Electric cars are good for the environment, but they're not so good if an automaker builds a bunch of them at facilities powered by coal, blood diamonds and the brain waves of tortured Mortys. Audi caught on to this, which is why its first battery-electric car will be built somewhere a bit greener.
Audi announced today that its upcomingwill be built in a new carbon-neutral facility in Brussels. Production is slated to begin before the end of 2018.
The first of its kind in the premium segment, this new plant will have 95 of its production processes covered by renewable energies. This includes covering 37,000 square meters (about 400,000 square feet) of the facility's roof in solar panels and using renewable biogas for heating the facility and its offices. The five percent that can't be accounted for in this manner will be offset with additional environmental projects. This sliver includes things like the use of company cars, which still have tailpipe emissions.
"In 2014, we were the first premium manufacturer to measure our carbon-dioxide footprint and have it certified. Since then, we have been working steadily to reduce it further," said Rüdiger Recknagel, head of environmental protection at Audi AG, in a statement. "We are also installing new technologies at all our plants to reduce water consumption, prevent air pollution and improve recycling."
Audi brought the E-Tron electric SUV to the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, albeit wrapped in camouflage. The prototypes pack three electric motors that combine to produce about 429 horsepower, and its range is estimated at about 310 miles. The production car is slated for an unveiling in Brussels in August, which means most will get a chance to see it for the first time at the Paris Motor Show in October.