Audi completes extensive research on high-tech feasibility
With the trend towards electric rather than fossil-fuelled cars, weight is becoming a major factor. German luxury car manufacturer Audi has been researching what customers want and discovered that extra mileage is extremely important; in fact, Audi customers would like an additional 300 miles per charge.
This extra mileage requirement calls for weight-saving manufacturing techniques; however, the next generation of lighter materials are not cheap. The company has stated that these new materials may be too expensive for mass production as things stand.
A senior member of the Audi engineering department went further, saying: "For example, if you have multi-material bodywork - if you have steel, for example, in combination with aluminium and carbon fibre - you can glue it, rivet it or you can weld it. After that, for example, there's the painting process and anti-corrosion process - all done at quite high temperatures, prompting the materials to work against themselves. We need a lot of know-how of how to do that, and it's expensive too."
The company is launching an all-electric SUV vehicle based on the Audi e-tron quattro concept, which debuted in Frankfurt recently. It is felt that the ability to make a profit will be easier in this sector of the market. The extra space in a larger car will accommodate the size of the battery needed to provide an extra 300 miles; however, this will come at a higher cost and will be aimed at premium customers.