Building the Q8 e-tron

Carbon-neutral all the way for the new Q8 e-tron models.

The production process of the Audi Q8 e-tron, including the production of the electric motors and their transport from Györ to Brussels, has achieved a carbon-neutral footprint.

26 September, 2023

Carbon neutrality is a factor through the whole production process of the Q8 e-tron models

Recently seen in Australia for the first time at the recent Melbourne EV Show and officially launching in a matter of weeks, the new Audi Q8 e-tron models represent the next step in the brand’s electrification Down Under.

And like production for the original Audi e-tron and e-tron Sportback models, the brand’s site in Györ, Hungary is also where the e-drives for the new Q8 e-tron are produced before being delivered to Brussels in Belgium for the final production of the vehicle itself.

Indeed since 2018, Audi Hungary has become the centre of e-motor production in the Audi Group, and in the process the plant not only brought itself up to standard in terms of technology, but also set an example in terms of sustainability – after all, it only makes to produce emission-free e-drives in a facility that is itself carbon-neutral.

Thanks to a geothermal plant, Europe’s largest rooftop photovoltaic system and other measures such as the purchase of biogas certificates, Audi Hungary has become carbon-neutral on the environmental balance sheet. A green production of the electric motors for the new Audi Q8 e-tron models is a substantial contribution to ensuring customers that the finished vehicles are also carbon-neutral on the environmental balance sheet. But it is not only the production of the e-drives that needs to be considered, with other steps in the process such as the transport to Brussels also playing a role in carbon neutrality.

The road towards carbon-neutral production starts before the shipments leave the Györ site for the Brussels location. At the world’s largest engine plant, 97 percent of a total of around 5000 components are delivered and stored in reusable packaging and special packaging materials to save resources during transport. In addition, more than 99 percent of waste created at the site is recycled. For transportation to Belgium, Audi uses eco-friendly rail transportation, the so-called ‘Green Trains’ which are either carbon-neutral or utilise carbon credits to achieve a carbon-neutral balance sheet. When traveling through Austria, the trains are supplied with 100 percent green electricity from renewable energy sources, but as 100 percent renewable energy is not available in Hungary and Belgium, the power used for transportation is offset by means of climate certificates, reducing carbon emissions elsewhere and thus achieving carbon-neutrality on the environmental balance sheet for both production and transport of the electric motors from Györ to Brussels.

The Brussels plant was switched to green electricity way back in 2012 with one of the largest photovoltaic systems in the region was installed on the plant’s premises. This system now measures in at 107,000 square metres and generates approximately 9000 megawatt hours of electricity each year. 

The Audi Brussels facility was switched to green electricity way back in 2012 with the installation of the one of the largest photovoltaic systems in the region

With the Audi Q8 e-tron, the construction process ensures that customers receive the greenest vehicle possible

In addition, heat is supplied to the site using renewable energy via coverage through biogas certificates and the water required for the heat supply is heated with gas that is again compensated by biogas certificates. As a result, 100 percent of the energy requirements at the Brussels plant are covered by renewable energy, with the Brussels site offsetting only five percent of its technically unavoidable carbon emissions with so-called carbon credit projects as a third measure. Through these measures, the Brussels plant was certified as the world’s first carbon-neutral large-scale production facility in the premium segment back in 2018.

As the Brussels site is supplied with over 4000 different parts and components from more than 500 supplier companies arriving by train and truck on a daily basis, Audi Brussels also makes the infrastructural processes highly efficient, to reduce energy requirements right from the outset. Streamlining every conceivable operation for maximum efficiency and minimum negative impact on the environment.

These extensive refinements and systems mean that at the end of the production process, across two sites and numerous departments, the production of the Audi Q8 e-tron can indeed be carbon neutral on the environmental balance sheet, and ensure that customers receive the greenest vehicle possible.

The new Audi Q8 e-tron models will arrive in Australia in the coming weeks.