Audi has announced that it will be launching its first pilot program in the US for its fleet of A3 e-tron all-electric battery-powered vehicles. The hatchbacks will be deployed in four major US cities, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver, and Washington DC, where Audi hopes to enlist beta testers to get real world day-to-day usage data.
The A3 e-trons were first introduced last April and sport 26.5-kWh lithium-ion battery packs that have a 90-mile range and offer a 100-kW, or 130 horsepower, motor for a front wheel drive that can handle 199 pound-feet of torque. There’s no backup gas engines in these models, although Audi’s selection could eventually include plug-in hybrids and extended-range electric vehicles as well.
As for performance, the A3 e-trons top out at 90mph and reach 60mph in about 11 seconds. Those figures aren’t very impressive, but Audi places emphasis on the A3 e-tron’s 400-volt rapid-charger, which can fully recharge its battery pack in less than four hours.