The start of a new era: The Audi e-tron
The sporty SUV combines the space and comfort of a full-size SUV with a range suitable for daily use, dynamic all-wheel drive, and a whole new level of networking. The optional virtual exterior mirrors are both a visual and aerodynamic highlight. Thanks to the comprehensive range of charging options with intelligent solutions for home and on the move, customers can enjoy electric driving without compromises. The e-tron (combined electric power consumption in kWh/100 km (62.1 mi)*: 26.2 –22.6 (WLTP); 24.6 - 23.7 (NEFZ); combined CO2 emissions in g/km (g/mi): 0) is catapulting its customers and the Audi brand into a new era. There are currently roughly 20,000 reservations for the model worldwide even before it has been launched on the market.
Detailed information on the Audi e-tron is available here.
More freedom for customers: functions on demand
With the market introduction of the Audi e-tron, the brand is taking a big step toward digital business as a new business segment. Beginning in mid-2019, customers will be granted the flexibility to book various functions from the fields of lighting, driver assistance, and infotainment as required, even after they have purchased the vehicle. Which functions can be booked and how much they cost is regulated in the individual markets. In terms of vehicle configuration, everything will stay the same for customers. However, for the first time, customers can now also book functions that were not selected during the initial configuration on demand after the vehicle has been delivered to them. Customers can select between various terms in the process. If they want to get to know a function first before committing themselves, they can book a one-time, one-month test phase. Customers can extend the booking even during this phase, either for a further month, a year, or permanently. If the customer decides not to extend the term, the booking expires automatically and without requiring active termination at the end of the term.
Functions are always booked for the particular car, just like during the initial vehicle configuration. When the car is sold, they therefore remain active for the remaining term and can be used by the next owner. The rates for functions on demand are based on the classic price list and are specified for each market. Booking and payment are done via the myAudi app or the shop in the MMI of the Audi e-tron. We attach great importance to secure processing of the transaction. After the booking process has been completed, the Audi IT back-end sends a signed data package to the car via the mobile network. The transmission takes just a few seconds. The function becomes active and can be used the next time the vehicle is started.
After this feature is launched in the Audi e-tron, additional vehicle models and functions will follow shortly. Audi is also working on further usage and subscription models to offer its customers the greatest possible flexibility.
Shopping, streaming, staying up to date—Amazon Alexa
Upon request, the Audi e-tron can be equipped with Amazon’s Alexa voice service. This way, customers can enjoy many functions and services that they also use at home or with other end devices that are compatible with Alexa. The cloud-based service is integrated into the MMI operating system—no smartphone is necessary. As soon as the driver has activated voice control and said the activation word “Alexa,” the LTE module in the MMI system establishes the connection via an Audi back-end and sends the queries to the Amazon servers. The requested information is played back through the car’s audio system.
With Alexa, e-tron drivers can get information on the news, weather, and current scores of sports events. They can order groceries or add items to their task list without taking their hands off the wheel or their eyes off the road. Alexa streams music and audiobooks and provides access to over 50,000 Alexa Skills. The smart home control allows users to lock doors in the house, adjust the lighting, and close the garage door from within the car. Because the voice service is cloud-based, Alexa learns new things continuously, which allows it to adapt to the user even better.
Intelligent: The e-tron route planner
The Audi e-tron offers a special connect service: The e-tron route planner. Customers can use it in the myAudi app. As an alternative, the service can also be used in the MMI system in the car. In both cases, the appropriate route is shown with the required charging points. The navigation system considers not only the battery’s current charge but also the traffic situation, and includes the required charging duration in its arrival time calculation. The e-tron route planner prefers DC fast-charging stations for calculating the optimum route according to user specifications. Needless to say, the route planner also includes all charging points from an up-to-date database into its calculations. Information on the remaining range is shown in the Audi virtual cockpit during the journey; the driver can have it displayed as a graph in the form of a range carpet. Alternatively, customers can also access the topography-dependent range around their current location in the navigation map. Charge planning is continuously updated to the prevailing conditions. For example, a new suggestion is made if a targeted DC fast-charging station can no longer be reached. Charge planning is synchronized between the display in the car and in the myAudi smartphone app. During an active charge process, it displays the remaining charging time and the battery’s current charge status.
With the myAudi app, customers can plan, remotely control, and monitor charging processes and the pre-entry climate control of the Audi e-tron on their smartphone. They can set a departure time, for example, so that the electric SUV is charged and/or heated/cooled at the desired time. Customers can select preferred zones in the car to be heated/cooled and activate the seat, steering wheel, and rear window heaters on cold winter days.
On-the-road charging without obstacles: The e-tron Charging Service
Audi’s own charging service, the e-tron Charging Service, provides e-tron customers with easy access to more than 72,000 charging points in 16 countries in Central and Western Europe. Whether AC or DC, 11 kW or 150 kW—a single card is all customers need to start the process. To use the e-tron Charging Service, customers must register on the myAudi portal and conclude an individual charging contract. Automatic billing is carried out bundled and centrally via this contract at the end of the month. In the myAudi portal, customers can not only view current invoices, but also the current charging history of their Audi e-tron and manage the concluded charging contract.
In the USA, Audi is working together closely with Electrify America. Audi is also cooperating with Amazon in the USA to offer e-tron customers a strong partner for the installation of the charging equipment in their homes. The Plug & Charge function makes charging even more convenient: The Audi e-tron uses state-of-the-art cryptographic procedures to authorize itself at charging terminals and enable them—a card or app is no longer necessary. This requires a valid charging contract (Europe: e-tron Charging Service, USA: Electrify America). This function will become available in the course of 2019. Customers can also use Plug & Charge privately to unlock their “connect” charging system. This then eliminates the need to enter a PIN as protection against unauthorized use.
Reliable and intelligent charging at home
Audi offers various solutions for charging in the garage at home: The standard “compact” mobile charging system can be connected to both domestic and industrial sockets. It allows a charging power of up to 11 kW. The optional “connect” charging system doubles the charging power to as much as 22 kW. The second on-board charger required for this will become available as an option in the course of 2019. The “connect” charging system also offers intelligent charging functions, such as charging at times when electricity is cheaper or documenting the charged energy in myAudi.
In combination with a compatible home energy management system (HEMS), the “connect” charging system offers additional functions such as the optimization of the charging process with regard to the use of self-generated solar power, provided that the house is equipped with a photovoltaics system. In combination with a HEMS, the customer is also protected in the event of a blackout. The customer always charges with the maximum available capacity that the home electrical system and the car allow. The charging system also considers the power requirements of other consumers to avoid overloading the home electrical system and thus tripping the master breaker. Upon request, the Audi partner will set customers up with a certified electrician who will check the electrical installation in their house, provide advice on what would be the best possible charging solution, and will also install the charging equipment upon request. In selected markets, Audi will also provide green electricity offers for charging at home in collaboration with local energy suppliers.
Further information can be found here.
Aerodynamics in the electronic age: Virtual exterior mirrors in the Audi e-tron
The virtual exterior mirrors are celebrating their world premiere in a series production car in the Audi e-tron; they are both a visual and aerodynamic highlight. Their flat support incorporates a small camera with a resolution of 1,280 x 1,080 pixels at its hexagonal end. Image brightness is adjusted automatically for the ambient conditions, such as when driving through a tunnel. A heating function protects the camera from misting over or freezing.
Each support also incorporates an LED indicator and optionally a TopView camera. Compared with standard mirrors, the virtual exterior mirrors reduce the width of the Audi e-tron by 15 centimeters (5.9 in). They can be folded manually like conventional exterior mirrors.
Inside the car, the camera’s digitally processed images are displayed on high-contrast OLED displays. These have a diagonal of 7 inches, a resolution of 1,280 x 800 pixels, automatic brightness adjustment, and proximity sensor technology. If the driver moves their finger toward the surface, symbols are activated with which the driver can reposition the image. A switching function allows the driver to also adjust the virtual passenger-side mirror.
The displays adjust automatically to three driving situations: highway, turning, and parking. The highway view appears when the driver is traveling at a speed above 90 km/h (55.9 mph) and the navigation data reports that the vehicle is on the highway. The field of vision is reduced so that the driver can better estimate speeds when driving fast—other vehicles then appear larger in the display. If the driver signals an intention to turn or change lanes by indicating, the indicator view extends the image detail on the relevant side. This reduces the blind spot. If the driver selects reverse, the curb view improves visibility for maneuvering and parking. The image is extended downward—similar to the automatic lowering function with a conventional exterior mirror. The display visualizes the turn signal as a green contour on its outer frame and also displays notifications from the Audi side assist lane-change assistant and the exit warning.
Of course, the Audi e-tron also offers additional connectivity highlights. Some examples are shown here:
* Figures depending on the chosen equipment level
The equipment, data, and prices specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.