Audi set A1 e-tron loose on the streets of Munich as part of fleet pilot
The fleet trial project has been initiated by Audi, the power company E.ON, the public utility Stadtwerke München (SWM) and Technische Universität München (TUM), and will help these organisations to consolidate their thinking on the integration of electric power into day-to-day motoring, and to identify how the existing transport and communications infrastructure might need to adapt to support this.
E.ON and SWM are responsible for expanding and maintaining the charging infrastructure in the Munich metropolitan area, and have already installed a demand-oriented charging network there – SWM within the Bavarian capital's city limits and E.ON primarily in outlying areas. All the electric 'fuelling stations' offer power generated via renewable energies.
This trial is part of a project referred to as "Electric Mobility in Munich as a Pilot Region ", sponsored by Germany's Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development. The Ministry is providing the region with some ten million euros for electric mobility. This project will address a number of issues, ranging from the power grid itself to data transfer between drivers, vehicles, and electric fuelling stations. For example, the use of a smartphone as a driver's main interface will be examined.
Franciscus van Meel, head of Electric Mobility Strategy at AUDI AG, said: ‘Audi works relentlessly on comprehensive approaches which maximise benefits to customers. In this era of electric mobility, we will offer our customers a wide range of services which go beyond driving itself. For example, the networking of vehicles with their surroundings and with infrastructure as well as new concepts of mobility will be important.
‘We want to use this fleet trial to learn more about our customers' usage of electric cars, and their expectations in this regard. We are planning additional fleet endeavours in strategically important markets,’ he adds.
The Audi A1 e-tron is a range-extender electric car with an output of 102PS and a top speed of 81mph. If the battery runs low on charge, a compact combustion engine – the range extender – recharges it as needed to boost the vehicle's operating range to as much as 155 miles. This compact electric car is a zero-emissions vehicle for the first 31 miles of a trip – in city traffic, for instance.
The battery comprises a package of lithium-ion modules mounted in the floor assembly in front of the rear axle. In short, the four-seat A1 e-tron was designed for daily driving in metropolitan areas. It offers 'fuel economy' of up to 148.7mpg, for a CO2 equivalent of just 45 g/km.
Ruth Werhahn, head of Electric Mobility at E.ON AG,commented: ‘The fleet trial which started today will only add to the expertise we have been acquiring during more than ten pilot projects for electric mobility in six European countries. We have blazed new trails in the charging infrastructure. We have set up not only public charging points near large cities but also innovative charging points at multi-storey car parks in city centres. Drivers simply insert their parking tickets to use the charging points and then pay for their electricity along with the parking fee.’