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Audi Powers up the R8 e-tron, Takes Aims at Tesla

Extended-range electric vehicle with supercar performance.

by on Mar.04, 2015

The new Audi R8 e-tron shown on the maker's stage at the Geneva Motor Show. The new 2016 Audi R8 V10 Plus is in the background.

Tesla isn’t the only automaker out to prove that battery-cars can deliver serious levels of performance. After a long delay, Audi has revealed an all-electric version of its newly redesigned 2-seat sports car, the R8 e-tron.

Making its debut alongside the new, gas-powered R8, the e-tron tucks a T-shaped lithium-ion battery pack into the sports car’s low body, along with two electric motors. The combination not only can launch from 0 to 60 in less than four seconds, but it can deliver as much as 280 miles of range per charge, nearly triple what most of today’s electric vehicles can manage.

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Likely to be priced above the rest of the new R8 line-up, Audi says it will produce a small number of largely hand-built e-trons “upon customer request” this coming year.

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Audi Goes Solar

Making a greener battery car.

by on Dec.03, 2010

A prototype Audi eTron draws power from a solar-based charger, a system that will be used extensively at the assembly plant in Ingollstadt.

They’re called “zero-emission vehicles,” but skeptics often question just how environmentally-friendly battery cars are, citing the fact that, at least in the U.S., a large share of our electric power comes from coal.

Audi aims to modify skeptics, as it begins ramping up for the eventual production of its eTron battery-electric vehicles, by covering the roof of its Ingollstadt assembly plant with solar panels.  Eventually, that power will help give a truly emission-free first charge as eTrons begin rolling off the line.

By the end of the year, Audi says it should have more than 80,000 square feet of photovoltaic cells in place, with the eventual goal of expanding to 205,000 square feet.  Considering the steady improvement in the efficiency of photo cell technology, the latest addition alone is anticipated to provide about 460 megawatt-hours of electricity, enough current to power 180 homes.  All told, Audi expects to produce about 1,500 MWh from its various solar installations.

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“This concept shows that Audi is tackling the topic of electromobility systematically,” said Plant Manager Peter Kössler. The photovoltaic installation uses innovative thin-layer modules that satisfy the most stringent environmental protection, efficiency and flexibility standards. “We aim to set the standards in every area,” added Kössler.

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