus from the government on the overall availability of charging infrastructure. There are many private players coming forward, and manufacturers like us are also contributing their part. So I am sure this will improve. Also, in the coming years, we will see the mileage or range increase, as we develop better technologies.”
Dhillon expects the EV ecosystem “to develop at a much faster pace than we can imagine.” Doubling down on the company’s goals, he said, “So 15 percent is the minimum that we're looking at. If during this time, we see better (customer) acceptability, then we will increase our targets even beyond 15 percent. So, I'm actually looking at the upper side of 15 percent.”
Audi India sales
Audi sold 7,876 vehicles in India in 2017, followed by 6,463 units in 2018 and 4,594 cars the year after. The company saw sales dip further in 2020 owing to the pandemic and a limited product line-up after the move to BS6.
If the company manages to gain back lost ground in the coming years, then its ambitious 15 percent target will translate into at least 500-1,000 EV sales per annum by 2025. And it is already trying to take a step in that direction by setting a bold target of selling 200 units of the e-tron a year.