Electric cars have traditionally been ruinously expensive for carmakers to manufacture, but it looks like that won’t be the case for much longer.

    Audi says its Q4 e-tron SUV is already almost as profitable as the petrol-powered Audi Q3 SUV.

    Come the end of 2024, it expects its electric vehicles to make as much money as its petrol-powered fleet.

    “We have to work on the profitability and economic feasibility of [electric] vehicles,” said Audi management board member for finance and legal affairs, Jurgen Rittersberger.

    “We expect that in two to three years time the profitability of an electric vehicle will be roughly on a par [with] a combustion-engine vehicle,” he said.

    Key to ensuring profitability is platform sharing throughout the Volkswagen Group.

    The Q4 e-tron is built on the same MEB chassis as the Volkswagen ID.3 and ID.4, and the Skoda Enyaq, using shared batteries and motors.

    Audi is working closely with Porsche on two more electric architectures. The first is the J1 chassis, used beneath the Taycan and e-tron GT.

    The second has been dubbed PPE, and is expected to be debuted beneath the 2022 Porsche Macan EV.

    Designed for medium and large sedans, wagons and SUVs, PPE will also underpin the upcoming Audi A6 e-tron and Q6 e-tron.

    The Volkswagen Group loves platform sharing, so much so it believes two electric vehicle architectures will eventually be one too many.

    At its 2021 media conference, the German firm announced it will eventually replace the existing mainstream MEB architecture and the upcoming high-end PPE platform with the Scalable Systems Platform (SSP).

    The change will happen gradually, with the switchover not due to complete until around 2035.

    SSP will be developed from MEB and PPE, and will serve as the basis for “models of all brands and segments”.

    Scott Collie

    Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

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