Audi announces A3 e-tron electric car pilot program at TED conference
The Audi e-tron is a family of all electric concept cars Audi began showing in late 2009. Today, at the TED conference, Audi is unveiling the A3 e-tron pilot program intended to "serve as a learning tool for next-gen Audi EV applications world wide." Audi is at the TED2012 conference presenting not only the A3 e-tron pilot program, but also a vision of the role of transportation in the worlds increasingly crowded urban areas.
The e-tron concept was first unveiled at the 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show, and that car was an electric version of the Quattro. It had four electric motors, one for each wheel, allowing designers to customize RPM at each wheel independently for better handling in all road conditions. Later e-tron concept cars were based on the Audi R4. In 2009, the company said the e-tron would come to market in late 2012, and sure enough here we are in 2012 with a new e-tron, this time for a pilot program. To be real, this pilot project is not the same as launching full production, but is a positive step beyond showing off another concept car and entering actual production.
Audi's engineers are researching a variety of drive train technologies under the e-tron name, including battery EV (BEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and extended range electric (EREV) versions. The company is taking a measured approach, intending to have the right product for the market at the right time.