The Audi A3 Plug-In Hybrid Sportback TFSIe: The Complete Guide for India

The Audi A3 Sportback TFSI e PHEV India
Price: N/A
Type of electric vehicle: Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
Body type: Hatchback
Battery size: 13 kWh
Electric range (WLTP): 37 miles
Tailpipe emissions: 30-25g (CO2/km)


Electric Cars: The Basics


For those of you new to zero-emission electric driving, we recommend a read of the following articles:


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The Audi A3 Sportback TFSIe PHEV


Audi AG, a Bavaria (Germany) based luxury automotive manufacturer is a wholly owned subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, the Germany automotive group. Volkswagen AG is one of the leading automotive companies in the global electric vehicle (EV) industry. Volkswagen has committed to an investment up to Euro 30 billion by 2023. It aims to sell 3 million electric vehicles by 2025 and launch up to 70 new EV models over the next 10 years.

With the launch of its electric vehicle ID. Family, VW is fast cementing a dominant position is to become the world’s largest electric vehicle manufacturer by 2028, with the automotive behemoth planning to manufacturer 22 million electric vehicles.  Audi also offers plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), to include:

The Audi A3 compact premium hatchback has been on sale since early 1990s. The A3 is currently in its fourth generation. The A3 is also available as a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV).

Like BMW and other leading automotive manufactures, Audi has also followed suit in offering a plug-in hybrid variant for a number of its existing conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) petrol and diesel models. For those keen on driving a premium compact car with lower tailpipe emissions, the Audi A3 plug-in electric car is worth considering.

The A3 PHEV has claimed tailpipe emissions up to 30g (CO2/km), considerably lower than the A3 conventional petrol/ diesel variants (132g CO2/km). The Audi Sportback PHEV has a slightly larger onboard EV battery compared to other compact PHEVs currently available on the market. The A3 PHEV 13 kWh onboard EV battery has a claimed 37 miles pure electric range (WLTP), which again is a higher emission-free electric range, compared to other PHEVs of a similar size.

Of course, the real-world EV range will be lower than the WLTP certified range, and will be impacted by a number of factors, to include: driving profile, passenger load, traffic and road conditions, weather, onboard services used, wheel size and more. A real-world electric range closer to 30 miles will be more realistic.

However, for urban and rural driving, a 30 mile+ electric range is more than sufficient. We strongly encourage both private and company-car drivers to take advantage of the hybrid capability of the electric vehicle (EV), by keeping the EV battery topped-up on a regular basis and driving as much as possible on e-mode. Audi claims a fuel economy up to 282.5 mpg, and to achieve the maximum fuel efficiency, using the electric driving mode will be imperative.

Also, where possible, select the maximum regenerative braking profile, to further enhance the efficiency of the electric vehicle (EV). Driving the EV on e-mode has many advantages, to include: lower driving cost per mile, a smoother and silent drive, instant torque and more. Of course, most EVs also have an artificial noise generator to warn pedestrians and other road users.

The EV can be charged at home or at a public AC charging station. However, AC charging is limited to 3.6 kW, given the onboard charger capability. The EV is not capable of DC charging. For home charging, we recommend, charging overnight, when the electricity tariff rates are more favourable. We also recommend charging the EV via a dedicated residential EV charger like, Easee. The EV will take 4 hours to fully charge. Yes, please avoid charging an electric car via a 3-PIN domestic plug!

The compact size of the Audi A3 PHEV lends itself naturally to easier driving and parking in congested city and town centres. Though the PHEV is practical, do keep in mind its limitations as a compact vehicle. In particular, the reduced boot size (280 L) due to the placement of the EV battery and also the Sportback exterior styling. But the EV has 4 passenger doors, so access is easy.

The plug-in electric car does not disappoint in terms of its sporty exterior style, interior quality or performance. The front-wheel drive (FWD) PHEV pairs the 1.4-litre petrol engine with an electric motor, achieving 0-62 mph in 6.8 seconds (maximum power: 245 PS). Top speed of the PHEV is 144 mph. The electric car also benefits from instant torque.

The EV also includes a digital 10.25″ instrument cluster – the Audi Virtual Cockpit and MMI Navigation Plus with MMI Touch. Featuring an integrated power metre highlighting the system’s total output, driving mode, battery charge and remaining range.

Bottom-line, electric driving is good for the environment and the wallet! The Audi electric car is not available in India.


PROS CONS
A good option for city driving on zero tailpipe emission EV rangeSmall boot space (280 L)
Good electric range (37 miles)Cheaper city friendly EVs available
An efficient electric vehicle (EV) and low tailpipe emissionsOn board charger limited to 3.6 kW. DC charging not available

Gallery


The Audi A3 Sportback TFSI e PHEV (credit: Audi)


Driving an electric vehicle (EV) is cheaper than driving a petrol or diesel vehicle. As an example, in India, filling a full tank of fuel for the internal combustion engine (ICE) Tata Nexon SUV will cost up to Rs 5,000 (assuming an average cost per litre of Rs 100. The Tata Nexon has a fuel tank capacity of 44 L).

In comparison, the Tata Nexon Pure Electric SUV will cost less than Rs 300 for a full EV battery charge (EV Battery size: 30.2 kWh). In India, the average cost for residential electricity is between Rs 5 to Rs 10 per kWh(unit). Therefore the cost to drive per km (or mile) in a pure electric vehicle is substantially lower than a petrol or diesel vehicle.

At an average one can expect a cost per km of Rs 1 for a zero-emission EV, while for an equivalent petrol or diesel vehicle, the cost per km could be up to Rs 7 per km. The annual cost savings achieved by switching to electric driving is significant!


 At A Glance
EV Type:Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
Vehicle Type:Hatchback
Engine:Petrol-Electric
Available In India:No

Variants (3 Options)
Sport 40 TFSIe S tronic
S line 40 TFSIe S tronic
S line Competition 45 TFSIe S tronic

 EV Battery & Emissions
EV Battery Type:Lithium-ion
EV Battery Capacity:Available in one battery size: 13 kWh
Charging:DC charging not available. On-board charger 3.6 kW AC (0% – 100%: 4 hrs)
Charge Port:Type 2
EV Cable Type:Type 2
Tailpipe Emissions:30-25g (CO2/km)
Warranty:8 years or 100,000 miles

Charging Times (Overview)
Slow charging AC (3 kW – 3.6 kW):6 – 12 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SOC)
Fast charging AC (7 kW – 22 kW):3 – 8 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Rapid charging AC (43 kW):0-80%: 20 mins to 60 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Rapid charging DC (50 kW+):0-80%: 20 mins to 60 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Ultra rapid charging DC (150 kW+):0-80% : 20 mins to 40 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Tesla Supercharger (120 kW – 250 kW):0-80%: up to 25 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)

 Dimensions
Height (mm):1450
Width (mm):1984
Length (mm):4343
Wheelbase (mm):2630
Turning Circle (m):10.7
Boot capacity (L):280

40 TFSIe S tronic
EV Battery Capacity:13 kWh
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):37 miles
Electric Energy Consumption (kWh/100km):15.1
Fuel Consumption (MPG):235.4 – 282.5
Charging:DC charging not available. On-board charger 3.6 kW AC (0% – 100%: 4 hrs)
Top Speed:141 mph
0-62 mph:7.6 seconds
Drive:Front-wheel drive (FWD)
Max Power (PS):204
Torque (Nm):250
Transmission:Automatic
Seats:5
Doors:5
Unladen Weight (kg):1,560
Colours:8
NCAP Safety Rating:Five-Star

45 TFSIe S tronic
EV Battery Capacity:13 kWh
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):37 miles
Electric Energy Consumption (kWh/100km):15.0
Fuel Consumption (MPG):217.3 – 235.4
Charging:DC charging not available. On-board charger 3.6 kW AC (0% – 100%: 4 hrs)
Top Speed:144 mph
0-62 mph:6.8 seconds
Drive:Front-wheel drive (FWD)
Max Power (PS):245
Torque (Nm):250
Transmission:Automatic
Seats:5
Doors:5
Unladen Weight (kg):1,585
Colours:8
NCAP Safety Rating:Five-Star

Electric Car Charging: A Snapshot


Charging an electric vehicle (EV), is really quite as simple as charging your smart mobile phone i.e. plug and play! Both, battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) are charged in the same manner. Below is a brief guide to charging an electric car:

  • Just like a conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle is filled with fuel, similarly, an electric car is filled with ‘fuel’, the only difference being that the fuel is electricity and not petrol or diesel. In a petrol or diesel car the fuel is stored in a fuel tank, while in an electric vehicle, the electricity is stored in an EV battery, usually a lithium-ion battery.
  • Electric cars can be charged at home or at public charging points. Most EV charging is done at home overnight via a dedicated EV charging station. However, some households still use a 3-PIN domestic plug to charge an EV. We strongly discourage the use of a 3-PIN domestic plug and instead encourage the installation of a high quality home EV charging station, like Webasto or EVBox.
  • Pure electric cars take longer to charge than plug-in hybrid electric cars, as pure EVs have a larger EV battery. In most cases a pure electric car will have an EV battery between 30 kWh and 100 kWh, while a plug-in hybrid electric car will usually have an EV battery between 8 kWh and 15 kWh. Charging an EV at home can take between 3 to 15 hours, depending on the size of the EV battery and the type of charge point or 3-PIN plug engaged for charging. Home charging is AC charging, and in most cases up to 7.4 kW, as most homes, to include, India, are singe-phase.

Charging Times (Overview)
Slow charging AC (3 kW – 3.6 kW):6 – 12 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SOC)
Fast charging AC (7 kW – 22 kW):3 – 8 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Rapid charging AC (43 kW):0-80%: 20 mins to 60 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Rapid charging DC (50 kW+):0-80%: 20 mins to 60 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Ultra rapid charging DC (150 kW+):0-80% : 20 mins to 40 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Tesla Supercharger (120 kW – 250 kW):0-80%: up to 25 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)

  • Public charging, to include workplace charging, is quite similar to home charging, except, the charging stations are faster and sometimes more expensive to charge per kWh. Public charging stations are both AC and DC charging, however, the AC charging is at a much faster rate (22 kW). DC charging, is the fastest way to charge an EV and depending on the EV battery size, DC charging can fully charge an EV battery in less than 40 minutes. In general, plug-in hybrid cars do not use DC charging i.e. DC charging is mostly used by pure electric cars. DC charging stations can range between 50 kW to 300 kW.
  • We always encourage EV owners to carry an EV cable in the car, as not all public charging points are tethered (attached cable). We recommend the use of a 5m EV charging cable, and preferably a high visibility colour. Of course, you can buy high quality EV charging cables and EV charging stations via e-zoomed.



Author

Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising the TVS Group, a multi-billion dollar industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised AMIH, a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He is also a member of the Forbury Investment Network advisory committee. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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