BERLIN (Reuters) - Audi (VOWG_p.DE) aims to increase the share of electric cars to a quarter of its U.S. deliveries by about 2026 as the luxury brand steps up efforts to improve battery technology, the head of its U.S. operations said on Wednesday.
Audi is developing battery packs in-house while forging "tight relationships" with leading battery makers to underpin "a lasting and sustainable strategic shift," Audi's U.S. chief Scott Keogh said at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
Audi, the flagship brand of German carmaker Volkswagen <VOWG_p,DE>, was previously reluctant to embrace the technology but the emissions scandal at its parent is casting a shadow over the diesel vehicle industry and raising carmakers' appetite for electrified alternatives.
"We further intend to ensure Audi electric vehicle drivers can enjoy robust fast-charging networks across America and in Europe," Keogh said. "This direction is right for the times and right for the market."
Audi's U.S. sales rose 11 percent last year to a record 202,202 cars.
Reporting by Andreas Cremer; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle