Jaco Van Der Merwe

By Jaco Van Der Merwe

Head of Motoring

Audi saying goodbye to internal combustion after 2034

South African market electrification will start in the first quarter of next year.

The last Audi powered by an internal combustion engine is likely to be sold in 2034.

Ingolstadt has committed itself to only introduce all-electric new models from 2026, but will continue selling internal combustion models into the next decade.

“We anticipate that all production of internal combustion engines cars will stop in 2033. With the logistic chains and typical stock levels around the country, we could see the last Audi with ICE engine being sold in 2034,” Sascha Sauer, Head of Audi South Africa, told The Citizen.

“Changing from international combustion engine cars to electric vehicle is a transition looking at our brand and is probably not that different to other manufacturers. It will happen from around 2025 to the middle of the 2030s EVs will gradually take over from ICE cars until these go out of production.

“In South Africa specifically, we really need to prepare ourselves for this transition rather than trying to fight the system, because you can never win that fight.”

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Audi decided to leapfrog hybrids technologies and move straight from internal combustion engine cars to all-electric vehicles. As part of this drive in South Africa, Ingolstadt will introduce no less than six models from its e-tron all-electric portfolio to the local market next year. Prices haven’t been confirmed yet, but don’t expect them to come cheap.

The five electric cars currently on offer in South Africa, the Mini Cooper S E (R686 400), the BMW i3 (from R754 200), the Volvo XC40 P8 (R1 200 000), the Jaguar I-Pace (R1 999 900) and Porsche Taycan (from R2 262 000) are out of most buyers’ reach.

“In the local context electric cars incur higher duties and taxes compared to its internal combustion engine siblings. This is not helping in bringing prices down in short term, unless government takes over its responsibility in trying to come up with support scheme for EVs going forward,” says Sauer.

“The technology is still costly, especially the battery cells and its manufacturing process. Once this is manufactured in higher volumes, it will eventually mean that costs and prices will be coming down.”

Audi’s local electric range is expected to arrive in the first quarter of 2022 and consist of two SUVs, the e-tron 50 and 55, two crossover SUVs, the e-tron Sportback 55 and Sportback S, and two high-performance offerings in the GT and RS GT.

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