The first Audi Q8 e-tron has driven off the production line at the Brussels plant. It marks the beginning of an era for the new top model in Audi’s electric SUV range. The plant has been a role model for sustainable production since the production of the Audi e-tron began. Around 160,000 units of Audi’s first electric vehicle (EV) have been delivered since 2018.
Gerd Walker, Audi board member for Production and Logistics, said: “With its increased efficiency and range, as well as its sharpened design, the new Audi Q8 e-tron is a strong statement for electromobility.
“Brussels has done valuable pioneering work. We are learning from our experience of having delivered around 160,000 vehicles worldwide. As the next step, we will leverage this experience to ramp up battery production in Ingolstadt. ”
Unlike many competitors, Audi has focused on transforming production from the inside out to herald the future of production at Audi, the 360factory. Meanwhile, Brussels is a model for some areas of this innovative plant concept. To Audi, investing in existing plants is sustainability in action; economically, ecologically and socially.
Role Model for Sustainable Production
The Audi Q8 e-tron will reach customers in Europe and the United States as a certified net carbon-neutral car. From 2025, production at all Audi plants will be carbon neutral as part of the company-wide environmental program Mission:Zero.
Named “Factory of the Future” in 2020 by the employers’ association Agoria, Brussels achieved this distinction as early as 2018. Since production of the Audi e-tron began, the Belgium site has been recognised as the world’s first certified carbon-neutral high-volume production plant in the premium segment.
The site switched to green power back in 2012. Among other things, Audi Brussels installed one of the region’s largest photovoltaic systems on the plant premises, covering 107,000 square meters.
The system generates around 9,000-megawatt hours of power from sustainable energy every year. That’s enough to charge some 90,000 Audi Q8 e-tron units and reduce carbon emissions by 1,881 tons. The companies that supply the battery cells are obliged to use only renewable energy sources for production.
The electric traction motors for production are transported from Hungary to Brussels by green freight. Since May 2022, Audi has been using rail transport on the approximately 1,300km route, a decision that reduces carbon emissions by around 2,600 tons annually.
The Audi Group has owned the Belgium site since 2007. In 2018, the brand saw the birth of the Audi e-tron. In 2021, Audi Brussels produced 43,866 all-electric cars. Starting in the second half of 2023, more than 3,000 employees will also make the Audi Q4 e-tron here.
New Audi Q8 e-tron with Increased Efficiency
The new Q8 e-tron’s optimised drive concept, improved aerodynamics, and higher charging performance and battery capacity result in an increased range. This is up to 362 miles (582km) for the electric sports utility vehicle (SUV) and up to 373 miles (600km) for the Sportback variant.
Audi also uses recycled materials in some components for the Audi Q8 e-tron. These materials, recovered via a recycling process, save resources and ensure a closed material cycle that is both efficient and sustainable.