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Audi plans to cut CO2 emissions 30% by 2025 but there's a catch

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Audi is fully committing to the Paris Climate Agreement, becoming the first automaker to adopt the ambitious goals. As part of that agreement, the company aims to cut carbon dioxide emissions across its products by 30 percent by 2025. But, there's a big catch.

The Volkswagen Group, the parent company of Audi, will be using 2015 model year vehicles as its high-water mark for emissions. Nearly every vehicle in the Audi lineup has been completely redesigned since then including the fresh Q3, which is just making its way onto dealership lots.

Audi has also introduced the 2019 Audi E-Tron electric vehicle and plug-in hybrid variants of some of its most popular models in that time.

And there's still five years remaining.

In the next five years, Audi was already slated to make a big EV push, as is the Volkswagen Group as a whole.

At the L.A. Auto Show last year, Audi unveiled the Audi E-Tron GT concept and followed that up with the Audi Q4 E-Tron compact SUV concept at the Geneva Motor Show. Later this year, the company will deubt the Audi E-Tron Sportback.

The company is predicting that by 2025, it will offer 30 electrified Audis, including 20 all-electric vehicles.

Neither Audi nor the Volkswagen Group has revealed any plans in regard to cleaning up lithium-ion battery production for electric vehicles as part of this announcement. Last year Bloomberg reported that battery production may actually result in up to 74 percent more carbon dioxide emissions than an efficient internal combustion engine-powered car, when those plants rely on fossil fuels for production.

There is also the matter of battery materials harvesting, which often happens in Africa where allegations of child labor and abuse are rampant.

Questions also linger regarding the disposal of batteries following their natural lifecycle in a vehicle.

In addition to vehicle changes, Audi intends to operate carbon neutral plants by 2025 including its Brussels plant, which has been carbon neutral since 2018. Next up for conversion is the Audi plant in Győr, Hungary.

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The Lordstown Endurance all-electric pickup truck is moving closer to production.

Photo courtesy of Lordstown Motors

The Lordstown Endurance isn’t under production yet, but the company is already receiving orders for the all-electric pickup truck - 40,000 of them. The model is targeted at commercial fleet vehicle buyers like city governments and large corporate entities that require the capability of a full-size truck.

Each pre-order is a non-binding agreement to purchase the truck, the same as the reservations received by Ford for the Mustang Mach-E and Tesla for the Cybertruck. The purchases equal $2 billion in revenue for the company, which is based in Lordstown, Ohio.

2021 Lordstown Endurance The design of the interior of the Endurance is crisp and modern.Photo courtesy of Lordstown Motors

Lordstrown has kicked up the cadence of its news releases as the company moves closer to production. In June, the company debuted the truck and announced its $52,000 price point.

July marked the release of the first renderings of the interior of the Endurance and the debut of the first commercial starring the truck. Then, in August, Lordstown announced that they had entered into an agreement with DiamondPeak Holdings to become a publicly traded company.

Lordstown Motors is operating out of the former General Motors Lordstown Assembly site. The new company has its plant next to the battery facility that General Motors is developing to assist with the products coming to market in the future, like the Cadillac Lyriq.

2021 Lordstown Endurance The large screen combines most vital functions of the car’s command center into one place.Photo courtesy of Lordstown Motors

Now, the company as revealed its first pictures of the interior of the truck. Notably, the Endurance has its large screen spanning the width of the driver and center console, housing most all vital functional controls of the vehicle.

Reservations for the truck continue to be taken via the company’s website.

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The first all-electric Karma Automotive model is set to debut next year.

Photo courtesy of Karma Automotive

Karma Automotive is promising to debut its first all-electric car in 2021. To understand how we got here, it's important to look back a decade.

Fisker Automotive was founded by heralded car designer Henrik Fisker in 2007. For a brief moment in history, it produced the Fisker Karma, one of the world's first production luxury plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). The first Karma was delivered in 2011 but by 2014, the company was staring down liquidation.

That year, Fisker Automotive's Karma vehicle design, tooling, and manufacturing facility were purchased by Wanxiang Group, the largest China-based automotive components company by revenue. Henrik Fisker retried the Fisker trademarks and rights to the Fisker brand. He went on to launch Fisker Inc., a separate company that has big plans for all-electric vehicles, in 2016. Wanxiang Group renamed its vehicle company Karma Automotive.

And now here we are.

Karma Automotive has released an image of the GS as a teaser.

Karma Automotive says that the 2021 debut will be the first public step in a full line, which includes electrification options and leans on technological advancements to set itself apart. The GS Series model will be Karma's first-ever battery electric luxury sedan.

The new models will retain much of the same design as the Revero.

"We are pleased to announce that Karma will now offer our first all-electric vehicle next year as part of the GS series," said Dr. Lance Zhou, Karma's CEO. "Cost reductions in the BOM, streamlining our supply chain and standardized production methods also allowed for a new, more attainable pricing structure for the GS lineup allowing for higher market penetration, opening up the market to a larger group of entry level luxury buyers."

Though its looks, range, pricing, and options aren't yet public knowledge, customers can currently reserve their model at http://www.karmaautomotive.com/reserve. All reservations require a fully-refundable $100 deposit.

For years Chinese brands have been looking to break into the U.S. market without much success. Though there are a growing number of Karma dealerships in the U.S., sales of the vehicles are few and far between.

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