Since the fall of 2018, Audi Brussels has been manufacturing the Audi e-tron, the first all-electric SUV of the brand with the four rings. At the start of 2020, it began series production of the Audi e-tron Sportback. Furthermore, the Brussels plant is the world’s first carbon-neutral high-volume production facility in the premium segment, as certified by independent experts.
Audi Brussels has achieved this primarily through renewable energy and concentrates its efforts in three main spheres of action: The first sphere of action is the switch to green electricity, which was accomplished in 2012. To this end, Audi Brussels installed the largest photovoltaic power plant in the region on its factory grounds. The second sphere of action involved heating the location with renewable energy. Both these spheres together cover about 95 percent of its energy needs. Emissions that the company cannot yet avoid by means of renewable energy sources are offset using carbon credit projects (third sphere of action). The carbon-neutral plant at Audi Brussels is therefore the ideal production location for the brand’s first all-electric cars and to advance the cause of sustainable e-mobility with green electricity.
Audi has built up a wide variety of skills and expertise inside the company for the Audi e-tron and developed both the battery technology and the powertrain itself. The production team in Brussels restructured and re-implemented many manufacturing steps.
Since the summer of 2016, the plant comprehensively reconstructed its body manufacture, paint shop, and assembly step by step and set up its own battery manufacturing capabilities. For the first all-electric Audi, employees received a total of more than 200,000 hours of training.
Since June 2010, Audi Brussels has offered public tours of the plant. Some 15,000 visitors per year got a close-up view of the production of the Audi A1, which was built there until mid 2018. Since 2019, visitors and customers can take a peek behind the scenes of the production of the Audi e-tron and the Audi e-tron Sportback. People can also discover the plant online via AudiStream when live tours are not possible because of the pandemic or other reasons.
Production and logistics
For production of the batteries for the e-tron and the e-tron Sportback, the Brussels plant set up its own battery manufacturing facilities – the first of their kind in the entire Audi Group. The Belgian location is therefore a key plant for e-mobility.
Its state-of-the-art Automotive Park logistics and supplier center is connected to the factory buildings by a bridge. It provides the infrastructure for the efficient supply of materials to the Brussels plant. Every day, trucks and trains deliver over 3,000 different parts and components from more than 300 supplier companies. Close coordination and connectivity with the plant’s internal logistics increase productivity in a lasting, sustainable manner.
Smart logistics – this includes automated material transports, but even more importantly digitalized processes. Since the start of 2018, Audi has been using automated guided vehicles (AGVs) in its production buildings.
Analytics center and pilot hall
Audi Brussels possesses a modern analytics center and a pilot hall for prototypes and pre-production models. This connects the production and technical development areas of the plant and ensures the high quality of the Audi e-tron and e-tron Sportback.