The Audi A8 L TFSIe Plug-In Hybrid Saloon: The Complete Guide For India

Audi A8 L TFSIe Plug-In Hybrid
Price: N/A
Type of electric vehicle: Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
Body type: Saloon
Battery size: 17.9 kWh
Electric range (WLTP): 36 miles
Tailpipe emissions: 48 - 41g (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 A8 L TFSIe Saloon 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 A8 is a full-size executive premium saloon vehicle. The car has been manufactured since 1994. The Audi A8 is now in its fourth generation and utilises the Audi quattro technology. The A8 L luxury saloon is a long wheelbase version of the A8 standard variant, hence the ‘L’.

When it comes to high-end chauffeur driven luxurious executive saloons, there are very few options for either a pure electric or plug-in hybrid variant. The likes of the Audi A8 L premium-badge plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) compete with a handful of upmarket alternatives, to include, Mercedes-Benz and BMW PHEVs.

The Audi A8 stretched long-wheelbase ‘L’ saloon PHEV does not come cheap. However, driving the A8 plug-in on pure electric mode can still save money. Moreover, the marriage of the internal combustion engine (3.0-litre petrol TFSI V6 engine) with an electric motor, increases the fuel efficiency of the electric vehicle i.e. lower motoring costs!

Audi claims up to 148.7 mpg fuel economy, but of course, in the real-world it will be lower. Nevertheless, taking advantage of the electric mode will result in higher fuel efficiency. To further increase the efficiency of the electric vehicle, we also encourage using the maximum regenerative braking profile, as often as possible. It does take some getting used to regen braking, but, it is not a significant challenge!

The Audi electric vehicle has a 17.9 kWh onboard EV battery with a claimed emission-free EV range up to 36 miles (WLTP). Like the real-world fuel economy, expect the real-world electric range to be lower. A 30 mile EV range will be more realistic. But leveraging the hybrid technology by driving on e-mode, will help reduce running costs for the electric vehicle.

Of course, to leverage the EV range, keeping the EV battery charged on a regular basis is key. Given the size of the EV battery, charging at home via a dedicated residential EV charger, like Easee, should get the battery 100% charged in just over 2.5 hours. The PHEV has a 7.2 kW AC onboard charger and does not offer DC charging. Audi offers a 8 years or 100,000 miles warranty.

In terms of performance, the Audi A8 does not disappoint. Despite the additional weight of the onboard EV battery, the all-wheel drive A8 L TFSI e is quick (0-62 mph: 4.9 seconds). The EV has a maximum output of 340 PS and 700 Nm torque, with top speed up to 155 mph. Do keep in mind that the EV also benefits from the availability of instant torque. Yes, as you can expect for the price tag, the A8 L offers a refined drive and on e-mode it benefits from a smoother and silent drive.

The exterior styling of the A8 PHEV is a good balance between traditional and new design. The EV is good looking without looking futuristic, so well suited for those keen on embracing new technology without feeling overwhelmed. The inside cabin is certainly luxurious and technology-filled, akin to a luxurious lounge. The drivers cockpit is well laid out and modern.

The EV includes: Audi virtual cockpit, Audi connect navigation and infotainment, Audi smartphone interface, head up display, camera-based traffic sign recognition, adaptive cruise assist with emergency assist and more. In terms of practicality, the EV can comfortably seat adults in the front and rear seats. The boot space has been impacted by the onboard EV battery and the need to also carry an EV charging cable. Nevertheless the premium saloon offers 390 L cargo volume.

The EV has claimed tailpipe emissions up to 48g CO2/km. Again, substantially lower than the emissions of the conventional combustion engine 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 refined limo with a high quality interior and specificationsDC charging not available
Excellent space for rear seat passengersLimited to 7.2 kW onboard charger
Impressive driving performanceInfotainment system can be improved

Gallery


The Audi A8 L TFSIe 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:Saloon
Engine:Petrol-Electric
Available In India:No

Variants (3 Options)
Sport
S line
Vorsprung

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:48 – 41g (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):1485
Width (mm):2130
Length (mm):5302
Wheelbase (mm):3128
Turning Circle (m):N/A
Boot capacity (L):390

Sport quattro tiptronic
EV Battery Capacity:17.9 kWh
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):36 miles
Electric Energy Consumption (kWh/100km):22.5
Fuel Consumption (MPG):148.7
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:4.9 seconds
Drive:All-wheel drive (AWD)
Electric Motor (kW):N/A
Max Power (PS):340
Torque (Nm):700
Transmission:Automatic
Seats:5
Doors:4
Unladen Weight (kg):2,405
Colours:10
NCAP Safety Rating:N/A

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

Martina Giobbio

Like, many in her generation, Martina is very passionate about protecting the environment and creating a more sustainable future. Though she is new to the electric driving sector, her drive to learn and contribute is unparalleled. Martina has a Bachelor Degree in Italian Humanities and a Master Degree in Communication from the University of Milan. She has previously worked in press offices and a publishing house. She loves writing and reading.

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