Audi will begin to buy batteries for electric cars in ChinaNovember 22, 2019
Audi said it is negotiating the purchase of batteries from Chinese BYD for its locally produced cars, which would undermine the automaker’s dependence on the sole supplier in the country as it launches new electrified models.
“We are negotiating with BYD, but I can’t tell you the details,” Gabi-Louise Woest, recently appointed Audi President in China, said in an interview at the Guangzhou Auto Show.
In August, people familiar with the matter said Audi was in talks with BYD-backed Warren Buffett, China’s largest automaker and battery supplier, and other potential suppliers. The Volkswagen Group-owned Audi plans to begin selling nine new energy models in China over the next two years, with more than half of the new models running exclusively on battery power, West said.
VW has set itself the goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050 and is committed to electrifying its fleet. The world’s largest automaker will invest more than 4 billion euros ($ 4.4 billion) next year to increase the production of battery cars and SUVs. Audi is its largest source of revenue, and every third brand buyer comes from China. Electric car sales in China have been held back by reduced subsidies and stagnant consumption, even though competitors from Mercedes-Benz to Tesla are releasing new models. According to West, Audi is working hard to maintain relationships with both local manufacturers and suppliers.
“It’s a painful transition,” West said, referring to the cost of electrification. But “there really is no other way,” she said.
VW plans to supply 22 million fully electric vehicles worldwide by 2028, with more than half of them being built in China. Audi is currently using batteries from Modern Amperex Technology for its Q2L e-tron SUV sold in China.
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