|Drivetrain of the Audi A1 e-tron. Click to enlarge.|
Audi and its partners E.ON, the Munich municipal utility company Stadtwerke München (SWM) and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have begun a fleet trial with electric drive cars in the Munich model region. By the middle of next year, 20 Audi A1 e-tron (earlier post) models will successively take to the region’s roads and around 200 new charging stations will be installed.
The “eflott” project is part of the “Model Region Electromobility Munich” sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Transport. It will address a number of issues from the data transfer between the driver, vehicle and electric filling station to the power grid. It will also include a test of smartphones as the central interface for the driver.
The Audi A1 e-tron is a range-extended electric city concept vehicle featuring a 75 kW (102 hp) peak power electric traction motor and a single-rotor Wankel engine coupled with an electrical generator with a charge rating of up to 15 kW. The 12 kWh Li-ion battery pack in A1 e-tron supports a range of 50 kilometers (31.07 miles). If the range extender is used to recharge the battery, the A1 e-tron can cover an additional 200 kilometers (124.27 miles) of range. According to a draft standard for the computation of fuel consumption for range extended vehicles, this represents a fuel consumption of 1.9 L/100 km (123.80 mpg US)—a CO2 equivalent of 45 g/km (72.42 g/mile), Audi says.
E.ON and SWM are installing the necessary charging infrastructure; E.ON primarily in the outlying areas and SWM in the Bavarian state capital. The two utility companies are initially installing a total of 100 charging stations each as part of a variety of projects. All of the charging stations are supplied with electricity generated from renewable energies.
The Technical University of Munich is responsible for comprehensive data collection and evaluation of mobility behavior. How heavily and in which situation is the electric car being used? And what influence does this option have on the use of other means of transportation? To answer these questions, the Department of Vehicle Engineering has developed a mobile application that will be provided on a smartphone to all participants of the fleet trial. The device will thoroughly document their mobility behavior—from their use of bicycles to the electric cars and from conventional cars to buses and trains.
To ensure that the participants always use the smartphone, the Department of Ergonomics made sure that the application features an easy-to-use design that encourages use over the long-term. At the same time, the Department of Marketing is conducting a study to discover which billing models for the electricity used for e-mobility meet with the greatest acceptance.
The fleet trial is being supported by the German Federal Ministry of Transport as part of a publicly-funded project.
Electromobility is not an abstract technology issue. At its core is the question of how the transportation systems of the future should look. We are therefore funding electromobility under real-world conditions in our model regions—a large field test, so to speak. Projects like these provide us with important insight into how to make electromobility a success, both in the city and in rural areas. In the Munich model region, we are providing approximately €10 million in funding for electromobility. This money is a smart investment in the future. Our goal is clear: We want to make Germany the lead market for electromobility and put at least one million electric vehicles on German roads by 2020.—Federal Transport Minister Peter Ramsauer