Test fleet of Audi A1 e-tron PHEVs hits the road in Munich

20 of Audi’s new A1 e-trons will take to the Autobahnen and Strassen around Munich, Germany in a major fleet trial jointly sponsored by Audi, Munich Technical University and the local electric utility. Part of the financing comes from the German Ministry of Transport, which has provided 10 million Euros for pilot EV projects in the region.

The power company has installed a network of charging stations around the city, which are available to the public and paid for with swipeable cards. During the trial, participants will use their smart phones to document how they get around – not just when and where they use their EVs, but also how public transport and even bicycles fit into their transportation choices.

The A1 e-tron (which is sold only in Europe) is a 2-door, 4-seat compact that looks something like a curvier version of the Mini Cooper. Its lithium-ion battery pack can power the car for up to 50 kilometers in all-electric mode, after which a small 4-cylinder gas engine kicks in to charge the battery and extend the range to 250 km.