The Audi A6 Avant TFSIe Plug-In Hybrid Estate: The Complete Guide For India

Audi A6 Avant TFSIe Plug-In Hybrid
Price: N/A
Type of electric vehicle: Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
Body type: Estate
Battery size: 17.9 kWh
Electric range (WLTP): 40 miles
Tailpipe emissions: 34 - 30g (CO2/km)


Electric Cars: The Basics


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

For those keen on an overview of the Indian and global electric vehicle (EV) market, simply scroll down to the end of the article!


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The Audi A6 Avant TFSIe PHEV Estate


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 A6 premium car has been on sale since 1994. The A6 is currently in its fifth generation. The A6 is available as a saloon and an estate body type. The A6 is also available as a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV).

The A6 Avant TFSIe estate PHEV is one of the very few premium-badge plug-in hybrid electric estate cars available. Though a compelling proposition for a company-car driver, the A6 premium estate plug-in hybrid is just as compelling for private users, given the increased practicality of an estate car.

The electric vehicle (EV) has an above average EV battery size for a PHEV (17.9 kWh), with a claimed electric range up to 40 miles (WLTP). Even adjusting for driving style, speed, weather conditions, passenger load, regenerative braking profile, the Audi A6 EV should be able to deliver well over 30 miles on a fully charged battery. That is certainly sufficient for most daily commutes and shorter motorway driving.

Do keep in mind that driving in e-mode is not only smoother and more enjoyable, than driving a conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) equivalent, but it is also far cheaper per mile to drive on pure electric mode.

Both the Audi 50 TFSIe quattro S tronic and the Audi 55 TFSIe quattro S tronic, combine an internal combustion engine (ICE) with an electric motor, to deliver greater vehicle efficiency. Audi claims a fuel economy up to 217.3 mpg for the 50 TFSIe, and up to 201.8 mpg for the 55 TFSIe. Of course, to achieve higher levels of real-world fuel economy, the all-wheel drive A6 PHEV has to be driven on the pure electric mode as much as possible. Expect real-world fuel economy to be much lower than the claimed figures, if the majority of the driving is on motorways at high speed!

It is important that the EV is charged on a regular basis, so that the financial savings from driving on e-mode can be leveraged to its maximum. Buying a PHEV without the intent to use the e-mode to its maximum potential is simply incomprehensible!

The Audi A6 plug-in electric estate incorporates a 7.2 kW onboard charger, perfect for charging at home, given that most homes are powered by single-phase power supply. Using a dedicated EV charger like Easee, the EV battery can fully charged in around two hours and 30 minutes. The PHEV does not offer DC charging compatibility.

However, best not to deplete the EV battery to empty. Always, adopt a ‘topping up’ approach to EV charging. It benefits fuel economy and moreover also benefits the long-term health of the EV battery (Audi offers a 8 years or 100,000 miles warranty). Of course, by topping up on a regular basis, there is less time required to wait for recharging the EV between charges.

The 50 TFSIe combines a 2.0-litre petrol engine with an electric motor powered by the onboard EV battery. Despite the additional weight of the EV battery, the electric car has reasonably good performance: 0-62 mph in 6.3 seconds (maximum output 299 PS and 370 Nm torque). The top speed is 155 mph. The 55 TFSIe is a little quicker and achieves 0-62 mph in 5.7 seconds. And as is the case with EVs, the all-wheel drive Audi A6 plug-in also benefits from instant torque.

As with most premium-badge cars like Audi, high quality interiors come as standard, and the Audi A6 PHEV does not disappoint. The electric vehicle is also technology-laden, to include: Audi virtual cockpit, MMI navigation plus with MMI touch, Audi smartphone Interface and more. The EV also includes a host of assistance systems, to include: city assist pack, park assist, Audi pre sense rear, head-up display, camera-based traffic sign recognition, lane departure warning inc emergency assist, passenger presence detection and more.

In terms of exterior styling, for those keen to migrate to electric driving, but in an EV that feels familiar in design, the Audi EV exterior styling is well suited. It is attractive without screaming it is futuristic. In terms of practicality, there is ample headroom and legroom for front and rear seat passengers and the drive is refined. The only limitation is the reduced boot size due to the placement of the onboard EV battery. A6 estate PHEV offers 405 L in cargo volume.

The EV has claimed tailpipe emissions up to 34g CO2/km. Again, substantially lower than the emissions of the conventional petrol variant. Bottom-line, electric driving is good for the environment and the wallet! The Audi electric car is not available in India.


PROS CONS
A practical family-friendly estate PHEVOptions and top trim are expensive
Decent zero-emission electric range (40 miles)DC charging not available
Incorporates quattro technology as standardExterior styling not exciting

Gallery


The Audi A6 TFSIe Avant 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)
Body Type:Estate
Engine:Petrol-Electric
Available In India:No

Variants (6 Options)
Sport 50 TFSIe quattro S tronic
S line 50 TFSIe quattro S tronic
Black Edition 50 TFSIe quattro S tronic
Competition 55 TFSIe quattro S tronic
Vorsprung 50 TFSIe quattro S tronic
Competition Vorsprung 55 TFSIe quattro S tronic

EV Battery & Emissions
EV Battery Type:Lithium-ion
EV Battery Capacity:Available in one battery size: 17.9 kWh
Charging:DC charging not available. On-board charger 7.2 kW AC (0% – 100%: 2 hrs 30 mins)
Charge Port:Type 2
EV Cable Type:Type 2
Tailpipe Emissions:34 – 30g (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):1465
Width (mm):1886
Length (mm):4951
Wheelbase (mm):2924
Turning Circle (m):12.1
Boot capacity (L):405

50 TFSIe quattro S tronic
EV Battery Capacity:17.9 kWh
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):40 miles
Electric Energy Consumption (kWh/100km):18.9
Fuel Consumption (MPG):217.3
Charging:DC charging not available. On-board charger 7.2 kW AC (0% – 100%: 2 hrs 30 mins)
Top Speed:155 mph
0-62 mph:6.3 seconds
Drive:All-wheel drive (AWD)
Electric Motor (kW):N/A
Max Power (PS):299
Torque (Nm):370
Transmission:Automatic
Seats:5
Doors:5
Unladen Weight (kg):2,150
Colours:9
NCAP Safety Rating:Five-Star

55 TFSIe quattro S tronic
EV Battery Capacity:17.9 kWh
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):40 miles
Electric Energy Consumption (kWh/100km):19.6
Fuel Consumption (MPG):201.8
Charging:DC charging not available. On-board charger 7.2 kW AC (0% – 100%: 2 hrs 30 mins)
Top Speed:155 mph
0-62 mph:5.7 seconds
Drive:All-wheel drive (AWD)
Electric Motor (kW):N/A
Max Power (PS):367
Torque (Nm):500
Transmission:Automatic
Seats:5
Doors:5
Unladen Weight (kg):2,150
Colours:9
NCAP Safety Rating:Five-Star

Air Quality: The Basics


It does not matter where in India one lives, no one can escape the increased level of air pollution engulfing our villages, towns and cities, across the country. However, this is not unique to India.

Air pollution has been documented globally as one of the key issues in increased mortality rates, in particular, for those that are most vulnerable: the children and the aged. Increased air pollution has been linked to increases in premature deaths, higher rates of cancer, heart attacks, stroke and lung diseases.   

In India, air quality worsens closer to more densely populated urban centres, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd tier cities. Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru are just some of the examples of cities with dangerous levels of toxic air pollution or poor air quality. In fact, air pollution levels have been so high in India in the recent years, that it has captured the attention of the world media. 

Many factors affect the level of air pollution, but one that is significant, is the pollution released from road transportation, commonly referred to as ‘emissions’ or tailpipe emissions. For the majority of the globe, to include, India, emissions from petrol and diesel vehicles contribute more than 30% to air pollution. This is an average, and certainly, in more populated cities like Delhi and Mumbai, the level of toxic contribution from vehicle exhausts will be even higher. The other major contributor to air pollution is energy production and consumptions (fossil fuels).  


So, what is air pollution?


  • Air pollution is the release of pollutants in our atmosphere that have a negative impact on the health of individuals and the environment as a whole. 
  • The majority of pollutants are invisible. The are minutely small particles (finely divided solids) or gases that cannot be seen with the naked eye. These extremely small solid or liquid particles are also called particulates. Examples are: fumes, smoke, dust and soot. The majority of these particulates are less than 10 micrometres.    
  • Air pollution can affect the environment both outdoors and indoors. There are a number of different types of pollutants, but the most well known are particulate matter, carbon dioxide, methane, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide.  
  • Both carbon monoxide (CO) and nitrogen oxides (NO2), contribute to smog formation, very common in the winter months. Sulphur dioxide (SO2) contributes to haze and also acid rain formation. Particulate matters also contributes to haze and acid rain. All the above negatively impact health by increasing irritation of breathing passages, aggravation of asthma and irregular heartbeat. 
  • Pollutants like carbon dioxide have a far reaching consequence on our lives. It is not only air pollution that it impacts, but as being a major source of greenhouse gas, CO2 has a long-term and detrimental impact on our environment and ecosystem. More commonly refereed to as ‘climate change’.
  • Most of us know in India are familiar with PM 2.5 (fine particulate matter). These are tiny particles or droplets that are two and one half microns or less in width. A micron is a unit of measurement of length equal to one millionth of a metre. An increase in levels of PM 2.5 concentrations result in an increase in unhealthy air quality, haze etc. Vehicle exhausts are a major contributor to higher levels of PM 2.5 in the air.    
  • Though measures like reducing traffic (odd-even system in Delhi), wearing air masks etc. can help reduce the impact of pollution, the reduction is not far-reaching. Zero-emission road transportation i.e. electric cars, are a panacea for a sustained and comprehensive improvement in air quality. The sooner, we in India, migrate to electric vehicles, the sooner can we start to improve our local air quality.  



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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