Audi’s electric-vehicles will have that ‘WOW’ factor

Audi R8 e-tron
Audi R8 e-tron

Frank van Meel is very excited about Audi’s approach to EVs. On the one hand, he says the approach is extremely rational. On the other, he loves the idea of an EV that takes off like a bullet. The brand’s head of electromobility strategy says both are essential qualities.

What Audi is after, he says, is “more or less the ‘Wow!’ effect — ‘I didn’t know it could be that cool.’ ”

The ‘Wow Factor’ is what Audi had in mind when it first developed its E-tron concept car which was unveiled in Frankfurt in 2009, and it is still on its mind as the company gets ready to launch the line next year.

The plan right now, is to retrofit existing models as EVs, and then develop vehicle platforms for exclusive EV use.

There will be a number of factors considered when developing the new platform. “It’s a question of incentives, it’s a question of legislation, but it’s also a question of ‘Can I use car-pool lanes, bus/taxi lanes? Will there be preferred parking spaces? Will there be shopping malls with free charging?’ ” van Meel says. “Then, from the customer’s viewpoint, it gets more interesting.”

– By: Stephen Calogera

Source: Automotive News