Future factory

It’s fitting that a vehicle as cutting-edge as the Audi e-tron, be born in a factory likewise leading the way in technology and sustainability.

High-tech, zero emissions. The Audi Brussels plant responsible for the Audi e-tron is, fittingly, as efficient and environmentally friendly as the vehicle itself.

17 May, 2019

It looks like a set from a high-tech movie. Gleaming surfaces, robots working in concert with humans and unmanned vehicles bringing components as required in the production process. Welcome to Audi Brussels, birthplace of the Audi e-tron, the brand’s first series production all-electric vehicle.

It’s fitting that the e-tron come from a facility like Audi Brussels which shares the e-tron’s commitment to cutting-edge technology and sustainability. This is the future of vehicle manufacture.

While the Audi e-tron with its more than 400km range produces zero emissions, so too the Audi Brussels plant produces zero emissions. Indeed it is the world's first certified CO2-neutral high-volume production plant in the premium segment. 

Using a range of initiatives, Brussels covers all production processes and all other emissions generated at the plant either by renewable energies – which make up around 95 percent. The remaining five percent are compensated for with environmental projects, effectively removing the plant’s carbon footprint and resulting in a CO2-neutral impact on the environment. 

Amongst its initiatives, the plant uses only green electricity as well as having 37,000 square metres of photovoltaic cells mounted on the roof which saves in the order of 17,000 tons of CO2 each year. The plant also covers its heat requirement with certificates for biogas, preventing CO2 emissions of up to 40,000 tons each year through renewable energies. In addition, Brussels uses only renewable resources for heating and employs a mechanical, chemical and biological process-water treatment system to make the factory wastewater neutral.Brussels is also constantly seeking other technologies and strategies to further reduce water consumption, prevent air pollution and improve recycling.

Indeed the Audi Brussels plant is a showcase for technologies and strategies that are being employed across the entire Audi business, from re-using lithium-ion batteries at the Ingolstadt plant once they have achieved their full potential in day-to-day use, to introducing green power to all of its production facilities. 

“We are working hard to make all our factories in the Group even more sustainable. We intend to gradually supply our plants with green electricity. And in 2017, we were the first company in Germany to make all domestic rail transport climate-neutral,” says Peter Kössler, Member of the Board of Management for Production and Logistics at AUDI AG.

All of these initiatives and many more all go towards the brand’s goal to make all of its production facilities CO2-neutral by 2030. As for Audi Brussels producing the Audi e-tron, the combination was the only way to go for Audi. “As the first plant in the Audi Group purely for electric cars, sustainable and environmentally friendly production is particularly important to us,” says Patrick Danau, Managing Director of Audi Brussels. “We see this as an obligation to society that pays off for all sides.”