Audi has announced that the A1 e-tron extended range electric car is undergoing extensive fleet trials in Munich, Germany.
The project is managed by Audi, Stadtwerke Munchen, E.ON and Technische Universitat Munchen. It will use 20 Audi A1 e-tron cars to test the effectiveness of the existing charging infrastructure in and around Munich. All of these charging stations use renewable energy to generate electricity.
The trial has the full support of the German Federal Ministry of Urban Development, Building and Transport - which had already provided ‚¬10million for research into electric vehicles.
The aim of the project is to iron out any remaining issues with the existing grid and to research the transfer of data between vehicles and drivers. It will, for example, study the use of smart-phones as the main interface between the driver and his car.
The reason why the Audi A1 e-tron was chosen for this project is that it has been designed specifically for city use. The car has an impressive fuel consumption of 124mpg and equally impressive CO2 emission levels of 45g/km. This does not mean it is a sluggard though: the 75kW engine provides it with a top speed of 81mph. The small internal combustion engine quickly recharges the battery when it runs out of power.
During the fleet tests data will also be collected on the driving habits of people who use electric cars.
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