Audi for the Environment

Audi for the Environment

3 November, 2014
Certified Green
Audi Stays in the Lead in Sustainable Luxury Car Brands
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With cameos and special appearances throughout the James Bond series, Audi has made its name in the luxury car brand industry. Iconic for its sleek, sporty, and sophisticated designs, Audi is undeniably one of the leading luxury car brands in the world.
 
As Audi takes innovation to the new level, Ecozine sits down with Mr Reinhold Carl, Managing Director of Audi Hong Kong, as he tells us all about Audi's latest green initiatives and how Audi is determined to stay in the lead in the sustainable luxury car game.
 
E: What are some of Audi’s main green initiatives?
 
In Hong Kong, there are 3 models has passed Environmental Protection Department’s qualifying standards for environmentally-friendly petrol private cars. First registered buyers can enjoy a HKD$75,000 deduction on the First Registration Tax.
 
Audi Q7 3.0 TDI clean diesel quattro – we are the first German premium brand to bring in the passenger diesel car in Hong Kong.
 
The New Audi A6 hybrid - Audi A6 hybrid will be the only four-door three box European sedan to obtain the government’s “Environmental-friendly Private Car Certificate”, making it a successful entry in the eco-friendly car market. It supports all-electric mode for up to about 3 km. with an average fuel consumption of just 6.2 liters per 100 km, equivalent to 145 g/km of CO2 emissions. Maximum combined power output is 245 hp
 
Sporty, Efficient and Green – The new Audi A3 Sedan 1.4 TFSI ultra joins the league of environmentally-friendly private car models in Sept 2014. The first Audi “ultra” model in Hong Kong. Audi ultra stands for Audi’s comprehensive efficiency strategy. It represents the brand’s aim of achieving consistent sustainability in its products and in all company divisions, while still delivering the quality of driving enjoy¬ment associated with the brand. Greater efficiency with unchanged driving dynamics, emissions of just 119 grams of CO 2 per kilometer, ultra lightweight construction technology sharply reduces car weight to 1,330 kg with optimized weight distribution. The first ever ultra model qualified as an environmentally-friendly private car model to arrive in Hong Kong. Available from HK$287,800 after 45% tax reduction for first registered buyers.
 
E: How is Audi in terms of being one of the more sustainable luxury car brands and how does it hope to stay in the lead in the future?
 
We will soon launch the A3 e-tron on the market in Germany, our first plug-in hybrid model. This drive system offers the best possible customer benefit with the combination of combustion engine and electric drive.
 
The plug-in hybrid is nearly CO 2 -neutral in electric-drive mode, and the customer has his usual range with the combustion engine. That’s economical, the driver needn’t be afraid of getting stuck with an empty battery, and it’s a lot of fun. So far, the industry has mainly concentrated on the aspect of saving fuel. But the battery of a hybrid drive can give a diesel-engine car sporty acceleration, and it still doesn’t consume much fuel. We at Audi call this innovation e-boost, and we will soon put it into series-produced cars. That fits in perfectly with our sporty ambitions.  With our plug-in hybrids, we make emission-free mobility possible in the city. Over longer distances, a low-emission combustion engine is used. And the first fully electric Audi will be the R8 of the coming generation, which we will put on the road in a limited edition. 
 
By the way, long before our competitors, we had the courage to produce an electric sports car: the R8 e-tron. We could easily have put the first generation of that car into series production.  We didn’t have it produced yet because we weren’t satisfied with a range of 250 kilometers and the battery technology and charging infrastructure that was then available. And then to launch an electric car solely for image reasons, which with a lot of luck just manages the distance, isn’t our style. Today, this model has quite different specifications, with a range of almost 450 kilometers. This experience motivated us to go our own way with electric mobility. 
 
Today’s electric cars standing in showrooms don’t really benefit the environment. That will only be the case when an appropriate infrastructure and range exist. That’s when acceptance and sales will rise.  But if we really want to benefit the environment, customers have to be able to buy such products. 
 
E: What inspired the green initiatives for Audi?
 
Living up to the brand’s motto “Vorsprung durch Technik”, Audi’s advanced technology allows both high-performance and energy efficiency with low fuel consumption and low emission. New advanced efficiency technology creates an eco-friendly driving experience.
 
In all, Audi making use of our many years of experience – in 2014, we celebrate 25 years of the TDI engine and 10 years of the TFSI – and we continue to invest in the optimization of our highly efficient engines.
 
E: What are some of the challenges Audi has encountered (or might encounter)?
 
We are experiencing enormous transformations in the markets and in our industry. The conditions are more complex than ever before. Strict requirements in terms of fuel consumption and CO 2 emissions are creating some turbulence. At the same time, we are working extremely hard on hybrid cars and electric cars, which are trailblazers for new forms of mobility.
 
We have always said that a purely battery-driven car needs a range of at least 240 kilometers. Our target is now a range of at least 450 kilometers. And then to launch an electric car solely for image reasons, which with a lot of luck just manages the distance, isn’t our style. But as a technology prototype, the R8 e-tron has another important role. A lot of what we are testing in this car will be applied in our models in the future.
 
Audi is expected to supply a fully functional automobile. We have to offer everyday practicality and sufficient range. For one thing, that has psychological reasons. No-one wants to be stuck in an immobile car, especially not in an electric car. With our Audi A3 e-tron, we have found the perfect solution. In the city and on short journeys, it uses the electric motor. You don’t have to stop to recharge the battery; if you need, you just continue driving with the combustion engine. This combination of emission-free driving and long range is an example of how we interpret “Vorsprung durch Technik.” 
 
E: Where do you see sustainability with Audi in 5 years?
 
So far, only the A3 is to appear as a plug-in hybrid.  Soon to be followed by our sport-utility Q7. Later, the A6 and our flagship A8 will be launched with this efficient technology.  But these cars will only be on the market in a few years from now.  We are working hard on their development. The A3 plug-in-hybrid will be the first to be launched in 2014 in Germany, and then we will launch a new model every year. By the way, instead of building electric cars in a specialized factory, we will produce the plug-in models in our main plants, whether in Germany - Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm, but also in China and Mexico, Hungary or soon also in North America. That makes us very flexible and reduces our fixed costs.  They simply run on the normal production lines between TDIs and TFSIs. No-one else can do that.
 

By: Kristine Basilio
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