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Audi announces U.S. introduction of A3 e-tron electric vehicle pilot program

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March 2, 2012

The battery-electric A3 is based on the gasoline-powered and clean diesel TDI Audi A3, tha...

The battery-electric A3 is based on the gasoline-powered and clean diesel TDI Audi A3, that is currently sold to U.S.

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Audi has announced its new battery-electric Audi A3 e-tron pilot program in the U.S. Set to take place in four pilot locations: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and Denver, the program is designed to help Audi identify some of the opportunities and challenges luxury car buyers will face when purchasing an EV vehicle, and will study the effect of driving patterns and climate conditions on EV vehicles.

"The A3 e-tron pilot program serves as an important innovation platform for Audi to develop greater insight into electric vehicles and how American driving conditions affect use of the progressive technology in everyday life," said Jeff Curry, e-mobility and sustainability strategy lead at Audi of America. "We will integrate the data generated from this program into the launch of a range of Audi e-tron models for American drivers."

Based on the gasoline-powered and clean diesel TDI Audi A3, that is currently sold to U.S. customers, the Audi A3 e-tron features a fully electric powertrain with a 26 kW lithium-ion battery, and zero local driving emissions. The vehicle has 199 lb-ft torque, a battery range of approximately 90 miles and a top speed of 90 mph.

Audi will be premiering the new A3 at the Geneva Auto show Tuesday, March 6, 2012.

10 Comments

I want one

Bill Bennett
2nd March, 2012 @ 09:58 pm PST

The weak link to all of these battery-electric cars, they are all priced far beyond what the mass market can afford or even see any realistic ROI. As long at they are priced as play toys for the rich, they are never going to catch on. The real winner will be the builder smart enough to be the Henry Ford of electric cars...

mountainhiker
3rd March, 2012 @ 07:16 am PST

They are years behind BMW is electric cars and just now trying to catch up. Follow the leader Audi!

Tom Moloughney
3rd March, 2012 @ 11:07 am PST

re; mountainhiker

Henry ford figured out how to more cheaply make cars through designing an engine using fewer parts and assembly line production. Most of the cost of making batteries is raw materials and energy it would be extremely difficult to lower those costs.

Slowburn
5th March, 2012 @ 02:06 am PST

The big problem is that for the price - the batteries don't last. This system is too slow. The solution is in a 2 minute battery pack replacement. Now cross country would be possible with no down time. The best part - the batteries are maintain by the provider so the packs always preform at peck performance which increases reliability. This would require an international cooperation and uniformity. The driver would pay just as if they were filling gas while under the car a fresh battery is inserted. "Next please!"

donwine
5th March, 2012 @ 08:20 am PST

Slowburn - There is such an engine on the drawing board. It uses 4 pistons and each pair are attached to a straight shaft. Two forms of power come from the back and forth motion. One is hydraulic power which eliminates the need for a transmission. The second is electric power from the magnetic field which the shaft travels threw. Most moving parts are eliminated. It would also make a good engine for an airplane because of it's power and very light weight.

donwine
5th March, 2012 @ 08:31 am PST

I agree with the first of donwine's posts. EV's will not take off until there is a uniform/universal way to charge the batteries. I would prefer a pick-up/drop-off point like convenience stores have for propane tanks, but with the weight of batteries one would need a lift system to pull a battery out of a car. You could pay for the battery just like filling up a car, with a battery % meter like on laptops, if you only wanted 1/2 tank just pick one up that hasn't charged fully yet. Of course, you should get charged more if you take one that is not fully charged just because it wastes part of that battery's life, but you get the idea.

GvillaThrilla
5th March, 2012 @ 11:12 am PST

re; donwine

Ok, that engine might have some potential but how does it relate to cheaper batteries?

Slowburn
5th March, 2012 @ 06:10 pm PST

As it runs it also charges the battery pack. As for the price of batteries going down - don't hold your breath!

donwine
5th March, 2012 @ 08:05 pm PST

I bought a digital watch for $120 in 1974. I thought I had waited long enough for the prices to fall. In 1980 I could buy one for $2. The lesson here is If there is money in it some one will make it, and the chinese will make it even cheaper.

The market is there, nuclear power will make electricity so cheap the to drive an equivalent of $100 worth of petrol will cost about $3 for a battery recharge at home and $10 at a servo or shopping centre. The day will soon arrive when shopping centres offer free battery recharge while shopping.

pointyup
6th March, 2012 @ 06:50 pm PST
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