AND, you don’t have to go very far to prove it. Have you seen the sales figures for the upper echelon of hybrids? They’re not good.
Hell, electric vehicles like the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt aren’t even moving out the door as fast as projections once said they would.
BUT manufacturers are building them, so, we have to talk about them. Now the obvious electric midsize sedan that apparently has many EV-lovers buzzing is the all-new Tesla Model S. Tesla hasn’t been around for that long but it has a cult-like following of believers. Reliability is, well, questionable with the recent “bricking” phenomena — that’s been blamed on owners. Aside from proving something to the Johnsons, or whatever my neighbors’ names are, I am not seeing much of a case here.
Audi, on the other hand, has built a plug-in hybrid A6 for the Chinese market, specifically a loooong wheelbase. The Audi has a much larger dealer network, won’t “brick,” is based on a stellar chassis and has proven reliability — well, not that proven.
That said, I am just a wee-bit curious — Why the hell would you want a Tesla?
Audi’s press release follows:
Audi A6 L e-tron concept
Audi is presenting its first luxury-class e-tron concept car – a technology study known as the Audi A6 L e-tron concept at Auto China 2012 in Beijing. The plug-in hybrid has a powerful drive system that enables a driving range of 80 km (49.71 miles) on pure electric power, and it was specifically designed to fulfill Chinese needs.
The A6 L e-tron concept is an important step towards future electric mobility in China for Audi. With its first e-tron technology study in the luxury class, the company is showing what a locally produced New Energy Vehicle from Audi might look like.
The basis for this study is the new A6 L, the most successful premium automobile and Audi’s bestselling model in China. Audi produces this business sedan at the Changchun plant in a joint venture with FAW.
The A6 L e-tron concept is precisely tailored to the requirements of Chinese customers. Plug-in hybrids that can travel long distances electrically – thereby enabling zero emissions driving in local areas – are ideal for use in rapidly growing megacities. Beyond its drive system, the A6 L e-tron concept has all of the qualities that customers value in Audi cars: prestige, comfort and sporty performance.
Parallel hybrid system: intelligently combined TFSI and electric motor
The technology study is a parallel hybrid. It brings together a 2.0 TFSI that outputs 155 kW (211 hp) and an electric motor with 70 kW (95 hp) peak power. The liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery is located in a collision-protected space at the rear of the vehicle. In electric mode, the Audi A6 L e-tron concept can travel up to 80 km (49.71 miles) at a constant speed of 60 km/h (37.28 mph). At any given moment, the hybrid control module chooses the best suited operating mode with the focus on driving range.
This technology platform can be operated with only the internal combustion engine, only the electric drive, or in hybrid mode. In addition, it can recover energy during deceleration, or it can boost output power for strong acceleration by combining the two drives. The Audi A6 L e-tron concept delivers sporty performance.