Munich's electricity supply is about to spark 20 road-ready Audi A1 e-trons into life on the German city's streets as part of an exciting pilot project undertaken by Audi AG in partnership with E.ON, the Munich municipal utility company Stadtwerke Munchen (SWM) and the Technical University of Munich (TUM).
All 20 examples of the innovative battery-powered 'Mega City vehicle' (MCV) will be operational by mid-2011 as participants in the "eflott" project, which forms part of the "Model Region Electromobility Munich" initiative sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Transport. 'Fuelled' by 200 newly installed charging stations, they will enable experts to address a number of issues, from the data transfer between the driver, vehicle and electric filling station to the power grid and the use of smartphones as the central interface for the driver.
Delivering an output equivalent to 102PS, the lithium-ion battery mounted within the floor assembly in front of the rear axle of the Audi A1 e-tron powers it to a top speed of 81mph and gives it a range of more than 31 miles in city traffic. From start up it is classified as a zero emissions vehicle over this distance. A compact internal combustion engine recharges the battery when its energy is depleted.
A small, single-rotor Wankel engine in this near-series production vehicle increases the range in exceptional circumstances. This "range extender" powers a generator that produces 15 kW of charging power. If the range extender is used to recharge the battery, the Audi A1 e-tron can cover an additional 124 miles. According to a draft standard for the calculation of fuel consumption for range extender vehicles, this represents a fuel economy figure of 148.7mpg, equating to a CO2 output of only 45 g/km.
E.ON and SWM are installing the necessary charging infrastructure; E.ON primarily in the outlying areas and SWM in the Bavarian state capital. The two utility companies are initially 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 comprehensive data collection and evaluation of mobility behaviour. Its experts will monitor how heavily and in which situations the electric car being used, and what influence this option has 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 thoroughly document their mobility behaviour - 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 use over the long-term. 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.
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