Ingolstadt, Germany – Audi has commissioned a new development and testing centre for electric drive systems at its site in Ingolstadt, Germany. The site will employ approximately 840 people who will work to further advance drive systems, batteries and power electronics using highly networked methods.

The company will introduce the Audi Q5 Hybrid to the market as early as next year, and by the end of 2012, will have a small number of R8 e-tron electric sports cars ready to hit the road.

Audi has invested approximately €65 million in the building over the past two years. Over a total of seven stories, engineers initially test the individual components, then simulate the interaction of drive system, battery and power electronics and finally assemble the entire drivetrain for testing. Tests are run with the complete vehicle in an altitude simulation chamber and deep-freeze testing rig. This subjects the cars to various climatic conditions at 4,200 metres in altitude, and at temperatures of -40C to +60C.

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