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Audi set to rival Tesla's Model X with electric SUV

German automaker Audi is set to rival Tesla's much anticipated Model X with the unveiling of an electric car with a range of over 310 miles.

Described by the car maker as a "sporty SUV" the e-tron quattro concept car will be unveiled at next month's International Motor Show 2015 in Frankfurt, with production scheduled from 2018.

Sajjad Hussain | AFP | Getty Images

In a release, Audi said that the car – which will have a lithium-ion battery – will have an SUV body and a "flat, coupe-like cabin" with a spacious interior that can carry four people.

Tesla say on their website that their Model X – which will be powered by two independent and digitally controlled electric motors – will combine, "the space and functionality of a seven seat sport utility vehicle with the uncompromised performance of a Tesla."

According to Tesla, the delivery estimate for new reservations of the Model X is early 2016.

Audi's announcement comes hot on the heels of news that Aston Martin is set to launch an 800 horsepower, totally electric version of its four door Rapide car.

Speaking to Automotive News, Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer said that, "If you want to keep making V-12 engines, then you've got to do something at the opposite end of the spectrum."

In terms of the environment, the potential of electric cars is considerable.

The U.S. Department of Energy says that if hybrid or electric vehicles completely replaced light-duty conventional ones, U.S. dependence on foreign oil would fall by 30-60 percent. Plus, carbon pollution from the transport sector would fall by up to 20 percent.