Audi presents electric SUV e-tron in San Francisco

Lloyd Doyle
September 19, 2018

German luxury auto brand Audi on Monday staged the global launch of a new electric sport utility vehicle on the home turf of rival Tesla Inc, and highlighted a deal with Inc to make recharging its forthcoming e-tron models easier.

However, Audi's charging infrastructure pales in comparison to Tesla's.

The investment firm estimates that Audi will sell 70,000 e-Trons per year when it starts deliveries by the beginning of the second quarter 2019. Audi is partnering with Amazon (AMZN) to offer in-home EV charging installations.

Drivers of the e-tron will be able to get an 80 percent charge in about a half hour at public high-speed charging stations.

All aim to expand the market for premium electric vehicles and also to grab share of that market from Palo Alto, California-based Tesla, which has had the niche largely to itself. The underperformance of the European model as compared to Tesla's high-end cars demonstrates that it may be "more hard than expected by many" to knock Tesla from its leadership position in the next-gen auto market, wrote UBS.

Moving forward, Audio has bigger plans to release 20 electric and hybrid vehicles by 2025. The Hungarian factory building motors for the e-tron will start with a production pace equivalent to 200 vehicles a day, Audi officials said. The e-tron is 5 inches (13 cm) shorter than the Tesla Model X, and it has conventional doors.

"The Model X is a little bit larger, more seat configurations, with a third-row seat option, so the e-tron doesn't have all of that", Schuster told CNBC.

Last year, Tesla sold 94 percent of the luxury electric vehicles in the USA, according to LMC Automotive.

"Wherever they live, Audi is proud to help provide a solution that lets e-tron owners invest in and support renewable energy", Scott Keogh, president of Audi of America, said in a statement.

"There is an array of vehicles and opportunities for those European brands to really go after Tesla", said Schuster.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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