Audi A3 e-tron Gets Charged Fast, Gets There Slow


Electric vehicles are starting to catch on with automakers, especially since the millionth Prius rolled out in the U.S. The Nissan Leaf, aimed squarely at urban drivers who don’t need a lot of range, is showing promise and more electrics are aimed squarely at that market, especially with gas hitting $4 a gallon and threatening to cross the $5 barrier.

Including Audi’s e-tron, which has a big advantage…and a big disadvantage.

First, the disadvantage: at 130 horsepower, this is no drag racer or otherwise remotely impressive, taking eleven seconds to get up to 60 miles per hour. This was rather obviously not designed to impress anybody except those looking to save some serious money on gas: it’s entirely battery powered.

On the other hand, the charging time is one of the fastest for a plug-in hybrid we’ve seen. With the special 400-volt charger, the e-tron can be fully charged in four hours. But if you don’t want to shell out for a special charger and just want to plug it into the wall, that will run a painful…oh, wait, it’s nine hours.

Audi was smart with this. It’s a commuter car. Plug it in when you get home, make dinner, get some sleep, then drive to work in the morning. We think Audi’s going to see a lot of green with this.