The construction of the Audi-FAW factory in Changchun, announced in January 2021 and commenced in June 2022, is reportedly on track to be completed by the end of this year, according to Chinese media sources. The plant, designated for the production of Audi's Premium Platform Electric (PPE) models, aims to commence production by the end of 2024.
Designed for an annual production capacity of 150,000 electric vehicles (EVs), the Changchun facility is expected to roll out its inaugural model, the Audi Q6L e-tron, starting in 2024. This electric SUV, an extended version of the Q6 e-tron produced in Ingolstadt, Germany, is anticipated to be joined by a Sportback variant of the Q6L e-tron and an A6L e-tron, catering to the Chinese market's preferences for long-wheelbase electric vehicles.
Insiders suggest that the introduction of the Q6L Sportback e-tron is a strategic move to meet the demand for electric SUVs in China. However, earlier reports had indicated that only one SUV would be among the three electric models produced in Changchun.
Audi's battery strategy for the PPE electric cars in China includes the use of Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) batteries from BYD and Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC) batteries from CATL, depending on the model variant. The BYD-produced batteries will be manufactured on-site in Changchun, with the joint factory with FAW, Audi's long-standing partner, having commenced production in July 2023. The facility has the potential to produce up to 45 GWh of Blade Batteries annually, with an initial capacity of 15 GWh in its first phase.
Despite the notable progress, technical details regarding the batteries, such as energy content, density, and charging capacity, remain undisclosed. Similarly, specifications for the European version of the PPE electric cars are yet to be revealed, with the global premiere scheduled for March 2024. Information from the PPE sister model, the Porsche Macan, indicates a battery capacity exceeding 100 kWh. The completion of the Audi-FAW factory and the subsequent production launch mark a significant milestone in Audi's commitment to advancing electric mobility in the Chinese market.