While just alpha prototypes, Audi and its e-tron range is not going to be left behind… Just in case.
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG
- Sept. 9, 2010
Audi A1 - Platform for the e-tron PHEV-31 variant.
Audi, E.ON, the Munich municipal utility company and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) are off and running with a small prototype fleet trial of BEVs in and around Munich. By summer of next year, 20 Audi A1 e-tron models will be placed on the road and with approximately 200 new charging stations slated to be installed to help the fledgling effort. The project is part of the "Model Region Electromobility Munich" sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Transport. It will address a number of issues from the data transfer between the driver, vehicle and charging station and the power grid. It will also include a test of Smartphones as a key interface for the drivers.
The Audi A1 e-tron is an innovative Mega City Vehicle (MCV) with a serial electric drive. It has a range an all-electric range of more than 30 miles in city traffic from its Li-Ion modules mounted in the floor assembly in front of the rear axle. Its output peaks at 102 HP with a governed top speed of 80 mph.
A small, and very underpowered 20 HP single-rotor Wankel engine increases the range by recharging the battery. With it, the A1 PHEV-31 e-tron can cover an additional 124 miles. On the proposed European PHEV FE cycle, the A1 PHEV-31 e-tron will achieve a FE rating of 123 mpgUS.
E.ON and SWM are installing a total of 100 “electric filling stations” each as part of a variety of projects. All of the charging stations are supplied with electricity generated from renewable energies.
The Technical University of Munich is responsible for data collection and evaluation of mobility behavior. How heavily and in which situation is the electric car being used? And what influence does this option have on the use of other means of transportation? To answer these questions, the Department of Vehicle Engineering has developed a mobile application that will be provided on a Smartphone to all participants of the fleet trial. The device will document their mobility behavior – from their use of bicycles to the electric cars and from conventional cars to buses and trains. To ensure that the participants always use the Smartphone, the Department of Ergonomics made sure that the application features an easy-to-use design that encourages long-term use.
At the same time, the Department of Marketing is conducting a study to discover which billing models for the electricity used for e-mobility meet with the greatest acceptance.
Electromobility at its core is how the transportation systems of the future should look. In the Munich region, Technical University of Munich is providing approximately $12.7 Million USD in funding for electromobility.
“The goal is to make Germany the lead market for electromobility by placing at least one million electric vehicles on German roads by 2020,” says Federal Transport Minister Peter Ramsauer.
“For researchers, it is no longer a question of whether electric mobility will be able to establish itself, but rather of when. Electromobility means a paradigm shift for industry and society, making it a central strategic focus of the TUM,” says Professor Wolfgang A. Hermann, President of the Technical University of Munich. “The Science Center for Electromobility at TUM pools the expertise of 42 departments from eight schools, which are working hard to contribute to the development of sustainable individual mobility.”