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Audi A3 Sportback e-tron plug-in hybrid sales start in Europe; 157 mpg US

31 July 2014

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A3 e-tron. Click to enlarge.

Audi’s first plug-in hybrid, the A3 Sportback e-tron (earlier post), is now available to order for customers in Europe. Approximately 410 Audi dealers in Europe—including 105 in Germany—are selling the A3 e-tron. Pricing on the German market is €37,900 (US$50,800).

The Audi A3 Sportback e-tron brings together a 1.4 TFSI gasoline engine and an electric motor, giving the compact automobile a system output of 150 kW (204 hp). The A3 Sportback e-tron’s fuel consumption in accordance with the NEDC standard for plug-in hybrid vehicles is 1.5 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (157 mpg US), with CO2 emissions of 35 grams per kilometer (56.3 g/mi).

An individual installation check, the “e-tron plus” special package and “green” power from Audi in partnership with LichtBlick (earlier post) complete the offering for the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron. The compact electric car will be handed over to its first customers this winter.

Under electric power alone it has a range of 50 kilometers (31.1 mi), and more than 900 kilometers (559.2 mi) in combined mode. Audi is also offering leasing of €319 per month (US$427) with a term of 36 months.

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Key components of the A3 e-tron. Click to enlarge.

Dealers are receiving special training in sales and service relating to electric vehicles. Between mid-July and the end of August, Audi is providing training to around 2,000 sales, service and used car employees from all over Europe at its Training Center next to Munich. In addition, some 300 German high-voltage technicians and service advisors from Audi will undertake a technical training course at the Service Training Center in Neckarsulm.

In future, every e-tron dealer will also have at least one charging station that e-tron customers can use, even after their purchase. The Audi A3 Sportback e-tron can be charged quickly via a charging point at the dealership, within the public charging infrastructure or at the customer’s home.

For the latter option, Audi offers—in Germany—an individual installation service whereby a technician checks the electrics in the customer’s home, makes any adjustments that may be required and installs the charging dock, which is designed for safe, convenient charging.

To mark the start of the A3 Sportback e-tron, Audi has additionally put together the “e-tron plus” package. In Germany it includes the charging dock, a cable for public charging points, MMI navigation plus, Audi connect and phone box.

July 31, 2014 in Hybrids, Plug-ins | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

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What are they rating the electricity at in terms of gms/KwH. Typically, they set it to zero in these situations.

However, a lot of electricity in Germany is generated from coal (or lignite) so that would not apply, except from 11-4pm on Summer's days when they have loads of Solar.

(maybe you could say it in France where they have 79% nuclear).

If you rate electricity at 510 gms CO2/kwH, and the engine at 4.8 km / kwH, you end up with 106 gms/km on electricity, which seems a bit more than the 35 gms they suggest in the article. (Or have I made a mistake).

The collection of truly EU market focused Plug-ins are here, and now we'll see how strongly Europe buys in. Everyone likes to point to Norway and the Netherlands as bellwethers, but they are small markets with extraordinarily favorable buying conditions. In 2013, plug-ins for the EU overall amounted to about 0.43% of new auto sales. As pointed out in a Millikin tweet, the plug-in fraction in Western Europe ex-Norway was 0.34%.

OTOH, the death of the Ampera was not necessarily indicative of anything, either. It was just not "European enough", with uninteresting lines, a mild ICE output and poor internal volume for its overall size. The Outlander's relative success over the past 16 months (12,000 units outside of the Netherlands, 6000 within) is more than double the Ampera's best numbers. Audi's very popular A3 maintains Audi's classy lines with a more responsive ICE and no (apparent) compromise in internal space. Perhaps it will get some traction.

Likewise, the overall range of plug-in options for EU buyers adds up to some pretty sweet choices from Volvo, Daimler, and BMW as well, so there is definitely no longer an excuse for ho-hum sales numbers.

At least the Germans are coming out with BEVs and PHEVs at long last.

For an up to date blog on EV sales see

http://ev-sales.blogspot.dk/2014/07/world-top-20-june-2014-special-edition.html

I can highly recommend it. It is accurate and constantly updated.

Thanks for the link. It is much better than the ABG or GCR tallies. I've bookmarked it.

Just as an aside I think the Audi line is overall the most pleasingly designed fleet of offerings. They are so graceful. While my industrial and business experience in Deutschland is limited, it seemed that the standard mid-level manager "company car" perk chosen was the A3 wagon (diesel, of course).

About three years ago I had the opportunity to tour the Neckarsulm factory and I have to say it was a stunning operation. I don't think ANY company comes close to the consistent body panel fit and finish across the product line (mid-price to luxury) as does Audi. They are really pioneers in Aluminum. (When I say my first-ever Tesla Model S in the wild, I was shocked at how badly the panels were aligned --- I mean uneven gaps, with spaces bigger than 1cm. Mind you this was an early release car, but I guess the tolerance of owners was proportional to their general love of the car, so it didn't matter in owner assessment of quality.)

If I were once again in the market for an EREV, the A3 would be my choice.

I am also an Audi fan and I agree that Tesla still has some way to go in terms of interior finish in order to reach the stars. Nevertheless, for me I value the power train technology the most so I would still prefer a Tesla as it leads by far in that area in my opinion.

I am sure the A3 is a fantastic car. I am only worried the luggage space is compromised. It seems so by looking at the picture for the A3 power train layout.

Note that so far the only two plug-ins that have managed to have more demand than their production capacity is the Model S and the Outlander PHEV. The outlander sell about 120,000 units per year and this year 35,000 are expected to be the PHEV version It could have been higher if they could secure more batteries. This is an amazing success. This is why I think the Model X and Porsche's Cayenne PHEV will also see brisk sales. There is a large demand for large but green cars. There are plenty of people with money that want to drive green but they do not want to give up any life quality by driving a smaller or less luxurious car. The outlander will also see high sales when it lands in the US next year for about 45 to 50k USD. This will be the lowest price for any large but green car.

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