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 Post subject: Need some information on the e-tron from owners
PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 5:10 pm 
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Over a few months , I need to change my company car. I decided to downsize (actually a 520D estate), and the options for the moment are a BMW 320d, the audi e-tron and the BMW i3 with REX.

I would love to get the BMW i3/Rex, but I drive to much long trips (700 km on a day, 3 days later returning), and I think it would be too far stretched. BMW offers a add-on mobility pack to loan another car (rather cheap), but I have a lot of those trips so it's not sure I could have such a spare car for my personal vacation (one week to the south of France = 2 x 1200 km)...
While I prefer the i3 (styling, interior, additional electric miles, RWD), my reason says it would be better to opt for the A3 e-tron. It is more versatile, can have a towbar, roofrails,... Compared with my actual car, it is a lot smaller, but the kids are getting older and we rarely drive with more then 2 in the car. I prefer the e-tron over a passat GTE, that I could probably order at the time I need to order my car.

I've test-driven the e-tron for an hour (+-40 miles), comfort was good. I tried both EV, hybrid and Battery hold, arriving at 4.1 l/100km (60 mpg). Batteries were far from empty when I came back.

I will only buy an e-tron if I can reduce my footprint with the car. My daily commutes are 2 x 30 miles, I would organise a charging point both at work and at home, and will be able to precondition the car before starting.

My daily commute route is on secondary roads, 5 miles at 30 mp, 5 miles at 55 mph and 20 miles at 45 mph, driving 90% of the time with cruise control. With the BMW 520d I succeed in getting 60 mpg on this trip (that is below the offical ECE testcycle).
I will try to get the car for a loan for some days, but perhaps some of you can give me an idea of the real life performance over a 30 km stint, without traffic jams and highways? I've noticed that most people don't get at 30 miles range (the test car indicated some 20 miles when I started, but i'm not sure she was fully charged).

I've driven a BMW3 on this traject last week and got around 70mpg. In order to purchase the car, I should get around 120 mpg on this traject with the e-tron, because the e-tron will probably consume a lot more on long hauls.
I know that 150 mpg seems very high, but I would be doing 2/3 of that route on electricty, and I estimate that I could do the rest of the traject at 40 mpg...

i would also have an idea of the consumption of this car on long motorway trips, but I guess that is still a bit premature.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.


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 Post subject: Re: Need some information on the e-tron from owners
PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 3:21 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:38 am
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Hi SuperM,

I am not too sure of the test that the NEDC test cycle uses to determine the electric range of a plug-in hybrid vehicle like the A3 e-Tron.

In the USA, it's usually pretty easy to beat the estimated electric range, especially on back country roads at moderate speeds like your daily commute takes you on.

As for the longer trips, I've read some things on the i3 forum that make me agree with you that distance is too far to cover in the i3 regularly. Since the i3 is 'range extended' versus plug-in hybrid, the gasoline range extender engine doesn't really have the ability to power the car on its own, so for really long trips, the vehicle either forces you to drive slow, or you need to look for charge-up points along the way.

With the e-Tron, just fill it with petrol and carry on!

Hope that helps. I'm sure an e-Tron owner can chime in about the actual range they've achieved, although it looks like not too many vehicles have made it out to owners yet.


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 Post subject: Re: Need some information on the e-tron from owners
PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 4:15 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:18 pm
Posts: 16
marta wrote:
Hi SuperM,

I am not too sure of the test that the NEDC test cycle uses to determine the electric range of a plug-in hybrid vehicle like the A3 e-Tron.

In the USA, it's usually pretty easy to beat the estimated electric range, especially on back country roads at moderate speeds like your daily commute takes you on.

As for the longer trips, I've read some things on the i3 forum that make me agree with you that distance is too far to cover in the i3 regularly. Since the i3 is 'range extended' versus plug-in hybrid, the gasoline range extender engine doesn't really have the ability to power the car on its own, so for really long trips, the vehicle either forces you to drive slow, or you need to look for charge-up points along the way.

With the e-Tron, just fill it with petrol and carry on!

Hope that helps. I'm sure an e-Tron owner can chime in about the actual range they've achieved, although it looks like not too many vehicles have made it out to owners yet.


There is a difference between an European i3 + REX and the USA version. In Europe, we can engage the REX as soon as the battery gets below 75%. The issues people have in the USA is a consequence of the fact that the REX only engages when batteries are below 6%. So we can drive on petrol and hold 60 km electric range, by filling every 70-80 miles or so.

The i3 is by far the more engaging car to drive, and I like the looks, but the A3 would be far more convenient. I'll probably go for the A3 (I hope to have some decent user input by the time I need to pick my new car (still 4 months from ordering, so plenty time left).

I will demand my audi-dealer to ensure me a test car for a longer test period (2-3 days). He knows he will be selling a full-option A3 e-tron if those results are good.


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 Post subject: Re: Need some information on the e-tron from owners
PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 2:13 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2015 2:04 pm
Posts: 33
Hi SuperM,

Maybe this (fuel/electricity cost analysis is of help.

Your BMW:
Just looking at fuel costs of your daily commute. 30 miles in a car that does 60 mpg will cost you half a gallon. A gallon is 4.54609 litres. With fuel at £1.10/litre a 30 mile drive will cost you £2.49.

Audi A3 e-tron:
Assuming that an e-tron will get you 25 miles on a fully charged battery, you will have to use the petrol engine for the remaining 5 miles. At 11p/kWh a full charge of 8.8 kWh will cost you about £1. The remaining 5 miles will cost you £0.42 (again fuel at £1.10/litre and assuming 60 mpg: £0.083/m). Total cost (electricity and fuel) for your 30 miles stretch would be £1.42.

Conclusion: compared to your BMW the Audi A3 e-tron will be £1.07 cheaper per one-way commute of 30 miles. If you go to the office for 200 days, you will save £428 per annum on fuel cost alone. Note: this does not tale into account other cost and depreciation of course.

Another way of looking at it. If you manage to get 25 miles out of a charge at a cost of £1.00 for the electricity, you will save £1.08 on fuel compared to a car doing the same distance at 60 mpg with fuel at £1.10/l (again using £0.083/m fuel costs). Energy in is energy out. It doesn't really matter if you drive 25 miles or 300 miles, if you start with a fully charged battery any journey will save you £1.08. Perhaps the advantage is slightly more if you use the EV mode selectively, but not by much.

Bottom line: every time you fully charge and drive at least 25 miles you save about a pound. If you manage to charge the car at least every day and drive minimum of 25 miles per day you will save a minimum of £365 per year.

Makes sense? Any flaws in my thinking?


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 Post subject: Re: Need some information on the e-tron from owners
PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 3:34 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:18 pm
Posts: 16
Leon wrote:
Hi SuperM,

Maybe this (fuel/electricity cost analysis is of help.

Your BMW:
Just looking at fuel costs of your daily commute. 30 miles in a car that does 60 mpg will cost you half a gallon. A gallon is 4.54609 litres. With fuel at £1.10/litre a 30 mile drive will cost you £2.49.

Audi A3 e-tron:
Assuming that an e-tron will get you 25 miles on a fully charged battery, you will have to use the petrol engine for the remaining 5 miles. At 11p/kWh a full charge of 8.8 kWh will cost you about £1. The remaining 5 miles will cost you £0.42 (again fuel at £1.10/litre and assuming 60 mpg: £0.083/m). Total cost (electricity and fuel) for your 30 miles stretch would be £1.42.

Conclusion: compared to your BMW the Audi A3 e-tron will be £1.07 cheaper per one-way commute of 30 miles. If you go to the office for 200 days, you will save £428 per annum on fuel cost alone. Note: this does not tale into account other cost and depreciation of course.

Another way of looking at it. If you manage to get 25 miles out of a charge at a cost of £1.00 for the electricity, you will save £1.08 on fuel compared to a car doing the same distance at 60 mpg with fuel at £1.10/l (again using £0.083/m fuel costs). Energy in is energy out. It doesn't really matter if you drive 25 miles or 300 miles, if you start with a fully charged battery any journey will save you £1.08. Perhaps the advantage is slightly more if you use the EV mode selectively, but not by much.

Bottom line: every time you fully charge and drive at least 25 miles you save about a pound. If you manage to charge the car at least every day and drive minimum of 25 miles per day you will save a minimum of £365 per year.

Makes sense? Any flaws in my thinking?


Thank you.

Almost, there are some flaws in your reasoning ;-).
* Diesel is less expensive than Gasoline in Belgium (0,15€/l), although the government will start reducing the gap
* The first miles with an ICU are the most expensive (cold engine), so I reckon I will be rather doing 40 mpg on those 5 miles I will use the ICU for my daily commute.
* I would no longer lease a 520d estate, but a smaller BMW (320d probably), the facelifted 320d should be at 4,1l /100 // 70 mpg on my daily commute, and 60mpg as a total average (compared to 51 mpg for the 520d today).

As a consequence, the difference in fuel cost will be smaller. The main issues are the long commutes. When driving towards the centre of France, averaging at 47 mpg with my 520D today, I will probably be rather at 40 mpg with the e-tron and 51 mpg with a 320d..

I will be charging the car twice a day btw ;-)

But for me the economics are not that important. I don't pay my fuel (company car). I just want to minimize my ecological footprint.

With my actual assumptions, I will produce 183 gr CO2/km with the e-tron compared to 193 gr CO2 for the BMW 320d (assumptions 688 gr CO2/kwH electricity and 1,62 kwH electricity/l for crude oil refining). But while I'm sure of my assumptions for the 320d (60 mpg overall), I'm less sure on my estimate for the e-tron (83 mpg + 15 kwH /mile).


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 Post subject: Re: Need some information on the e-tron from owners
PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2015 1:52 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2015 2:04 pm
Posts: 33
Below article suggests you will get 52 mpg in 'hybrid' mode and 46 mpg in 'hold' mode. If you switch to charge mode you will only get 40 mpg. So on a trip to France in hybrid mode without flooring it you should get around 50 mpg I would think.

http://www.parkers.co.uk/cars/advice/finding/2015/january/road-test-audi-a3-sportback-14-tfsi-e-tron-s-tronic/

I am sure we will get actual mpg's from 'real' users in the near future.


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 Post subject: Re: Need some information on the e-tron from owners
PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2015 2:46 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:18 pm
Posts: 16
Yeah, I've found some figures on spritmonitor (mainly Golf GTE though) that are really good. This review (a very good one) http://ecomento.com/review/audi-a3-sportback-e-tron-first-drive-in-a-car-bmw-should-be-afraid-of/, states you should be able of getting 70 mpg in real life, but it depends on how many km you really drive.

I also read in a review 'we managed a careful 28 miles in EV mode over a mixed town and country route, with complete 123mpg after 50 miles' (I have lost the reference to that review). Exactly what I want to read, because, if my math is correct, that would give 54 mpg once the battery is depleted when driving on such roads without pushing the car too far...

So I guess the A3 will get the green light.


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 Post subject: Re: Need some information on the e-tron from owners
PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 9:37 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2015 9:34 am
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I have a similar dilemma between an i3 and an e-Tron. However as one of the issues is carrying bicycles, I have been frustrated that the e-Tron like the i3 does not have a towbar as an option. There may be scope for an aftermarket solution from http://www.pfjones.co.uk/tow-bars.html but I am still awaiting confirmation.


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 Post subject: Re: Need some information on the e-tron from owners
PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 11:33 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:18 pm
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timostler wrote:
I have a similar dilemma between an i3 and an e-Tron. However as one of the issues is carrying bicycles, I have been frustrated that the e-Tron like the i3 does not have a towbar as an option. There may be scope for an aftermarket solution from http://www.pfjones.co.uk/tow-bars.html but I am still awaiting confirmation.


The A3 would be available with tow bar from may onwards in Belgium. I'm also doubting between both cars, you can get two race bikes in an i3 (when taking out the front wheel).


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 Post subject: Re: Need some information on the e-tron from owners
PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 12:03 pm 
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This is very interesting. But where did you get the information that the towbar will be available in Belgium? Is there a link you can provide? Thanks.


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