Friday, July 23, 2010

#Audi #A1 E-tron Kicks Electric Vehicles into Gear

Electric cars will take the world by storm starting later this summer, with every major car maker getting in on the action by next year--including Audi whose new A1 will feature an all-electric option. Look for all-electric cars to capture a twin-digit percent of the world market by 2012. R.C.J.

Here's what SmarterTechnology says about Audi's new all-electric option: Audi's new A1 family, slated to debut this fall, is a precursor to its electric model—the A1 E-tron. Dubbed a mega-city vehicle, the A1 E-tron combines an all-electric drive train with style and economy...The A1 E-tron will have a 30-mile range on a single charge from its 12-kilowatt-hour, 380-volt, 330-pound, 96-cell lithium ion battery pack, but its range can be extended with an on-board gasoline-powered electricity generator. Audi claims this "serial hybrid" architecture has a smaller energy footprint and lower cost than parallel hybrids (like Toyota's Prius, which uses a gasoline engine to power its wheels). In its design, Audi's A1 E-tron is more akin to Chevy's Volt, another serial hybrid that will only use the gasoline engine to recharge the batteries, or to extend its driving range...
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