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Audi pulls plug on €40k A2 electric car
Ollie Kew and Georg Kacher
05 June 2012 07:00
CAR can reveal that Audi has cancelled its electric A2 city car project, citing concerns over the model's projected €40,000 price tag.
But the A2 is not the only Audi to be put on ice in Audi's electric car review. The A1 e-tron also looks to have been axed, as Audi slims down its future EV plans.
Why has the Audi A2 EV been dropped?
The A2 concept was first shown in 2011, boasting an 85kW, 199lb ft electric motor and 125-mile range. Audi predicted the premium-priced city car could go into production by 2015, to fight BMW's similarly conceived i3.
However, company suits have become uneasy that such a small, compromised package (the A2 concept was less than four metres in length) could realistically sell in volume, given that the price was projected to pass €40,000.
Insiders have confirmed to CAR the project has now essentially been put on the back burner while Ingolstadt concentrates on other projects.
Given that demand for mass-market EVs such as the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi i-MiEV have been disappointingly low in Europe - desipite government incentives offering up to £5000 in discount - the A2 project has unfortunately been consigned to the bottom of the priority list.
And what's the fate of the Audi A1 e-tron?
Similarly terminal, it appears, CAR's sources suggest.
Unlike the A2 concept, the A1 e-tron featured a tiny Wankel rotary petrol engine to provide the charge. Audi claimed a potenial range of 31 miles on electric power alone, then 125 miles with both powerplants working in harmony.
However, the complicated development process, combined with small profit margins on superminis and the sorry state of the European market, appear to have put paid to the A1 e-tron's production hopes.