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Audi offering A3 e-tron customers in Germany green electricity in cooperation with LichtBlick

27 March 2014

As an accompaniment to the market launch of the A3 e tron plug-in hybrid (earlier post), Audi is offering customers in Germany green electricity: Audi energy. The cooperating partner is the Hamburg energy provider LichtBlick SE. With Audi energy, the A3 e tron is totally emission-free when operated electrically.

The power all comes from renewable energy sources and is generated exclusively at hydro-electric power stations in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The Audi A3 e‑tron can be recharged with Audi energy when parked at home. At the same time, the entire household is supplied with green electric power. Audi energy is currently available for a basic monthly fee of €8.95 (US$12.30) and €0.2676 (US$0.37) per kWh.

The origin and quality of the green electricity are certified by TÜV Nord. The “OK power” seal of quality also confirms the expansion of power generation from renewable sources: at least one-third of the electricity comes from hydro-electric power plants less than six years old.

Providers of this green electricity do not make use of federal subsidies pursuant to the German Renewable Energy Act (EEG). In addition, LichtBlick protects one square meter (10.76 square feet) of rainforest in Ecuador per customer per month.

LichtBlick is one of the largest independent energy providers in Germany.

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Comments

Ouch.

With Diesel at about EU1.40/l right now, and the A3 consuming roughly 3.5-4l/100km (real world) fuel costs will run about Euro 0.05 to 0.06/km. If the e-tron gets about 6.5km/kWh and we assume 90% charge efficiency plus a few kWh per month for car conditioning (preheat/cool), then electricity will actually cost about the same as running the diesel.

Surely this is a key reason for poor sales of EVs in Germany thus far (YTD about 700/mo, or a few tenths of percent in a very green country).

Do you get a new electric cable to to your house ?
No.
Do you get the same electricity as you did the day before you signed up - Yes.

This smells badly of green washing.
You get an "offset", or a little cert to say that someone has marked hydro.
What if you didn't buy it - would any less hydro be generated - no.

It is all a cod.

If you had your own PV, or lived in France where they actually have low CO2, this would be something, but IMO you should rate it the same as the local grid.

If you want to lower your CO2 from electricity, charge the car when there is a lot of PV (noon-ish) or wind - the Co2 intensity varies from hour to hour and this can be broadcast and monitored (as it is in Ireland).

But the notion of hand picking electrons from hydro in the Swiss Alps and marking them just for Audi drivers is a bit of a stretch,

This is a lot like Green Mountain and other renewable electricity companies. They contract with the electricity producer to buy their output. It creates a market for renewable electricity, nothing wrong with that.

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