Audi has confirmed that they will start the test for the battery electric-version of the company’s A3 model and the pilot program will take place in selected areas in the US such as in Washington, Denver, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.
This confirmation also marks the start of Audi’s plan of launching an extensive range of e-tron vehicles in the US which is also viewed as the company’s way of strengthening its electric and hybrid model line-up in the coming years.
Audi is planning to gradually introduce the e-tron line-up in the US and this would probably be composed of plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs), extended-range electric vehicles (EREVs), and full-battery vehicles (BEVs). This particular move on the part of Audi is currently considered as one of the company’s greatest expansion since the prices of gasoline used in conventional cars continue to increase and having a vehicle line-up that is powered by electric or any other alternative sources of energy could provide Audi with a greater advantage against its closest competitors.
Audi has also explained that the testing of the battery-electric version of the A3 will run for almost a year and this is designed to iron-out the possible hindrances that might prevent Audi from implementing the company’s plans of establishing a reliable e-tron vehicle line-up. In addition to this, the pilot tests will also explore the ways as to how the e-tron vehicle would perform under real-life conditions as well as try to solicit the reaction from the buying public. In short, the test will serve as a dry run that would help Audi finalize the company’s program wherein implementation of the e-tron project would be based.
As of the present, Audi will be testing the A3 e-tron which is also regarded as the centrepiece of the pilot program conducted in the US. The A3 e-tron is propelled by a powerful electric motor which is capable of producing an impressive 199 lb.-ft. of torque. The electric motor derives its power from a 26kW lithium-ion battery pack.
The A3 e-tron is capable of travelling at a range of 90 miles at a top speed of 90 miles per hour before the battery pack gets drained. When asked about the origin of the vehicle’s name, Audi explains that the term “e-tron” denotes “the advanced electrified powertrain with plug-in capability.”