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Audi CEO admits to being two years behind Tesla in EV tech – Roadshow

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Well, at least he’s got a good reason for that sour expression.

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When it comes to electric car technology, Tesla is well ahead of basically every other manufacturer. The public seems to know it, we in the media know it, and apparently, Audi CEO Markus Duesmann knows it too, according to a report published Friday by Automotive News.

In the report, Duesmann concedes that Audi is at least two years behind the Big T when it comes to computing power in its vehicles as well as in self-driving technology, none of which is terribly surprising given that Audi has only been pushing super-hard toward electrification for the last five years or so. It’s just shocking to see a car company CEO say it publicly.

“Currently, Tesla has larger batteries because their cars are built around the batteries. Tesla is two years ahead in terms of computing and software architecture, and in autonomous driving as well,” said Duesmann, in a statement to Germany’s Handelsblatt.

Now, Audi shouldn’t get too down on itself because of Tesla’s lead in technology. We’ve spent plenty of time in both the E-Tron SUV and in Teslas of all kinds, and when it comes to things like build quality, Audi feels light years ahead of Tesla. That’s one of the benefits of being a “legacy” manufacturer: decades of building cars makes you pretty good at building cars, it turns out.

Duesmann had more to say to Handelsblatt too, this time regarding Audi’s sales. He expects the company to be back to pre-COVID numbers of sales by 2022 or 2023. That’s a big deal since the company experienced a pretty big sales hit amid all the quarantine efforts worldwide. 

Things aren’t all doom and gloom though, because while the company only sold 17,000 E-Trons in the first half of 2020, it expects 40,000 units to go to customers by the end of the year.

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