The new e-tron: Audi quality meets the energy of Enel X

Visitors stepping through the doors of the Enel X headquarters in Rome were greeted by an amazing sight – on the occasion of its presentation to the Italian press, the German brand’s first all-electric SUV, an Audi e-tron stood in the courtyard of the corporate headquarters. The vehicle is a perfect combination of technology and power, plus an added value – environmental sustainability. And what better partner than Enel X to work with the German brand as it takes a decisive step towards e-mobility?

The new model, available to order from December, will arrive on our roads early in the new year, “full of energy”. The agreement between Audi and Enel X means that owners of the new electric SUV will also enjoy an energy bonus of 3,300 kW to redeem at all public charging points in the two years after purchase

The “Ready for e-tron” welcome package is available to private and corporate clients, and offers a free energy charge that is the equivalent of around 14,000 kilometres of driving, a significant step forward in the new e-mobility ecosystem. What’s more, the option also includes an inspection and consultation about increasing the power output of the domestic electricity system, with the aim of making it possible to install a charging point in the home.  

Fabrizio Longo, Head of Audi Italia, Francesco Venturini, CEO of Enel X and Massimo Nordio, CEO of the Volkswagen Group Italy all took part in the press conference, and described the initiative as a coming together of electric mobility and Audi quality and safety, lending it the brand’s distinctive image. Mr Longo emphasised the importance of transforming the e-vehicle market into an exciting experience for the public, offering high performance in a real gem of an automobile, the standout features of which include digitalisation and safety.

The Audi e-tron is the first fully electric “carbon neutral” vehicle, produced in Brussels at a plant where 95% of the energy used is produced from renewable sources.  A zero-emission powertrain with two 408 CV engines with a torque of 664 Nm provides acceleration of 0 to 100 km/h in 5.7 seconds. Adaptive pneumatic suspension enables almost instantaneous response, provided by the “quattro” system that combines electric and four-wheel drive, and 95 kWh batteries. In other words, the car offers the high levels of quality and performance that we have come to expect from Audi vehicles, but in this instance there is also an emphasis on sustainability.

The e-tron is also a computer in itself – the My Audi system can display at all times the vehicle’s charge status and the amount of time needed by the battery to reach its “full” level, whether it is being charged at an 11 kW or 22 kW station.

But there is much more besides. Virtual external rear-view mirrors drastically reduce blind spots, an energy recovery system can boost range by 30% through regenerative braking and covers 90% of decelerations, and an “on demand” connectivity and artificial intelligence package provides options that can be bought after the original vehicle purchase, even temporarily. The result is a flexibility of use that is more typical of other sectors, with the specific mission of dispelling any remaining scepticism about e-mobility. The e-tron has a range of over 400 km and is the first production vehicle in the world that can charge at high-capacity 150 kW stations, an outstanding success story for Enel X’s technical innovation, where the batteries reach an 80% charge in only thirty minutes.  

The presentation in Rome of the first zero-impact Audi SUV was also an excellent opportunity to take stock of the sustainable e-mobility situation in Italy. Enel X CEO Francesco Venturini once again described to Italian media the company’s Piano Italia (Italy Plan) for the installation of a comprehensive charging infrastructure comprising 7,000 charging stations by 2020 and 14,000 by 2022.

Enel X and Audi have already crossed paths with the Ionity experience (a consortium of car manufacturers that includes Audi), which developed the first ultrafast charging network with 350 kW charging stations. The first installation in Italy is scheduled to take place in Tuscany by the end of this year. Twenty sites will host up to six charging stations, each one capable of charging a vehicle like the e-tron in around half an hour. The project’s aim is to install four hundred charging stations along Europe’s main arterial highways by 2020.  

Audi has decided to invest in an all-electric strategic in the near future. By 2022 sixteen of the brand’s production plants will be exclusively dedicated to e-vehicle production, with eighty new electric or plug-in models reaching the market by 2025. By 2030 at least one electrified version will be available for each of Audi’s 300 models.

The electric revolution continues!