Luxury automaker Audi announced a new electric vehicle pilot project at TED2012 in Long Beach, California. The Audi A3 e-tron pilot program will help Audi break into the U.S. electric vehicle market, which is experiencing quite a bit of growth this year.
Audi will be initiating the pilot program from a research perspective, with plans to gather information about the challenges and opportunities within the plug-in vehicle market that are specific to the luxury auto buyer.
The Audi A3 e-tron pilot program will be conducted throughout 2012 in four U.S. markets: San Francisco and Los Angeles, California, Washington, D.C. and Denver, Colorado. Audi will gather real time data as the vehicle is used in everyday driving situations. Engineers in both the United States and Germany will be able to use this data in the development of a future electrified Audi model.
“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.” Source: Audi
Participants in the pilot program will be driving a modified Audi A3 that is equipped with an all-electric powertrain operated by a 26kw lithium-ion battery. The vehicle has a 90-mile emissions-free driving range with a top speed of 90 mph.