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Audi plans a dozen electric vehicles to take on Tesla lineup

Audi wants electric-car shoppers to know they'll soon have much more to choose from than Teslas.

 [FRANKFURT] Audi wants electric-car shoppers to know they'll soon have much more to choose from than Teslas.

The Volkswagen AG-owned luxury automaker plans to introduce 12 fully electric vehicles in its main markets by 2025. Audi expects these models, along with hybrids, to account for about a third global deliveries, according to a statement.

The E-Tron crossover, which is due to be unveiled Monday night in California -- effectively in Tesla Inc.'s backyard -- will be flanked next year by a Sportback variant. After that, Audi will roll out a slew of battery-powered vehicles covering all major segments from compact vehicles to upscale limousines.

A new design concept, the E-Tron GT, is slated to be unveiled at the Los Angeles auto show in November. Its technology has been developed with sister brand Porsche as parent company Volkswagen wants two of its premium-car brands to cooperate more closely to share costs.

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Despite Audi's ambitions -- and those of Porsche, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and others -- Tesla will face little direct competition before 2020, Toni Sacconaghi, an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein Co., wrote in a report Monday.

Luxury electric vehicles entering the market now are mostly priced like Tesla's Model S sedan and Model X crossover. But Musk's auto business is increasingly moving toward the mass-luxury market, first with its smaller Model 3 sedan and eventually with the Model Y crossover.

With General Motors Co.'s Chevrolet Bolt lacking a luxury nameplate, the Model 3's first true rival will be the Polestar 2 sedan that Volvo Cars is planning for 2020, Sacconaghi said in a note to clients.

"Let's make this clear: There is no actual flood of competition coming," he said.

Tesla shares rose 0.5 percent to US$296.65 as of 2:22 p.m. New York time.