Image by AUDI AG.

Audi Chairman Markus Duesmann said last week that European automakers should make aggressive efforts to advance the usage of renewable energy and expand the development of battery-powered electric vehicles to work towards eliminating the use of fossil fuels by 2040. 

Duesmann’s comments come as speculation grows that there may be a complete ban on Russian oil due to the conflict overseas, and a shortage of oil might lead to more extensive reliance on renewable energy resources such as solar and wind power. In the past two months, Audi and other automakers have paused production in Russia and suspended vehicle shipments to the country with no timeline for resuming operations.  

In a discussion last week, the Chairman stated, “Let’s be courageous as Europeans and take it upon ourselves to give up on fossil fuels completely from 2040. We must put all our energy towards battery-electric vehicles for individual mobility.”

Despite some auto executives warning against such a quick transition to electrification, such as BMW’s Oliver Zipse, European countries and most automakers are pushing to make the shift as soon as possible. While Germany has comprehensive plans to reduce dependence on oil in the next decade and a half, Audi previously said it will cease sales of combustion engine vehicles by 2033, and its parent company Volkswagen plans to phase out combustion engine vehicles by 2035. 

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