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Audi to Test Electric A3 in U.S.

The e-tron is a precursor to plug-in hybrids from the German automaker.

By Clifford Atiyeh Feb 27, 2012 11:26AM
Audi will begin testing 17 prototypes of its electric A3 hatchback this year in the U.S., a precursor to what will become the company's first production hybrid vehicle.

The e-tron system on this A3, a name that debuted on the wild R8-style E-tron concept at the 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show, features a 26-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery, a 90-mile range and a top speed of 90 mph.

"Our Ingolstadt engineers will be mining our 'pilots' for a steady stream of data and experiences in a range of U.S. driving environments," Audi spokesman Brad Stertz said.

The cars will be tested by Audi employees in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver and Washington, D.C. No customer leases have been planned.

Rival BMW is starting to take 700 lease orders for its ActiveE, an all-electric version of the 1 Series coupe, for $499 per month for 24 months. BMW says that all of its West Coast orders have been filled. In 2009, BMW offered a similar lease program for the all-electric MINI E. 

Audi says that its field tests will allow the company to develop production electric cars, as well as plug-in gasoline hybrids like the 2013 Ford Fusion or more advanced "extended range" electrics like the Chevrolet Volt. The company has not said when a hybrid or all-electric vehicle would make production.

[Source: Audi.]
Feb 27, 2012 2:39PM
 i don't know why these big name companys can't break the 100 mile barrier with electric cars. Tesla which is a start up comany came up with a sports roadster and sedan that can do 200 or more without an range extending gasoline motor which defeats the purpose of buying an electric car. oh yeah first!!!
Feb 29, 2012 12:13PM
yes they built many a electric car from over 100 years ago, can't people learn a lesson like they did 100 years ago that proved to be a worthless flop!?
Feb 29, 2012 12:09PM

i am sure that so called "green" electric vehicles will increase pollution and necessitate building more nuclear power plants!

really how many people can really use them? a average american drives 42 miles a day, to own one you have to pass codes and manufactures inspection for a garage with proper electric supply (safe) and wiring...cost??? not many people have any room for a garage let alone a driveway in a city or suburb. (the so called ideal place for a ev the city!?)  the monthly electric bill would be through the roof. what do they gain when you could fill your tank for the same price and travel 400 miles if needed.

how many companies went out of business and collapsed with all the investors money because the farce that liberals wanted and would purchase them? many! not to mention the billions lost from major manufacturers with all sorts of government (peoples) money!

Feb 28, 2012 6:28AM

Any manufacturer could extend the range of their electric vehicles, maybe even up to 1000 miles.  The only problem would be that there wouldn't be any place to sit and it would have to be equipped with truck tires to carry the load.  All you need to extend range is more battery capacity which generally requires an equal amount of more room and more weight.


And of course, the more capacity and range a vehicle has, the longer it takes to recharge that capacity.


I'm sure manufacturers have analyzed consumer driving habits are trying to find the best compromise between range, power and convenience which will satisfy those requirements.

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