Audi A3 Sportback e-tron charging at home

Audi A3 Sportback e-tron charging at home

Volkswagen Group is preparing to introduce all-electric and plug-in cars in North America in a holistic approach.

The Audi A3 Sportback e-tron, which recently went on sale in Europe (deliveries scheduled for winter) is coming to the US during the second half of 2015 at participating dealerships in all 50 states.

Together with the car, Audi offers a package including charging equipment, zero emission certificates, and home solar system.

"Audi of America today announced the launch of Audi energy®, a comprehensive program designed to help improve the electric vehicle ownership experience and reduce the carbon footprint that comes with vehicle production, distribution and driving."

First of all is Level 2 EVSE, developed together with Bosch Automotive Service Solutions, which will be included in the price of the car. However, installation will be extra.

"Level 2 Audi charger. Standard. Through Bosch Automotive Service Solutions, Audi will offer qualified owners of the all-new A3 Sportback e-tron  models premium installation services to help quickly and safely convert the owner's residence to 240V power at the charging location of their choosing as well as installation of the Audi designed Level 2 charger for at-home recharging. The Audi-designed Level 2 charger will come standard with the purchase of an all-new Audi A3 Sportback e-tron. Installation costs will be extra."

Secondly, Audi announced that itwill buy carbon offset certificates in California and Africa to offset certain greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with A3 Sportback e-tron vehicles. The German manufacturer aims to buy enough certificates for 50,000 miles for every A3 Sportback e-tron sold.

"A distinctive component of Audi energy is possible through an innovative arrangement with 3Degrees, a certified B Corporation and leading carbon offset and Renewable Energy Credit (REC) provider based in San Francisco with several U.S. Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency awards as Green Power Supplier of the Year. Investing in two types of carbon reduction programs, one in the U.S. and the other in Africa (in a United Nations REDD+ zone), Audi will offset most of the greenhouse gas emissions that result from the A3 Sportback e-tron vehicle's final assembly, including battery production, shipping the vehicle to the Audi dealer, and 50,000 miles of driving.  These emissions represent the majority of greenhouse gas emissions up through approximately the vehicle's first 50,000 driven miles."

Thirdly, SunPower will provide an optional home solar power system for Audi customers - including a newly developed home energy storage solution to capture additional solar energy. Sounds interesting. And this device is currently in final testing.

"Audi has reached an agreement with San Jose, Calif.-based SunPower to offer optional home solar power systems to Audi owners in all 50 states, including A3 e-tron customers. With the highest efficiency solar panels available in the industry today – including the 21% efficient X-Series Solar Panel which produces 75 percent more energy over 25 years than a conventional panel   - SunPower rooftop solar systems can help customers enhance the energy efficiency of their A3 e-tron and home while lowering their electric utility costs."

Wayne Killen, General Manager, Product Strategy and Launch stated:

"The Audi A3 Sportback e-tron will offer drivers an eco-conscious vehicle ownership experience. Audi energy takes this to the next level with solutions that allow for sustainable fuel driving and a lower carbon footprint.  We believe this will be one of the most comprehensive offering in the industry today."

Volkswagen e-Golf

Volkswagen e-Golf

At the same time, Volkswagen offers a similar package for the upcoming e-Golf.  However, there are some changes.

For example, the German carmaker would like to offset only 36,000 miles of driving with zero emission certificates. 36,000 is some 30% less than 50,000 for Audi—maybe because expected mileages are lower?

"To help determine its carbon offset projects, Volkswagen is proud to announce it has teamed with 3Degrees, a renewable energy and carbon offset services provider. The partnership brings new meaning to the idea of an ultra-low carbon car. By investing in carbon reduction programs, Volkswagen will offset the e-Golf's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that result from its production, distribution and from the estimated emissions produced from keeping the vehicle charged through the initial 36,000 miles of the vehicle's life. Volkswagen of America chose to include carbon reduction efforts in California and in Texas with projects geared towards forestry conservation and landfill gas capture."

The offer of home solar system and energy storage from SunPower seems the same like in the case of Audi.

On the charging solutions side, there will not be any free premium EVSE. Volkswagen will just recommend Bosch's Power Max charging station "at highly competitive prices to e-Golf customers".

And because e-Golf is all electric, Volkswagen will provide access to ChargePoint Network.  However, there's no sign of any free charging sessions, so expect just authorization cards.