This week Audi launched its A3 e-tron pilot program which is one of several ongoing product and market research projects for this electric vehicle, and other advanced-tech projects.
The A3 e-tron pilot program will take place in the San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and Denver, and was launched Monday at TED2012 in Long Beach, Calif.
Intended to spur lively and progressive responses at the intellectual epicenter attended by successful possibility thinkers of many stripes, the A3 e-tron is based on the current A3, sold in the U.S. in gasoline-powered and clean diesel TDI configurations.
The experimental battery electric version uses a 26-kw lithium-ion battery and delivers a continuous 82 horsepower, peak of 114 horsepower, and torque is 199 pound-feet. Range for the front wheel drive single-speeder is approximately 90 miles and a top speed is 90 mph. Audi says full interior space and versatility of its A3 sibling are retained.
“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.”
As Audi says it is preparing for the developing market, it is also following through with the establishment in 2011 of common global standards for charging. As part of the pilot program, Audi will develop its network of infrastructure partners, test advanced services and create partnerships that will be central to providing the premium Audi experience for e-tron buyers.
Beyond the American A3 experiment, Audi says its engineers are researching other e-tron power concepts tailored to different vehicle types and driving needs including full battery-electric (BEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and extended-range electric (EREV) versions.
“As part of the long-range Audi corporate goal of moving toward CO2-neutral mobility, there will be e-tron plug-in vehicle products exhibiting all of the performance and design attributes Audi drivers have come to expect,” said Johan de Nysschen, President, Audi of America. “Audi is committed to refining Audi e-tron technology and we expect our plug-in vehicles to become a significant choice for our buyers within a growing line of advanced, efficient Audi powertrains over the coming years.”