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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 EQB lands this summer with a not-so-bad starting price.

Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz is pressing ahead with its electrification goals. Following the release of the EQS flagship electric sedan last year, the automaker is readying the EQB, an electric SUV with up to seven seats. Today, Mercedes announced pricing for the vehicle, and it's surprisingly reasonable. Two trim levels will be offered for the EQB in the United States: Exclusive and Pinnacle, and wecould see an AMG variant at some point down the road.

The EQB comes in two variants, including the EQB 300 and EQB 350, both of which come with all-wheel drive. The EQB 300 offers 225 horsepower and the 350 delivers 288 ponies. Those aren't super-serious numbers and they don't have to be. The EQB competes with vehicles like the Volkswagen ID.4, so mind-blowing performance isn't exactly the goal. Mercedes hasn't given range estimates yet, but they should fall in line with the competition.

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQBThe EQB will come in two powertrain variants, each with two trims.Mercedes-Benz

The SUV comes standard with a 10.25-inch configurable digital gauge cluster and a 10.25-inch touchscreen. Mercedes includes a good list of standard safety features, including lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, and active brake assist. Additionally, the EQB's navigation system routes the vehicle for the best efficiency and can help locate charging stations.

The 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQB 300 starts at $56,800, including a $1,050 destination charge. A range-topping Pinnacle trim is available for $59,350. The EQB 350 starts at $60,350. Mercedes says the SUV will go on sale in summer 2022.

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Just 55 of the SUV will be built.

Mercedes

The Mercedes-Benz G-Class is an aspirational vehicle, and is one that shouts "I've made it" to the world. Its six-figure price tag legitimate military background, and hardcore off-road capabilities make it appealing on many levels, and there's even a go-fast version from AMG. The G63 cranks up the already bonkers G-Class to 11, with a big V8 and aggressive styling. To commemorate AMG's 55th year tuning Mercedes' vehicles, the automaker is releasing a limited "Edition 55" G 63.

Mercedes-AMG G 63 "Edition 55"The Edition 55 gets unique styling touches inside and out. Mercedes

Though the Edition 55 adds plenty of unique flair to the AMG-massaged G-Wagen, the SUV's beating heart remains untouched. It's a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 making 577 horsepower, and is good for a 0-60 mph time of just 4.5 seconds. That's in an SUV with a curb weight just shy of 6,000 pounds. Four-wheel drive and a nine-speed automatic transmission are also standard.

Mercedes says the Edition 55 comes finished in Obsidian Black metallic and rides on 22-inch forged wheels, even though the images it sent to accompany the announcement clearly show a not-black SUV. It also comes with the AMG Night Package, which brings blacked-out trim and unique accents, and the fuel filler cap is embossed with the AMG logo. Inside, the cabin features a black and red color scheme with stainless steel accents throughout. Black velour floor mats stitched with "Edition 55" in red are standard, along with an AMG Performance steering wheel wrapped in microfiber. The seats are covered in black and red Nappa leather upholstery, and Edition 55 badges are seen throughout the space.

Mercedes-AMG G 63 "Edition 55"The 577-hp super SUV can sprint to 60 mph quicker than many sports cars. Mercedes

When Mercedes says "limited edition" here, it means business. Just 55 of the SUVs will be available in the United States, and will be released later this year. There's no word on ordering or pricing details yet, but it's a safe bet that the ultra-exclusive G-Wagen will sell out quickly.

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