Audi A3 E-Tron News
We are tracking the latest news about the Audi e-tron. This is the spot to follow the progress of Audi's electric vehicle programs.
We recently took the Audi A3 E-tron for a spin from San Francisco to and around Palo Alto, Calif. It’s a great car, but its appeal is a lot less about battery-power—and a lot more about style and road manners. Frankly, there are a lot more drivers who care about those things than about the battle between electrons and hydrocarbons.
How can Volkswagen reform its reputation as a green carmaker? Maybe the events at Frankfurt last provide clues. Executives told reporters that VW plans to release 20 different EV and plug-in hybrid models by 2020. For Volkswagen, plug-ins could be a lifeline.
Audi this week announced that pricing for the all-new 2016 A3 Sportback e-tron plug-in hybrid will begin at $37,900, before incentives. The model is Audi’s first plug-in model sold in the United States. It will be in dealerships nationwide starting in October.
Years after Audi’s announcement about offering a plug-in A3, we can finally say with some certainty when the first units will become available in the United States: October 2015. According to multiple sources, the Audi A3 e-tron—which went on sale in Germany in August 2014—has faced problems with cold weather. These concerns primarily result in decreased all-electric range when the temperature dips.
Audi will introduce a new more powerful, lighter and more fuel-efficient version of its Q7 sports utility vehicle at the 2015 Detroit auto show in January. Here’s the big news for plug-in fans: the new Q7 will be offered with a powerful one-two combination of plug-in capability and a 3-liter V-6 diesel engine.
It’s been nearly a year since Dr. Rudolph Krebs, Volkswagen’s chief of electrification, told me that VW wants to be the industry leader in EVs and perhaps even more so on plug-in hybrids. Last week, at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show, he reiterated that commitment. “We decided on the most comprehensive strategy for the e-market,” he said. “We spent a lot of money on developing completely new powertrains.”
Electric vehicle and plug-in hybrid prototypes are not exactly new at Volkswagen. There have been so many of them over the years—at motor shows, demonstrations, and media events in many different countries. But the only place where nobody has seen a plug-in Volkswagen is at a VW dealership. That's about to change.
Audi has apparently pulled the plug on a couple of its pending plug-in vehicle projects. Specifically, Audi reportedly axed both the extended-range A1 e-tron and electric A2 due to concerns over high projected price tags for both vehicles.
The big news from the big annual Las Vegas consumer electronics show is about the Ford Focus Electric. But Ford isn't alone. Audi announced plans to move forward with its plug-in cars, and G.M. is showing off its self-driving mobility machine.