Audi Confirms Plans for 20 New Models by 2025

First Up 03/20/23

Audi Confirms Plans for 20 New Models by 2025

Audi is set to launch 20 new models, including more than 10 battery-electric vehicles, by 2025 in what CEO Markus Duesmann calls “the biggest product initiative” in the German automaker’s history. “We’ve set the course to go 100 percent electric. By 2025, we will have launched around 20 new models, more than 10 of which will be electric,” he says, adding, “By 2027, we will seek to offer an electric vehicle in each core segment.” Included in Audi’s BEV push is the upcoming A6 e-tron, a CUV based on the PPE electric-car platform developed in a partnership with Porsche and confirmed to be unveiled by the end of 2023. It will be the first BEV to be produced at Audi’s Ingolstadt manufacturing plant in Germany, reports Wards. A compact BEV model similar in size to the existing internal-combustion-engine A3 is also under development, according to Duesmann. At this stage, it is not known if the 20 new models referred to by the Audi CEO are all new from the ground up or include facelifts of existing models. Click here for the full story.

New Toyota CEO Koji Sato Will Prioritize Hydrogen, Even as Company Steps Up EVs

Toyota's newly appointed CEO Koji Sato says hydrogen will be a top priority of his carbon neutral strategy, even as he redoubles his focus on electric vehicles. Under his watch, through the end of the decade, the focus will be expanding the hydrogen infrastructure and the array of industries using the futuristic fuel, Sato said. "We want to ensure that hydrogen stays a viable option," Sato said on the sidelines of a weekend endurance race where Toyota has planned to field a hydrogen-powered race car. "We need a production and transport supply chain," Sato said. "Unless we see evolution there, we cannot expect a volume increase in the energy's use." Automotive News reports, Sato, who takes over as CEO of Toyota Motor Corp. on April 1, said last month after being named to the top job that the world's biggest automaker "must drastically change" the way it does business and adopt an "EV-first" mindset. The company is now developing a new dedicated EV platform for 2026 that will be deliver less costly, better performing EVs. Sato signaled the new push when announcing his new leadership team. Click here for the full story.

Scratched EV Battery? Your Insurer May Have to Junk the Whole Car

For many electric vehicles, there is no way to repair or assess even slightly damaged battery packs after accidents, forcing insurance companies to write off cars with few miles — leading to higher premiums and undercutting gains from going electric. And now those battery packs are piling up in scrapyards in some countries, a previously unreported and expensive gap in what was supposed to be a "circular economy." "We're buying electric cars for sustainability reasons," said Matthew Avery, research director at automotive risk intelligence company Thatcham Research. "But an EV isn't very sustainable if you've got to throw the battery away after a minor collision." Battery packs can cost tens of thousands of dollars and represent up to 50 percent of an EV's price tag, often making it uneconomical to replace them. A Reuters search of EV salvage sales in the U.S. and Europe shows a large portion of low-mileage Teslas, but also models from Nissan, Hyundai, Stellantis, BMW, Renault, and others. EVs constitute only a fraction of vehicles on the road, making industry-wide data hard to come by, but the trend of low-mileage zero-emission cars being written off with minor damage is growing. Click here for the full story.

Mississippi Gov. Signs Bill Limiting How EV Manufacturers Can Sell

A bill from Mississippi that prohibits EV manufacturers from selling their vehicles directly to consumers instead of through franchised dealers has been made law. The measure, which had been adopted by the Legislature earlier in the month, was signed by Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves on March 14. CBT News reports, the new rule prohibits automakers from owning, running, or controlling their own dealerships, but it makes an exception for a Tesla outlet that already exists in the state.  Reeves said that the bill will defend Mississippi’s auto dealers. “Almost 200 little enterprises in towns all around our state are looking for guarantees that giant manufacturers won’t just wipe them out. On March 14, Reeves posted on Facebook following the signing of House Bill 401. “I also understand that this industry will inevitably see innovation. New businesses with novel business models also arise as a result of innovation. In a market that is constantly evolving, I am dedicated to finding long-term solutions. I’m looking forward to continuing to collaborate with all stakeholders to achieve that.” Click here for the full story.

Dealer Fred Beans Finds a Mutually Beneficial Partnership with Driving School

Trying to get driver's license certifications for her children in Pennsylvania was an "unbelievable" experience for Beth Beans Gilbert, vice president of Fred Beans Automotive Group. Automotive News reports, road tests in Pennsylvania must be taken through the state's Department of Transportation or an approved third-party business. Gilbert described signing up for the test through PennDOT as a "terrible process." Then Gilbert learned of Jason Fidishun, CEO of John's Driving School — one of the small number of businesses allowed to administer driving skills exams in the state — and sought his help for her children. She struck up a partnership with Fidishun, with the family-owned auto retailer giving a congratulatory first-aid kit and a Fred Beans dealership coupon to his students who passed the course. But then Fidishun came forward with an even bigger idea. According to Gilbert, Fidishun said, "Hey, I have permission to open up one of these driving bases in Doylestown … I can't find land." He asked if he could run his school out of the Fred Beans Nissan dealership in Doylestown, north of Philadelphia. Click here for the full story.


Around the Web

2023 Mercedes-AMG EQE Sedan: A Cure for the Creepily Quiet EV [The Wall Street Journal]

Drivers Could Be Fined Over $2,000 for ‘ICE-ing’ EV Chargers in Australia [Carscoops]

BMW Is Renaming Its Entire Model Lineup [Carbuzz]

2023 Nissan Ariya Review: Gives the Top EVs a Run for Their Money [Autoblog]