Audi A3 e-tron Named 2015 What Car? Electric Car of the Year – (w/video)

JAN 27 2015 BY MIKE ANTHONY 21

What Car? named the Audi A3 e-Tron its “Electric Car of the Year” for 2015. Quite interesting, may we say!

Most wont guess that it is a Plug-In!.. Unless they see that its actually plugged in, of course.

Most won’t guess that it is a plug-In!.. Unless they see that it’s actually plugged in, of course.

The Audi A3 e-tron is a plug-in hybrid, similar to other PHEVs.  The e-tron gets ~30 miles of range on all electric (NEDC – think 22-ish miles on US EPA standard when it arrives this year), then the gas ICE takes over to power the car.

The big benefit with the A3 e-tron is reduced taxes in the UK (home of What Car?) and that it can be operated for pennies a day, provided its electric range is enough for your daily commute.

We would like to add, that Audi’s are typically praised for their sportiness, styling, power, and handling. It appears that’s all present in the A3 e-tron, with the added bonus of it being practical and frugal on fuel.

According to What Car?:

“The Audi A3 e-tron took the 2015 What Car? Electric Car of the Year title for its versatility and all-round appeal thanks to the combination of electric motor and petrol engine.”

You can read the entire What Car? review of the Audi A3 e-tron here.

Audi A3 Sportback e-tron/

Audi A3 Sportback e-tron.

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21 Comments on "Audi A3 e-tron Named 2015 What Car? Electric Car of the Year – (w/video)"

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Khai L.

So what if my commute is further than 30 miles and I have no destination charger? Is that a hybrid then? Sham award. Needs more AER!!

pjwood1

“my commute is further than 30 miles ”

We’re not sure how you’d even got that far in an Audi e-tron?

Khai L.

pjwood1,

I think you know what I meant. If not, I’ll spell it out:

How would I be considered driving an EV if I’m burning gasoline on my commute every single day? Or even just trying to accelerate faster than 0-60 in 11 seconds will start the ICE.

The 30-mile (NEDC, 20-miles for the rest of us) AER is just too short to be considered an “electric vehicle”.

It’s essentially the same issue as the Toyota PIP, just a little less of an EV failure.

Mint

Come on, that’s not so bad AER. The PiP is a joke, and Ford’s Energis have less AER than the A3 e-Tron.

Aside from the Volt and i3 REx, what PHEVs have substantially greater AER?

Brian

The eTron and the Energis have the same AER. The difference on the sticker is a rounding error. They are all in the “PHEV20” category, with about 20 miles AER (EPA).

There is a large portion of the population who drive less than 20 miles on most days. In the county in which I live, there are probably over half a million people with that driving pattern. On days that you drive more, you burn a tiny amount of gas.

If your commute is 30-40 miles, then see if you can charge at work. If you can arrange to do so, the eTron can still do your commute 100% electric.

Can it be better? Sure. But even 20 miles AER is a huge step over 0 miles AER.

Let’s not forget that this car appeals to a whole new market segment. Would your typical Audi driver even look at a Chevy? Probably not. Maybe a BMW, but the i3 has some serious limitations as one’s only car.

Khai L.

Brian,

If you want to make excuses for the 20-mile dividing line, fine, it’s a shorter goal post.

However, unlike the volt, i3 Rex, nor any BEV’s, you can’t street-light drag race without kicking on the gas engine. That is hybrid behaviour, not electric vehicle behaviour.

With 0 RPM torque as a selling point, it kind of does matter when the gas engine starts.

Khai L.

Keep in mind that this is an award for “electric vehicle of the year”

Anon

Um… Does Audi own this rag? Does its editors know what an EV actually is???

Proclaiming the A3 EV of the Entire Year (in January), is like me denying Anthropogenic Climate Change, or Evolution.

They’re aware Model X will be released in 2015, yes?

tftf

“They’re aware Model X will be released in 2015, yes?”

This is a UK publication, the X could well arrive by 2016 in Europe (especially UK, right-drive) only given all the delays.

Audi will PHEV their entire lineup over time and have at least two BEVs coming as well by 2017-2018, don’t underestimate them.

Speculawyer

What car? Is it even available in the USA?

See Through

Is it selling in UK already? What’s the price before incentives?

See Through

OK, found the UK site with pricing:
http://www.audi.co.uk/new-cars/a3/a3-sportback-etron.html.html?sc_ppc=p1111259549

A3 Sportback e-tron Starting from £34,950

CSS

What Car? …EXACTLY!!!

Acevolt

They need to have two categories, one for Electric cars and one for PHEV’s.

Micke Larsson

They have three. Lower end EV (winner Renault Zoe) and Upper end EV (winner Tesla Model S60).

The Renault Zoe took it’s second win in a row as the lower end EV.

And last years overall winner was the BMW i3.

See Through

In short, every car won in some category!

Micke Larsson

In short about 10% got an award since there were 3 categories and about 30 EV models (in Europe, not all in the UK but UK stats are hard to get).

And the competition will grow stronger for every year.

Micke Larsson

Great choice. And with a very sensible motivation.

Brian

I agree. This looks like a great plug-in option! I can’t wait for it to get to the states.

will

I never understood why they declare ‘cars of the year’ at the start of a year rather than the end of it.

John from AA

Maybe they’re truong to emulate automakers’ nonsensical model year practices?