New Concept Car: Audi A3 E-Gas

While many carmakers are gambling on hydrogen and electricity becoming the fuels of the future, Audi is taking a very different approach in the race for zero-emissions motoring.

Starting in 2013, the company announced that it will make a limited production run of both the all-electric A1 e-tron, and a new gas-powered A3 - dubbed e-gas - as part of a new environmentally friendly ‘balanced mobility’ initiative.

Initially only 1,500 e-gas A3s will be built, and they will all run on a synthetic methane gas produced using electricity generated from purpose built off-shore wind farms.

As well as being cleaner burning than petrol, natural gas also has the advantage of being easier to produce and distribute than hydrogen, and doesn’t impose the extra weight and performance limitations of battery-based electric cars.

The A3 e-gas uses a 1.4-litre turbocharged engine with 109bhp and two fuel tanks, one for gas, one for petrol, that provide performance figures similar to the 1.2-litre TSI petrol from the A1.

The compressed natural gas (CNG) unit has a top speed of around 118mph, and a theoretical range of over 250 miles, plus the additional mileage of the standard petrol tank – working in a similar way to the Chevrolet Volt.

Audi is also building a new synthetic e-gas plant to supply the new cars, as this approach reduces well-to-wheel emissions by up to 85% over the current crop of gas-powered vehicles, an investment of over 10 million Euros.

Audi’s Technical Development director Michael Dick was clear about the ultimate goal of the project: “It’s early days for the project, but in the next few months and years, eventually we’ll have a C02 neutral assessment for every new Audi”. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express
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