Fuel-cell Engines

Technology Turf Wars at Volkswagen

audi fuel cell-ap
Audi's chairman Rupert Stadler (left to right), German President Joachim Gauck, King Philippe-Filip and Queen Mathilde of Belgium, and Gauck's partner Daniela Schadt pose beside the new Audi Q6 E Tron prototype at the Audi automobile plant in Vorst-Forest.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    After its diesel emissions scandal, VW is cutting its research and development budget by €1 billion, while its subsidiary Audi intends to keep R&D spending more or less stable.

  • Facts


    • Audi engineers were the first in the VW Group to present a production-ready, electric sport-utility vehicle, slated to be marketed in 2018 as the Q6-etron.
    • Last September, Audi presented a working model of the Q6-etron concept at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt.
    • The vehicle can reach 100 km/h, or 62.1 mph, in in 4.6 seconds. Its lithium-ion battery is designed to travel more than 500 kilometers (310 miles) on a charge.
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Volkswagen’s management board has decided that its premium-car subsidiary Audi will take over development of fuel-cell technology for all VW subsidiaries, Handelsblatt has learned.

Sources inside VW confirmed that work would be concentrated in Neckarsulm in Baden-Württemberg, where more than 1,700 Audi engineers are already developing the technology.

The news emerged Monday as Volkswagen’s supervisory board met to discuss possible layoffs following the diesel-emissions scandal at Europe’s largest automaker.

As losses mount, infighting over necessary retrenchments and cost-cutting grows fiercer with each passing day. Now with Ingolstadt-based Audi taking over fuel-cell technology for the group, the climate won’t be any friendlier at VW.

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