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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

VW & Audi in dispute over Electric Vehicle strategy

The sparks are flying in Germany as Volkswagen and Audi are fighting over the brand's EV strategy.

Details are sketchy, but the Financial Times Deutschland is reporting Audi wants to develop electric vehicles independently of Volkswagen. This hasn't made the parent company happy as sources have indicated VW has "frowned upon" Audi's "anarchist project."

The real problem seems to be Audi's refusal to drop the Wankel engine from the A1 e-Tron. If Audi keeps the engine, it would be a costly move as Volkswagen doesn't build a rotary engine and they'd be forced to develop it with another partner - possibly Mazda.

As we have previously reported, the A1 e-Tron features a 12 kWh lithium-ion battery which powers an electric motor that produces a continuous 45 kW (61 PS / 60 hp) and 150 Nm (111 lb-ft) of torque. It can travel up to 50 km (31 miles) on electricity alone, before a Wankel engine activates to recharge the batteries.

Source: Financial Times Deutschland

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