The electronic-powered automobile revolution is continuing apace, with various e-car startups and even major car-manufacturing names staking their own piece of the action. In some places the advancement of e-cars is due to a desire to transition from steadily depleting fossil fuels; in others, it was because of a misstep. Several European car companies like Audi, a Volkswagen subsidiary, were caught in a scandal involving them cheating around diesel emissions test. As a result, Audi was charged by Volkswagen to electrify its models by 2030. On Monday this week, Audi unveiled their first electric SUV, a seeming challenge to Tesla.
USA Today has it that Audi has officially introduced their E-Tron electric-powered SUV at a glitzy party event in the San Francisco Bay Area this September 17. This was done after Jaguar Land Rover began production of its own e-car SUV design, the I-PACE which was revealed back in 2016. Both it and the Audi E-Tron are the first electronic vehicles to pose a direct call-out to now-established e-car brand Tesla, which first rose to prominence with its Model S. Now however, with production difficulties being encountered by the latest Model 3 mass-market sedan, plus recent scandals attached to founder and CEO Elon Musk, more longtime automakers are getting bold.
Despite e-cars being sure to get front page in automobile news, to this day they still make for only one percent of new-vehicle sales. Still, with the increasing number of e-car charging stations and acceptance of car owners, the Audi E-Tron could not seem to come at a better time to take advantage. Cox Automotive executive publisher Karl Brauer already sees more automakers jumping into the e-car ring within the next two years to take on Tesla’s in its element.
“The E-Tron features standard-issue Audi design cues, meaning a beautiful interior and exterior execution,” says Brauer. “For electric vehicle doubters, plenty of which remain, the E-tron will mark an important threshold on the path to widespread EV adoption.” One factor perhaps is its pricing; at $75,000 compared to the Jaguar I-PACE’s $70,000 it initially seems double the basic $35,000 asking price of the Tesla Model 3, but the latter’s priority for Model 3 orders with added features that bloat the initial value while postponing work on basic-model orders means things are much more even. Furthermore, the E-Tron is an SUV, something of a bread-and-butter popular choice where Audi is concerned.
Reservations for the E-Tron SUV are already being accepted by Audi, with the e-car’s mass-production version being produced at their new Brussel manufacturing plant. They look to begin shipping around the second quarter of 2019.
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