Audi has been showing its new all-electric e-tron in Milton Keynes, one of four key locations chosen by the UK Government to spearhead vehicle emissions reduction initiatives as part of its Go Ultra Low Cities programme.
The forthcoming model briefly took pride of place in the Electric Vehicle Experience Centre funded by the Government’s £9 million investment in the scheme and located in Crown Walk in the town’s famous Grade II listed shopping mall.
Audi says the new five-seat e-tron eschews conventional fossil fuel combustion in favour of two powerful, zero emission electric motors delivering sub-six-second 0-62mph acceleration and a driving range of at least 248 miles.
The ‘EVEC’ is described as ‘the UK’s first brand-neutral centre for electric and plug-in vehicles’. It showcases the latest models from a range of car manufacturers, and not only offers impartial, no-obligation advice on making the switch to hybrid or full EV power, but also the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of the technology during short test drives, with the option to request longer-term test loans of up to seven days. The Audi e-tron occupied a front-of-house position in the EVEC from Friday 19th of October through to Sunday the 21st of October.
The technology behind Audi’s first ever zero local emissions model is centred around a high-voltage 36-cell battery mounted beneath the passenger compartment which feeds the electric motors positioned on each axle. The 95kWh battery is chargeable at fast charging stations with direct current (DC) at up to 150 kW – a first for a series-production car – meaning that it can be replenished to 80 per cent of capacity in as little as 30 minutes. Recharging at home with alternating current (AC) is also possible, and is particularly efficient when a home wall box is installed.
The electric motors not only facilitate a claimed driving range of at least 248 miles, but by being positioned on each axle also ensure that their strong output of up to 300kW is delivered with trademark Audi composure by operating as an electric all-wheel drive system. This works in favour of the smooth transition of the 490 ft lb of torque to the wheels, making for a claimed 0-62 mph sprint time of just 5.7 seconds.
The Electric Vehicle Experience Centre is just one of the fruits of the Government’s Go Ultra Low Cities investment in Milton Keynes. The local council is channelling the resource into making the new town a leading location for the usage and further development of electric vehicles. As well as taking care of basic infrastructure upgrades such as the adaptation of signage to make EV facilities easier to access and use, it plans to install up to 300 additional charge points, including two fast charging stations, which will be underpinned by a wide range of attractive grants and incentives for individuals and businesses. Supported by the funding the town is also already operating as a test bed for new developments such as wireless and on-street charging, helping experts to gather the knowledge necessary to continue pushing back the boundaries of the technology.
The Audi e-tron is set to open for order in the UK in early 2019 with an RRP of £70,805. UK customers are able to secure priority access to the car through the payment of a £1,000 deposit.