For vehicle enthusiasts worldwide, Audi is a name they know a lot about. They hear it constantly – it’s echoed on dealership lots and throughout the halls of automotive conventions. In magazines, advertisements, promos, and beyond, Audi is a name that commands respect.
But just what is it about Audi that is so exciting? Their legacy speaks for itself, but we know that isn’t something that can be built overnight.
Founded in 1910, the company has over a century of experience in their industry. Even if one counts their modern-era headquarters’ establishment as the company’s true beginning, that still gives them 49 years of experience.
Now with 11 production facilities across 9 different countries, Audi is an international and global success. Their vehicles are engineered with a classic touch that longtime fans of the brand will appreciate – but this auto maker isn’t afraid to experiment, either.
Experimenting can involve chasing new ideas in the automotive industry. And the electric car is one of the most popular ideas today.
The Rise of the Electric Automobile: A Perfect Storm
When we think about what drives innovation in industries, it is usually a combination of three things – necessity, profit incentive, and timing.
The necessity speaks for itself in the green age. Gas guzzlers have come under fire more than ever before, with environmental advocates pointing to their long-lasting damage. The incentive for companies is clear – being an eco-friendly solution is a big plus in 2018 and beyond.
As for the profit incentive, it is there as well. Customers are more likely to invest in a vehicle if they know they will be capable of recouping their investment in the long-term. Moving to an electric vehicle can be a big change, but it can also mean no more gas bills.
Finally, there’s timing. Making a big leap into a new market is something that needs the right timing to succeed. With so many companies echoing the merits of a green approach to energy, there’s no better time than now to enter the electric vehicle market.
What does that mean for Audi? It means they have to enter the electric market and do so in a big way. Luckily for Audi fans or electric car lovers who just appreciate more options, there’s the Audi e-tron.
What does this vehicle have to offer? How does it compare to Audi’s other vehicles? Does their electric offering have the same classic touch? And is it on par with electric vehicles from other big-name manufacturers?
What is the Audi e-tron? What Does It Offer?
Marketed as an electric vehicle worthy of the rings, the aptly named e-tron is Audi’s venture into the electric market.
When we think of Audi, we usually think of luxury in both looks and features. They’re firmly in the upper-tier of auto makers, a spot they’re in no danger of losing. But when an automaker comes out with an electric vehicle, there are also other questions about the car and other things buyers look for.
For example, there are always concerns about whether the e-tron line can match up the competition in terms of speed. But Audi markets it as a vehicle that is charged for the checkered flag. With a technology inspired by Formula E, the vehicle is designed to offer quick acceleration and long-range performance.
This vehicle has the impressive range that it does thanks to the battery and powertrain combination. Together, they’re the core and centerpiece of any Audi electric vehicle. The powerful lithium-ion battery and specially made powertrain provide a reliable level of mileage and speed.
The vehicle is designed to be charged from any number of the growing number of stations accessible nationally, and from the soon-to-be released home charger. It is in concept now, but it will revolutionize the use of electric and hybrid vehicles in Audi’s lineup moving forward.
Intelligent features are also a big part of the Audi e-tron. There is a belief that any vehicle that is built with an electric component is futuristic in some sense of the term. This may be true, but Audi doesn’t focus on intelligent design for the sake of staying ahead of the curve. They do it because drivers appreciate having a simpler traveling experience.
Simpler means being able to monitor the vehicle with Audi’s mobile app. It also means staying a little safer on the road thanks to Audi’s driver assistance systems. These two features together make this vehicle as modern as any on the market – not bad for an “old school” luxury auto maker.
What Does a Car’s Status as a Hybrid Mean?
Hybrid engines offer the best of both worlds. While they can reduce fossil fuel emissions by giving drivers a way to share the load of powering their car, they aren’t fully electric.
For some people, this is a good thing. They dislike the idea of relying solely on an electric system to power their car. And Audi’s 2018 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron can get a range of 400 miles. Most high-performing pure electrics shoot for the 300 range. The hybrid isn’t just giving drivers a chance to ease their way into the electric car experience – it is promising them more fuel efficiency along the way.
Some of the models in Audi’s inventory utilize the hybrid system. This represents a chance for them to ease into an area where some other companies are going all in. Is this a good or a bad move? While some could argue it holds them back, ultimately, it could yield more sales.
The incentive for buyers to try out an electric vehicle is growing as the technology itself gets better. But there’s also that lingering fear. Going full electric is risky – what if you go to an area without a lot of charging stations in the vicinity? What if no nearby mechanics can work on your engine in the event it has problems?
There are plenty of concerns to be had. And while these concerns don’t fully dissipate with a hybrid engine, there is more security for some buyers in going with a gas-powered engine. This is true even if the engine is only partially powered by gas.
Release Date for Audi’s Upcoming Full-Electric SUV
Don’t think that just because the e-tron line features hybrids that Audi isn’t going all in at some point. That point is coming sooner rather than later, as their all-electric SUV has been in steady development as far back as 2009.
The German company’s first electric SUV will be out in September 18, with additional models to be capable of emission-free rides hitting the market by 2025. This makes the buzz around the company’s electric endeavors that much more noteworthy. Electric SUVs from companies like Tesla and many others have received plenty of positive feedback, so it is likely Audi’s could find good reviews as well.
The fully electric SUV is planned to accelerate to 62 MPH in less than six seconds. The 95kWh battery will offer a range of 250-miles on a single charge, and will be able to hit the 80 percent mark at charging stations in less than a half hour.
That’s some impressive electric hardware, and puts the upcoming e-tron SUV on par with nearly any vehicle in its class. This vehicle will not stray too far from Audi’s design standards for their other cars. The athletic, aerodynamic body type plus a driver-focused console makes for a more inviting vehicle all around. This is true no matter what powers the engine, be it electric batteries and gas combustion or just the former.
As we examine more about the upcoming addition to the e-tron line, it becomes clear that Audi may be taking a similar path as others in the automotive industry. While their electric portfolio was once considered more of an experimental idea at best, it may pave the way for the future of all their vehicles.
Once electric vehicles have the hardware and support necessary to hold up as reliably as their gas-powered counterparts, the market could see these vehicles become the norm.
Conclusion and Final Thoughts: Is the Audi Electric Car Worth It?
For anyone who is considering going green on the road, the Audi electric car is a good option to contemplate. Not only are their electric vehicles available in hybrid configurations, but they all come from a reliable name in the industry.
The Audi electric car line is designed in the same fashion as many of their other vehicles. The exterior is athletic looking, and is built for aerodynamic handling and performance. There’s also the use of driver assistance technologies that ensure human drivers are still the centerpiece around which all the fancy techs work.
The pure electric models are still in the development phase, but that just makes Audi more of a company to watch in the near future. As the electric revolution truly takes hold in the auto industry, all of the field’s big names will be expected to have something to offer – and Audi’s e-tron line is on par with any other option out there.