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Audi today announced the battery-electric Audi A3 e-tron pilot program in the U.S. to define a progressive e-mobility driver experience for premium car buyers. Audi made the announcement of the engineering-based pilot program for the A3 e-tron today at TED2012 in Long Beach, Calif., where Audi is presenting a vision for the role transportation will play in the world’s increasingly congested urban centers of the future.

The A3 e-tron pilot program marks the first step by Audi into the expanding U.S. electric vehicle landscape, which is a central component of the discussion expected at the Audi Social Space at TED2012.
At TED2012, Audi intends to spark a progressive dialogue about the role transportation will play in the global megacities of the future. The Audi Social Space will present a variety of perspectives on this topic on touch-screen video installations allowing attendees to pose new mobility scenarios for future urban spaces and contribute in real time to Audi’s live Twitter feed through the #AudiTED hashtag.
Elements of Audi balanced mobility initiatives will provide a backdrop for the interactive Social Space and spark conversation on future urban mobility and how to achieve CO2 neutrality across the mobility chain. Initiatives include: the lightweight A2 concept EV that features technology built specifically for the megacity of the future, like traffic-friendly piloted drive technologies for stop-and-go congestion; the Audi e-gas project, which utilizes offshore wind turbines to generate clean power for the production of electricity, hydrogen and methane; and futuristic cityscapes designed by partner architects of the Audi Urban Future Initiative.
Audi A3 e-tron, a global debut
Adding a new electric dimension to driving performance, the Audi A3 e-tron pilot program will allow Audi to identify challenges and opportunities with plug-in vehicles as progressive luxury car buyers become increasingly receptive to EV technology. By studying e-tron use across multiple geographical regions, Audi will monitor the effect of climate conditions, driving patterns and energy performance and use insight gained in the final development of future EV technology applications.
The A3 e-tron pilot program will take place in the San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and Denver markets.
“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, 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.”
With the A3 e-tron pilot program Audi engineers and technical experts will explore EVs in a real world setting and monitor in real-time how e-tron technology operates in everyday scenarios. The pilot will run throughout the year and provide actionable feedback and telematics data to Audi engineering teams in the U.S. and Germany. This approach follows the Audi philosophy of engineering innovation by introducing fully developed alternative technology to ensure no compromises are needed by Audi owners.
“The A3 e-tron pilot program serves as an important innovation platform for Audi to develop greater insight into electric vehicles and how American driving conditions affect use of the progressive technology in everyday life,” said Jeff Curry, e-mobility and sustainability strategy lead at Audi of America. “We will integrate the data generated from this program into the launch of a range of Audi e-tron models for American drivers.”
The e-tron name indicates that an advanced electrified power train with a plug-in capability is onboard. As a core philosophy of e-tron, Audi engineers are researching e-tron power concepts tailored to different vehicle types and driving needs including full battery-electric (BEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and extended range electric (EREV) versions. The goal is to have the right product for the market at the right time – the best solution for the individual requirements of Audi customers. Audi e-tron becomes the latest entry to Audi’s stable of ingredient technologies, including Audi ultra lightweight construction, Audi TDI® clean diesel, Audi connect™ navigation and infotainment and Audi’s signature quattro® all-wheel drive.
Based on the award-winning Audi A3, currently sold to U.S. consumers in gasoline-powered and clean diesel TDI configurations, the Audi A3 e-tron features a fully electric powertrain with a 26kw lithium-ion battery, and zero driving emissions. Providing a sporty driving dynamic, Audi A3 e-tron has 199 lb-ft torque, a battery range of approximately 90 miles and a top speed of 90 mph all while retaining the full interior space and versatility of the A3.
Audi also is working on standardizing peripheral technologies that have to be taken into consideration for wide spread EV adoption and use, including driving the establishment in 2011 of common global standards for charging. As part of the pilot program, Audi will develop its network of infrastructure partners, test advanced services and create partnerships that will be central to providing the premium Audi experience for e-tron buyers.
For more information on the Audi A3 e-tron, including video clips and photos, please visit audiusanews.com.

Audi A3 Etron

Audi today announced the battery-electric Audi A3 e-tron pilot program in the U.S. to define a progressive e-mobility driver experience for premium car buyers. Audi made the announcement of the engineering-based pilot program for the A3 e-tron today at TED2012 in Long Beach, Calif., where Audi is presenting a vision for the role transportation will play in the world’s increasingly congested urban centers of the future. (more…)

Key Competitors: Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG E-CELL, Audi e-tron.
Power: 3-cylinder 3.0l, 220 hp (rear wheels), electric motor 129 hp (front wheels).
Transmission: Dual-clutch automatic.
Performance: 0-60 in less than 5 seconds.
Pricing: Probably more than your house.
Availability: Production model due in 2014.
BMW has been hard at work with their sustainable living projects, which have ultimately spawned the i3 city car and the new i8 concept. And to keep up with its exposure, BMW has just unveiled the i8 Concept in North America today at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show.
Power for the BMW i8 Concept comes from a modified electric-motor found in the i3. It drives the front axle while a 1.5 liter 3-cylinder gasoline engine making 220-hp and 221 lb-ft of torque moves the rear axle. Working together, the system makes 349-hp and 405 lb-ft of torque. Mated to a twin-speed transmission, the BMW i8 runs from 0 to 62 mph in less than 5 seconds with a top speed of 155 mph.
Click here for more news on the BMW i8.
On a full charge of its lithium-ion battery, the BMW i8 can go 20 miles in full electric mode. While no total range has been provided, rumors say that the i8 is capable of going more than 400 miles on a full tank of gas and full charge. Estimated fuel-economy for the BMW i8 Concept comes in at 78 mpg.

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BMW has been hard at work with their sustainable living projects, which have ultimately spawned the i3 city car and the new i8 concept. And to keep up with its exposure, BMW has just unveiled the i8 Concept in North America today at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show.

(more…)

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Joining the Honda Small Sport EV Concept and the Honda AC-X plug-in hybrid at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show will be the Micro Commuter Concept.
According to Honda the Honda Micro Commuter Concept is:
A micro-sized, futuristic, electric city commuter which will become a highly accessible form of mobility for more people. This vehicle will offer the joy of a new type of communications between people and mobility and an exterior that the owner can enjoy customizing more casually. The collaboration of Honda’s motorcycle and automobile R&D centers made it possible to load the MOTOR COMPO two-wheel EV commuter in this vehicle.
We’ll have to wait until the 2011 Tokyo Show for more details

Joining the Honda Small Sport EV Concept and the Honda AC-X plug-in hybrid at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show will be the Micro Commuter Concept.

According to Honda the Honda Micro Commuter Concept is:

A micro-sized, futuristic, electric city commuter which will become a highly accessible form of mobility for more people. This vehicle will offer the joy of a new type of communications between people and mobility and an exterior that the owner can enjoy customizing more casually. The collaboration of Honda’s motorcycle and automobile R&D centers made it possible to load the MOTOR COMPO two-wheel EV commuter in this vehicle.

We’ll have to wait until the 2011 Tokyo Show for more details

Electric powertrains are by no means new to the automobile industry because Toyota had invented the gasoline electric hybrid back in 1997. And although their functionality has been undoubtedly successful, a new investigation has popped up involving electric powertrains, more specifically with their battery packs.
This new investigation pops up after a Chevrolet Volt battery caught fire three weeks after a side-impact test at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s testing center in Wisconsin. The fire engulfed the car and others surrounding it.
You may be thinking, well, what could’ve caused that and how come it hasn’t happened to other cars such as the Toyota Prius? Well, for starters, the Toyota’s hybrid powertrains have been utilizing a nickel-metal battery. The Chevrolet Volt on the other hand uses a lithium ion battery. That said, the Volt’s incident has forced a team of investigators from the NHTSA to conduct a private and thorough investigation of lithium battery packs in the application of automobiles, which means the Nissan LEAF will too be scrutinized.
Click here for more news on the Chevrolet Volt.
“As manufacturers continue to develop vehicles of any kind — electric, gasoline, or diesel — it is critical that they take the necessary steps to ensure the safety of drivers and first responders both during and after a crash,” said the NHTSA in a statement.

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Electric powertrains are by no means new to the automobile industry because Toyota had invented the gasoline electric hybrid back in 1997. And although their functionality has been undoubtedly successful, a new investigation has popped up involving electric powertrains, more specifically with their battery packs.

(more…)


Honda AC-X Concept

Honda AC-X Concept

Along with the Honda Small Sports EV Concept, the Japanese automaker will show this four-door AC-X Concept. The Honda AC-X, which stands for Advanced Cruiser-X is described as “a next-generation plug-in hybrid vehicle which offers a more comfortable and enjoyable time in the vehicle during all driving situations, from urban to long-distance driving. With the choices of an ‘engine drive mode’ for more aggressive driving or an ‘automatic drive mode’ for more relaxed driving, the vehicle broadens the joy of mobility.”

(more…)

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Prior to the 2010 Paris Motor Show, Lotus talked about the ‘dawn of a new era’ for the company and with five new concept cars, a new era it was. The new Louts Elite concept showed a new GT car; the Lotus Elise concept showed a more ‘grown up’ version of the sports car; the Lotus Elan concept previewed a model that would most likely replace the Evora; the Lotus Esprit concept previewed the next-generation that will debut sometime in 2013; and the Lotus Eterne concept showed a sedan planned for production in 2015. (more…)

Mercedes Benz A Class

Joining the B-Class F-CELL fuel-cell vehicle, Mercedes-Benz announced today that it will expand its study into alternative energy sources with the A-Class E-CELL. The model, which will debut at the 2010 Paris Motor Show, is based on the five-door version of the current A-Class and features two high-efficiency lithium-ion batteries that provide a range of over 124 miles. (more…)