Audi Launches Pilot Project In Munich With A1 E-tron Electric Car

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20 Audi A1 e-tron electric cars will be used in the pilot program

20 Audi A1 e-tron electric cars will be used in the pilot program

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Earlier today, Audi launched the latest part of its plug-in electric vehicle program, commencing a public trail of its A1 e-tron range-extended electric car in Munich. 

Announced in September 2010 after Audi unveiled the A1 E-Tron concept car at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, the 20-strong test car fleet will be leased to customers as part of a regional study into electric cars and electric car charging infrastructure. 

Based on the gasoline-powered Audi A1 -- the smallest of Audi’s production cars -- the A1 e-tron features a 75 kilowatt electric motor powered by a 12 kilowatt-hour battery pack giving up to 30 miles of all-electric range. 

Go further, and a gasoline-powered rotary engine kicks in to provide additional range, up to a maximum combined range of 155 miles. 

Unlike the Audi e-tron Spyder Diesel Plug-in Hybrid, the Audi A1 e-Tron isn’t a through-the road hybrid. Instead of a mechanical connection to the wheels which provides motive power at higher speeds, the A1 e-tron is a range-extended electric car just like its rival, the 2013 BMW i3. 

With a limited-range battery pack and what some have called an ‘Anarchic’ rotary engine providing range-extending power, the Audi A1 e-tron is unlikely to make it to production status in its current form. 

But just like other test programs from other automakers, results from the test-fleet will help Audi and parent company Volkswagen develop a mass-market production car for future model years. 



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Comments (5)
  1. How is it that this car gets less range per kW than the Leaf? That doesn't make sense. EV's should be able to get 60-90 miles on a 12kWh pack. Both the Illuminati 7 and the Edison2 VLCe can do this -- 7 would go about 75 miles and the VLCe would easily go 90+ miles on a 12kWh pack.


  2. Er... Nissan's official economy/efficiency figure is 340 Wh/mile. 12000Wh/340 = 35 miles. A blogging Leaf driver has achieved 240 Wh/mile = 50 miles. I can't see it doing much better than that. As for the eTron - if it burns petrol it isn't an EV in my book. For 95% of the time, like all other PiSHs it has to cart around 150kg of ICE and associated clobber. In town, that extra weight is going to significantly impact its efficiency. PiSH buyers will very soon wonder why they need a range extender when, after 6 months of driving, they realize they haven't put any fuel in the car. But I suppose until those of us without a garage or driveway to charge up can do so quickly and easily, it is a necessary evil. MW

  3. It would be great to read a test drive report on the A1 E-tron. As you point out BMW has also targeted this REEV format and it will be interesting to see how well all this technology does in a small vehicle. I assume the reason that for this late interest in REEVs is that the improved battery technology everyone was expecting in 2013 will not show up, or is looking too expensive.

  4. Oh great, another hybrid. Got range anxiety?!

  5. @CDspeed, yes, I do range anxiety, as does most of the population. A pure EV with the current ranges simply won't work for me and many others. If, in your world only pure EVs are legitimate, you're going to be disappointed for how many more years?
    If you honestly expect BMW, Audi, MB drivers, etc. to switch to the current available EVs, or even what will be available in the next few years, you're kidding, right?
    Similar to the ridiculous Fisker attacks, there will be a variety of vehicles with various powertrains for many years. Consumers have different tastes and if GM, BMW and Audi all agree there's a market for EREVs, then we'll see. I'd love to drive a pure EV daily, but it won't be for a while.

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