Munich - Audi has committed to invest 14 billion euros (R217bn) in developing electric cars, digitalisation and driverless cars in the coming years, the German brand announced on Tuesday.

The aim is to offer 10 fully electric vehicles and a further 10 hybrids by 2025.

"We are strongly goal-oriented on our path to e-mobility and will focus our efforts even more in the future," said temporary chief executive Bram Schot said at Audi's headquarters in Ingolstadt.

So far, Audi has no electric cars on the market, by contrast with its key competitor BMW, but the launch of the Audi e-tron SUV is planned before the end of this year.

The e-tron is set to be followed by the e-tron GT Sportback in late 2020, and it's already been previewed by a striking new concept car revealed at the Los Angeles Auto Show last week.

Audi is also reportedly working on an all-electric compact hatchback in the A3 size category, and which will be built on the VW Group's MEB platform for compact electric vehicles.

The Audi investment is part of a strategy across the Volkswagen Group, which has announced plans to invest 44 billion (R677.6bn) euros in new technologies.

Audi aims to become the leading "premium marque" in the VW stable for electric cars with an annual sales target of 800 000 fully electric and hybrid vehicles, or a third of total production.

Much of the work is being shared with other VW subsidiaries, with electric engines for the top end models, for example, being developed jointly with Porsche.

IOL & DPA