Audi joins the EV train

by Ernie Hernandez on February 28, 2012

Audi A3 e-tron

Audi announces A3 e-tron EV Pilot Program

At TED2012 Audi announced the debut of the A3 e-tron battery electric vehicle (EV) pilot program. TED is a non-profit organization promoting the idea that ideas are a good thing. A good place, we think, to debut a new electric vehicle.

Audi’s A3 is a four door wagon currently available in gasoline and clean diesel TDI versions. The A3 e-tron full battery electric version will launch in four markets: Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. These markets were selected for their geographic diversity and differing climate conditions to better evaluate performance in these environs. The pilot program will run for a year. Audi hopes to gain information that will be usable in the further development of battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids.

Expect similar performance to that of the Nissan LEAF. The battery pack will offer a 26 kilowatt hour capacity mated to an electric motor with 199 lb-ft of torque. It is interesting to note that Audi provided torque figures while not addressing horsepower. For most drivers, torque is actually the more important number of the two. Torque provides acceleration capability, while horsepower provides top speed. Except in the case of most electric cars, where the top speed is generally limited by the electric motor rpm, single speed transmission and tire diameter. Top speed is expected to be in the 90 mph range, and driving range is expected to be roughly 90 miles.

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