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Audi scraps plans to sell electric supercar

Posting in Energy

Original plans to mass-produce the Audi R8 e-tron have been scrapped.

The R8 e-tron debuted three years ago at the Frankfurt Motor Show, and production was meant to begin within the following four years. Citing a source within the company, Wired reports that the automaker has officially stopped plans to produce the electric supercar.

According to the publication, limited existing battery technology and the "changing" priorities of Audi's new research and development head have resulted in the plans being put to rest.

First reported by Car & Driver, the e-tron's halted development was rumored to be due to the cost of batteries. Electronic vehicle development is still being limited by available technology, and the "game changing" breakthrough which would make batteries cost effective and more efficient still is not on the horizon -- although this has not stopped rival firms including Mercedes-Benz from continuing research into all-electric models.

However, this doesn't mean the e-tron is completely off the table. Audi will be producing ten of the models for internal evaluation -- but none of them will be coming to a dealer near you.

Audi is now shifting its priorities away from EV development, and is instead exploring the possibilities of plug-in hybrid models. A number of cars are in development, and the firm says that in order to combat power anxiety of long-range trips, these cars can be charged at home -- and will able to run on electricity before the traditional engine kicks in to keep the vehicle going longer.

(via Wired)

Image credit: Audi

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— By on October 28, 2012, 2:49 AM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure