Wednesday May 18th, 2011 19:42 Audi Announce Production of A1 and A3 Green Cars


Audi has announced that from 2013, it will produce the all-electric A1 e-tron, and a gas-powered A3. These models will form the centrepiece of the German car manufacturer’s plans for a new environmentally friendly ‘balanced mobility’ initiative.

For now, Audi plans to build only 1,500 e-gas A3s, and these will all run on synthetic methane gas. Forming part of Audi’s wider green energy plans, this gas will come from purpose built off-shore wind farms. One of the clear advantages of using synthetic gas to power a car is that it removes the extra weight and performance limitations that battery-based electric cars face.

The four-seater A1 e-tron runs exclusively on the power of its electric motor, and draws its energy from a package of lithium-ion batteries. Storing 12 kWh of energy, the battery should be sufficient for around 31 miles of driving. With a peak torque of 240Nm, Audi’s electric car sprints from 0-62mph in 10.2 seconds and has a top speed of greater than 80mph.

The A3 e-gas uses a 1.4-litre turbocharged engine in conjunction with two fuel tanks, one for gas and one for petrol. With gas tanks that store the e-gas at a pressure of 200 bar, the A3 should, in theory, have enough capacity to cope with drives of over 250 miles. In the event that the natural-gas tanks run empty and there is no CNG station nearby, the Audi A3 can run on conventional gas with no drop in performance.

In addition to developing and producing the A1 and A3 models, Audi is building a new synthetic e-gas plant. Audi believes that by taking this approach, well-to-wheel emissions will be reduced by up to 85% over the latest crop of gas-powered vehicles.

With Audi’s A1 and A3 models on the horizon, the next few years should be an exciting time in terms of the continuing development of environmentally friendly green cars.


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