The lithium-ion battery of the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron stores 8.8 kWh of energy. Depending on the level of charge, the voltage ranges between 280 and 390 volts. The battery comprises 96 prismatic cells arranged into eight modules of twelve cells each. Including the electronic components – the battery management controller and the battery junction box for the connections – the battery system weighs 125 kilograms (275.6 lb). The bottom shell of its housing is made of diecast aluminum, the top shell of polymer.
The high-voltage battery has an ideal operating temperature of around 25 degrees Celsius. It therefore has a sophisticated liquid cooling system in which four cooling plates regulate the temperature of the eight modules. Cooling is by means of a separate, flexibly controlled low-temperature loop, which also includes the power electronics and charger, as necessary. The Audi A3 Sportback e-tron can generally also be driven solely on electric power in the heat of mid-summer and the below-freezing temperatures of winter.
Installed under the rear seat, the flat battery is extremely well protected in an area where the high-strength and ultra-high-strength steel components of the occupant cell form an especially strong structure. The housing is bolted to the vehicle floor at five points. In the event of a crash sufficiently severe to trigger the belt tensioners or airbags, the system is disconnected from the power supply.
The 12-volt battery for the low-voltage consumers and the 40-liter (10.6 US gal) fuel tank are located over the rear axle. The luggage compartment remains spacious. In the standard configuration, it has a capacity of 280 liters (9.9 cu ft) and 1,120 liters (39.6 cu ft) with the rear seat backrest folded down.
With a volume of just eight liters (0.3 cu ft) and weighing just ten kilograms (22.0 lb), the power electronics in the engine compartment, which include a DC/DC converter for connecting to the 12-volt electrical system, are compact and lightweight. Six high-performance transistors convert the direct current supplied by the battery into three-phase current for the electric motor.
When charging the A3 Sportback e-tron, the charger converts the incoming alternating current into direct current for the battery. The charging port is located in the Singleframe grille behind the four rings, which fold out to the side. Besides a status light, there are also two buttons here. The driver uses them to either start the charging process immediately or via a timer for the next trip. Timer charging can also be programmed via a special menu in the MMI navigation plus or the new Audi connect e-tron services.
Versatile: The Audi e-tron charging system
The Audi A3 Sportback e-tron comes standard with a charging system that makes full use of the power supplied by the electrical outlet. It comprises a control unit with graphical display, a car cable and two power cables with the household and industrial plugs appropriate for the respective country. For use at home, the e-tron charging cable can be mounted in a design wall box (standard with the e-tron plus package). The charging dock can be locked to protect the equipment against theft, and a PIN code provides additional security. It takes barely more than two hours to charge the battery fully from an industrial power outlet and about three hours and 45 minutes from a German domestic power outlet.
Concurrent with the market launch of the A3 Sportback e-tron, Audi is also offering its customers a partnership with the utility company LichtBlick SE. 100 percent of the electricity supplied by the Hamburg-based company comes from renewable energy sources and is generated exclusively at hydroelectric power stations in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. With electricity from LichtBlick – called Audi Energy – the A3 Sportback e-tron is a zero-emissions vehicle when operated in electric mode.
If the customer opts for Audi Energy, his or her entire household will be supplied with environmentally friendly electricity. The cost is currently 26.76 cents per kWh, plus a monthly base prices of 8.95 euros. With LichtBlick, Audi has chosen one of the largest independent energy providers in Germany as its partner. The company is the market leader for green electricity and has already received numerous awards for its products, its price-performance ratio and its service.
Extremely convenient: The Audi connect e-tron services
Audi connect is the label for innovative online services for the A3 Sportback e-tron that allow drivers to control and regulate numerous functions. Audi has developed an app for this purpose with informative graphics that runs on modern iOS and Android smartphones. Audi also offers a special web portal for, among other things, the registration and activation of the services (www.a3e-tron.audi.com).
The Audi connect e-tron services enable drivers to remotely check the status of the car, such as the battery charge and electric range, and also call up a variety of service information and the car's location. Drivers can also manage charge planning remotely. They have the option of starting and stopping charging or setting the timer to reflect when they next plan to drive the car. They specify in detail at what time on what days they want to drive off with the battery fully charged.
The climate control planning function is used to activate the air conditioning or the optional auxiliary heater on an ad hoc basis or according to a timer schedule. In the latter case, which is referred to as preclimatizing, the car draws the energy required from the outlet so as not to compromise the electric range. Owners can view a variety of driving data, such as average electricity consumption or average speed, on the web portal.
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.