Audi have joined in the electric car debate by producing the new Audi A1 hybrid, which will be power by the e-tron project. The superminis will be fitted out with an electric motor capable of generating 101 bhp of energy giving the car a top speed of 81 mph and a range of 30 miles. The Audi A1s are also equipped with a standard petrol engine that can then be used to drive the car and recharge the batteries giving the car an effective range of 155 combined miles while only producing 45g/km CO2 emissions.
Audi are producing 20 roadworthy A1 cars that they are going to test on the streets of Munich in a project that will include the national power company E.ON, the local municipal utility company Stadwerke Munchen and the Technical University of Munich.
The 20 cars will also have smartphones with apps that monitor the car, and collect information about how the Audi A1 is being used. The participants will also include information about any other forms of transport like bicycle, bus, train or walking that they do. This data will then be analysed by the university as part of their transport study.
The German government have thrown their backing behind the project and committed ten million euros towards it. Audi have said that it is their aim to create a realistically priced and viable alternative to the conventionally fuelled engine.
Rupert Stadler, the head of Audi, has stated that the project is not just about producing an electric car but by taking account of the whole process of transport and they hope that the trial will give them a greater understanding of customer behaviour and expectations both in the car and when away from it.