Audi of America is launching Audi energy, a program it said is designed to help improve the Audi EV ownership experience and reduce the carbon footprint that comes with vehicle production, distribution and driving.
Audi stated Audi energy will be available with the introduction of the first plug-in hybrid vehicle offered by the brand, the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron, which is scheduled to debut at select dealerships in the U.S. during the second half of 2015.
Through the Audi energy program, Audi said it will offer three unique opportunities to help improve sustainability and reduce carbon emissions:
– At-home Audi-designed Level 2 charging developed in conjunction with Bosch Automotive Service Solutions will be available for qualified owners of the A3 e-tron.
– Audi will purchase carbon offset certificates in California and Africa to offset certain greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with A3 Sportback e-tron vehicles.
– SunPower will provide an optional home solar power system for Audi owners, especially A3 Sportback e-tron customers, including a newly developed home energy storage solution to capture additional solar energy.
“The Audi A3 Sportback e-tron will offer drivers an eco-conscious vehicle ownership experience,” said Wayne Killen, general manager, product strategy and launch. “Audi energy takes this to the next level with solutions that allow for sustainable fuel driving and a lower carbon footprint. We believe this will be one of the most comprehensive offering in the industry today.”
Audi said it will include the following as part of the Audi energy program:
Level 2 Audi charger.
Through Bosch Automotive Service Solutions, Audi will offer qualified owners of the A3 Sportback e-tron models premium installation services to help quickly and safely convert the owner’s residence to 240V power at the charging location of their choosing as well as installation of the Audi designed Level 2 charger for at-home recharging. The Audi-designed Level 2 charger will come standard with the purchase of an all-new Audi A3 Sportback e-tron. Installation costs will be extra.
Ultra-low carbon footprint.
Audi explained this distinctive component of Audi energy is possible through an arrangement with 3Degrees, a certified B Corporation and leading carbon offset and Renewable Energy Credit (REC) provider based in San Francisco with several U.S. Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency awards as Green Power Supplier of the Year. Investing in two types of carbon reduction programs, one in the U.S. and the other in Africa (in a United Nations REDD+ zone), Audi will offset most of the greenhouse gas emissions that result from the A3 Sportback e-tron vehicle’s final assembly, including battery production, shipping the vehicle to the Audi dealer, and 50,000 miles of driving. These emissions represent the majority of greenhouse gas emissions up through approximately the vehicle’s first 50,000 driven miles.
Residential solar and energy storage. (Optional)
Audi said it has reached an agreement with San Jose, Calif.-based SunPower to offer optional home solar power systems to Audi owners in all 50 states, including A3 e-tron customers. With the highest efficiency solar panels available in the industry today – including the 21percent efficient X-Series Solar Panel which produces 75 percent more energy over 25 years than a conventional panel – SunPower rooftop solar systems can help customers enhance the energy efficiency of their A3 e-tron and home while lowering their electric utility costs.
Additionally, Audi said its customers will be the first among SunPower’s automotive partners to receive premier access to its energy storage solution which currently is in final testing and expected to be available in early 2015.
SunPower said its storage system is designed to provide homeowners peace-of-mind and security that comes with knowing that during a power outage, their solar system will continue producing energy, and customers will have access to stored energy for powering their homes and A3 e-tron.
Expected to go on sale at participating dealerships in all 50 states in the Fall of 2015, the A3 Sportback e-tron features multiple driving modes that give drivers wide flexibility in their EV and hybrid driving experience, said Audi. Additionally, a recuperation system harnesses brake kinetic energy back into electricity for the drive battery. In hybrid mode, its range will be comparable to conventional combustion engine vehicles.
Final EPA mileage numbers will be announced closer to the sale date.