Audi A1 e-Tron pilot project kicks off in Munchen

Article by Christian Andrei, on October 31, 2011

As part of a fleet trial, 20 units of the Audi A1 e-tron are now being driven on the roads of the Munich pilot region. A few weeks ago, trial participants started to get the keys to their electric cars. For this project, Audi has partnered with E.ON, the public utility Stadtwerke München and Technische Universität München (TUM). E.ON and SWM are responsible for expanding and maintaining the charging infrastructure in the Munich metropolitan area.

The Audi A1 e-tron features a range extender. The A1 e-tron can deliver 75 kW (102 hp), enabling to reach a top speed of 130 km/h (80.78 mph).

When the battery runs out of energy, the range extender (a compact combustion engine) recharges the battery as required to improve the vehicle’s operating range to as high as 250 km (155 miles). This means that this compact electric car has no emissions for the first 50 kilometers (31 miles) of a trip, such as when traversing through urban roads.

The battery includes a package of lithium-ion modules in the floor assembly in front of the rear axle. In other words, the four-seat A1 e-tron was developed for everyday driving in cities. It uses up just 1.9 l/100 km (123.80 US mpg) and has CO2 emissions of just 45 g/km (72.42 g/mile).

Those who have joined the e-car bandwagon will surely be impressed with Audi’s A1 E-tron extended range model. The test vehicle boasts of up to 102PS output with a top speed of up to 81 mph. And would you believe that the first thirty-one miles around the city even guarantees zero emissions? That’s truly impressive.

E-tron’s range extending unit recharges the battery whenever it is essential. Thus, it makes Audi’s compact car go beyond 155 miles even when the power is already low. The battery modules consist of lithium-ion and are placed at the floor pan next to the rear axle.

Audi has designed the A1 E-Tron for city driving. In other words, Audi’s new four-seater vehicle is definitely the best car to bring whether to the office or to the grocery store. The same car provides low CO2 emissions of only 45g/km and lower fuel consumption of at least 148.7mpg.

As far as electric mobility is concerned, Ruth Werhahn, (E.ON AG’s Electric Mobility Head) explains how the newly commenced trial project will improve their level of expertise.

In line with this, they have done at least ten preliminary tests in 6 European countries. This has allowed them to set up different charging points within some establishment’s parking lots as well as within the surrounding key areas. To enable the charging docks, the driver only needs to slip the parking ticket inside the slot. The charging fees will then be added to the parking fee upon leaving.

E.ON has been around the industry for quite some time. The company has already come up with outstanding charging solutions under different situations. They have in fact developed Germany’s “green power” package and charging boxes for individual home use. Nevertheless, E.ON’s high standard for quality ensures that the charging units are safe and reliable.

At this point, many public charging stations are already supplied by E.ON. This type of charging stations can accommodate two e-cars all at once. The commercial charging slots uses e-cards (the one with electro-magnetic strips) to activate the charging units.

Actually, the same e-fuelling stations have been used in Munich’s trial project. And as far as we can tell, E.ON is currently working to improve their offers. The brand is set to come up with cable-free charging and Direct Current fast charging very soon.

Press Release

Audi A1 e-Trons Make All The Right Connections In Munich

Pilot scheme involving ‘real world' test fleet of advanced range-extender electric A1 subcompact hatchbacks begins in Bavarian capital

  • 20 Audi A1 e-tron models now on Munich streets
  • Technische Universität M?nchen gathering and evaluating mobility data
  • CO2-free mobility with green power

Audi has just flicked the switch on twenty examples of the electric A1 e-tron, bringing the remarkable 148mpg* premium subcompacts to life on the streets of Munich as part of an extensive pilot trial and data capture exercise.

 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.

"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," emphasises Franciscus van Meel, Head of Electric Mobility Strategy at AUDI AG. He adds: "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."

Close to 150mpg

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*.

As Ruth Werhahn, Head of Electric Mobility at E.ON AG, emphasises: "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."

Home charging solution

E.ON has already developed commercially viable charging solutions for various scenarios. For example, it offers a package to private individuals in Germany that comprises renewable ‘green power' and a charging box for use with electric vehicles at home. This is available subject to a safety inspection by E.ON of each customer's electrical equipment to ensure that it can withstand the heavy loads associated with recharging an electric vehicle for hours.

E.ON also supplies charging stations open to the general public - primarily commercial customers. At these stations, two electric cars can recharge their batteries at the same time via different charging points. Magnetic-stripe cards grant drivers access. Both types of electric fuelling stations are being used in the Munich fleet trial. In addition, E.ON is fostering the continuous enhancement of charging technology by focusing on direct-current (DC) fast charging as well as cable-free charging.

Dr. Florian Bieberbach, Commercial Director at SWM, said: "We have been working with partners for quite some time on various projects concerning individual electric mobility. As the operator of streetcars and subway trains, we have more than 115 years of electric-mobility experience in public transportation. SWM is responsible for the charging infrastructure within Munich city limits; we also offer the green power which facilitates CO2-neutral driving. The foundation for this was laid by our Renewable Energies expansion campaign. We want to generate enough green electricity by 2025 to supply the entire Munich metro area with electricity. Munich is thus on pace to become the world's first city of a million-plus inhabitants to achieve this ambitious goal."

During the project, TUM is collecting and analysing data on mobility, concentrating specifically on the situations in which people drive electric cars, the degree to which they drive them and how this technology will influence the use of other means of transportation. To answer these questions, the departments of Automotive Engineering and of Ergonomics have developed a mobile application that all fleet-trial participants can use on their smartphones. These devices will thoroughly document participants' mobility behaviour, taking into account everything from electric cars and combustion-engine passenger vehicles right through to buses, trains and bicycles. At the same time, the Department of Services Marketing is conducting a study to ascertain suitable models for billing electric-mobility customers.

"For researchers, it is no longer a question of whether electric mobility will catch on, but rather when. Electric mobility constitutes a paradigm shift for companies and society alike. This fleet trial allows us to learn more about people's mobility habits under a new set of circumstances," says Professor Markus Lienkamp at TU Munich's Department of Automotive Engineering. "Insights from this project can then serve as the basis for worthy approaches to sustainable individual mobility."

*calculated as per the proposed standard for determining the fuel efficiency of vehicles with range extenders

Topics: audi, audi a1, e-tron, germany

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