Audi launches pilot program for electric version of A3
Audi is jumping into the American car leasing market for electric vehicles with a pilot program for its A3 e-tron compact car.
Designed as a premium automobile for congested urban centers, the car has an electrified power train with a plug-in capability, spanning several design versions from full battery-electric (BEV) to plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and extended range electric (EREV).
American drivers have already seen the automaker's standard A3 design, including both gasoline-powered and clean diesel TDI configurations. The A3 e-tron version retains the full interior space of those conventional models while adding a battery range of 90 miles and a top speed of 90 miles per hour.
Researchers hope to use the program to identify challenges and opportunities with luxury plug-in vehicles. Electric vehicle experts will study the car’s performance in different geographic regions - including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and Denver - learning about the effect of climate conditions and driving patterns on automotive performance.
"As part of the long-range Audi corporate goal of moving toward CO2-neutral mobility, there will be e-tron plug-in vehicle products exhibiting all of the performance and design attributes Audi drivers have come to expect," said Johan de Nysschen, president of Audi of America. "Audi is committed to refining Audi e-tron technology and we expect our plug-in vehicles to become a significant choice for our buyers within a growing line of advanced, efficient Audi powertrains over the coming years."
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