Audi is fully committing to the Paris Climate Agreement, becoming the first automaker to adopt the ambitious goals. As part of that agreement, the company aims to cut carbon dioxide emissions across its products by 30 percent by 2025. But, there’s a big catch.
The Volkswagen Group, the parent company of Audi, will be using 2015 model year vehicles as its high-water mark for emissions. Nearly every vehicle in the Audi lineup has been completely redesigned since then including the fresh Q3, which is just making its way onto dealership lots.
Audi has also introduced the 2019 Audi E-Tron electric vehicle and plug-in hybrid variants of some of its most popular models in that time.
And there’s still five years remaining.
In the next five years, Audi was already slated to make a big EV push, as is the Volkswagen Group as a whole.
At the L.A. Auto Show last year, Audi unveiled the Audi E-Tron GT concept and followed that up with the Audi Q4 E-Tron compact SUV concept at the Geneva Motor Show. Later this year, the company will deubt the Audi E-Tron Sportback.
The company is predicting that by 2025, it will offer 30 electrified Audis, including 20 all-electric vehicles.
Neither Audi nor the Volkswagen Group has revealed any plans in regard to cleaning up lithium-ion battery production for electric vehicles as part of this announcement. Last year Bloomberg reported that battery production may actually result in up to 74 percent more carbon dioxide emissions than an efficient internal combustion engine-powered car, when those plants rely on fossil fuels for production.
There is also the matter of battery materials harvesting, which often happens in Africa where allegations of child labor and abuse are rampant.
Questions also linger regarding the disposal of batteries following their natural lifecycle in a vehicle.
In addition to vehicle changes, Audi intends to operate carbon neutral plants by 2025 including its Brussels plant, which has been carbon neutral since 2018. Next up for conversion is the Audi plant in Győr, Hungary.