Electric Cars: The Basics
For those of you new to zero-emission electric driving, we recommend a read of the following articles:
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The Audi Q3 Sportback TFSIe PHEV
Audi AG, a Bavaria (Germany) based luxury automotive manufacturer is a wholly owned subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, the Germany automotive group. Volkswagen AG is one of the leading automotive companies in the global electric vehicle (EV) industry. Volkswagen has committed to an investment up to Euro 30 billion by 2023. It aims to sell 3 million electric vehicles by 2025 and launch up to 70 new EV models over the next 10 years.
With the launch of its electric vehicle ID. Family, VW is fast cementing a dominant position is to become the world’s largest electric vehicle manufacturer by 2028, with the automotive behemoth planning to manufacturer 22 million electric vehicles. Audi also offers plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), to include:
- A3 Sportback TFSIe
- A6 TFSIe
- A6 Avant TFSIe
- A7 Sportback TFSIe
- A8 TFSIe
- A8 L TFSIe
- Q3 TFSIe
- Q3 Sportback TFSIe
- Q5 TFSIe
- Q5 Sportback TFSIe
- Q7 TFSIe
- Q8 TFSIe
The Audi Q3 is a compact premium crossover SUV. The Q3 has been manufactured since 2011. The SUV is now in its second generation and uses the Volkswagen Group MQB platform. The Audi Q3 is available as a standard SUV or Sportback body style. The Q3 Sportback is available as a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV).
Its compact, stylish, high quality and can save you money while driving on e-mode. The front-wheel drive Audi Q3 PHEV is a good entry-level option to consider in the higher-priced upmarket segment. For those seeking a sportier looking, but environmentally-friendly premium-badged compact EV, the Q3 plug-in hybrid should be on the list.
The Audi plug-in hybrid electric vehicle has a 13 kWh onboard EV battery, with a quoted WLTP pure electric range up to 50 km. Though the emission-free electric range is not as impressive as some alternative PHEVs, for shorter distances, in particular, in towns and cities, an emission-free electric range over 50 km is more than sufficient.
Despite the quoted manufacturers electric range, expect the real-world range to be lower, impacted by a number of factors, to include: the way the electric vehicle (EV) is driven, the conditions of the road, the passenger load, the regenerative braking profile in use, weather condition, wheel size, etc. A real-world range will be closer to 44 km.
We at e-zoomed recommend (when appropriate), to always choose the maximum available regen braking profile in the EV. This will help recuperate more energy and increase the overall fuel-economy of the electric car. Audi claims a 2 l/100 km fuel economy. The real-world fuel economy will vary based on the amount the EV is driven on electric mode.
We also suggest keeping the EV battery ‘topped up’, as the more the EV can be driven on electric mode, the more improved the efficiency of the electric vehicle and higher the financial savings. Keep in mind that driving an EV per km is less than 10 cents i.e. much cheaper than driving on petrol or diesel.
The Q3 EV has a 7.2 kW onboard charger, sufficient for charging the 13 kWh EV battery relatively quickly at home or at public AC charging. The EV can be fully charged in 3 hours and 45 minutes. Though an EV can be charged using a 3-PIN domestic socket, we would encourage EV drivers to charge using a dedicated residential EV charger like Easee: faster and safer in charging operation, compared to a domestic 3-PIN plug! The EV does not offer DC charging compatibility.
The Audi Q3 PHEV pairs the electric motor, with the 1.4-litre petrol internal combustion engine (ICE), offering a combined system power of 245 PS and 400 Nm torque. The PHEV can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.3 seconds. Of course, a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle will be a little heavier than the conventional internal combustion engine variant, given the additional weight of the onboard EV battery. However, a PHEV does gain from the availability of instant torque.
In terms of practicality, the rear seats are impacted by the sloping roofline i.e. lower headroom for rear seat passengers. However, the front seats have ample headroom and legroom. Also impacted by the roofline, is the rear visibility. Despite the boot reduced in size due to the placement of the EV battery, the EV still offers 380 L.
As for interior quality, the Audi plug-in hybrid does not disappoint. The interior is completed to a high finish and is technology-filled, to include: hill descent control, pre-Sense front with pedestrian and cyclist detection, camera-based traffic sign recognition, lane departure warning, Audi virtual cockpit, MMI navigation plus with MMI touch display, Audi Smartphone Interface and a lot more.
The Audi Q3 Sportback TFSIe Plug-In Hybrid has claimed emissions up to 46 g (CO2/km).
|High quality interior and standard specifications||Limited electric range (50 km)|
|Attractive exterior styling||All-wheel drive (AWD) not available|
|Practical for small families||High tailpipe emissions (46 g) compared to more recent PHEVs|
The Audi Q3 Sportback TFSIe PHEV (credit: Audi)
|At A Glance|
|EV Type:||Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)|
|Available In Ireland:||Yes|
|Variants (3 Options)|
|SE 45 TFSIe S tronic (from € 50,115)|
|S line 45 TFSIe S tronic (from € 53,910)|
|EV Battery & Emissions|
|EV Battery Type:||Lithium-ion|
|EV Battery Capacity:||Available in one battery size: 13.0 kWh|
|Charging:||DC charging not available. Onboard charger 7.2 kW AC (0% – 100%: 3 hrs and 45 mins)|
|Charge Port:||Type 2|
|EV Cable Type:||Type 2|
|Tailpipe Emissions:||46 – 38 g (CO2/km)|
|Warranty:||8 years or 160,000 km|
|Average Cost Of Residential Charging|
|Battery net capacity : 8.8 kWh||€ 2.10|
|Battery net capacity : 11.6 kWh||€ 2.78|
|Battery net capacity : 12.0 kWh||€ 2.87|
|Battery net capacity : 13.10 kWh||€ 3.14|
|Battery net capacity : 14.10 kWh||€ 3.37|
- Note 1: The average cost of residential electricity in Ireland varies depending on the region, supplier and type of energy used. An average for Ireland is 23.97 cents/kWh.
- Note 2: Not all EV manufactures make available the data on net EV battery capacity, and in a number of instances the EV battery capacity advertised, does not state if it is gross or net capacity. In general, usable EV battery capacity is between 85% to 95% of the gross available capacity.
|Charging Times (Overview)|
|Slow charging AC (3 kW – 3.6 kW):||6 – 12 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SOC)|
|Fast charging AC (7 kW – 22 kW):||3 – 8 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)|
|Rapid charging AC (43 kW):||0-80%: 20 mins to 60 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)|
- Note 1: SoC: state of charge
|Turning Circle (m):||11.8|
|Boot capacity (L):||380|
|45 TFSIe S tronic|
|EV Battery Capacity:||13.0 kWh|
|Pure Electric Range (WLTP):||46 – 50 km|
|Electric Energy Consumption (kWh/100km):||17.1 – 17.3|
|Fuel Consumption (l/100 km):||2.0 – 1.7|
|Charging:||DC charging not available. Onboard charger 7.2 kW AC (0% – 100%: 3 hrs and 45 mins)|
|Top Speed:||210 km/h|
|0-100 km/h:||7.3 seconds|
|Drive:||Front-wheel drive (FWD)|
|Electric Motor (kW):||N/A|
|Max Power (PS):||245|
|Unladen Weight (kg):||1,740|
|NCAP Safety Rating:||Five-Star|
Electric Vehicles (EVs): Top 5 Jargons
There is no doubt, in that, for those new to electric driving, the terminology can be both daunting and confusing. We have chosen the top 5 jargons to help you get more familiar with electric vehicles (EVs)!
|Top 5 Jargons : Electric Vehicles (EVs)|
|EV (Electric Vehicle)||An EV is any vehicle that uses ‘electricity’ or an ‘electric motor’ to power the vehicle. The electric motor derives its power from a rechargeable battery or batteries. In general, EVs are less dependent on petrol or diesel as fuel, and in the case of pure electric cars, not dependent at all, on petrol/diesel for propulsion. EVs encompass all types of electric vehicles, to include Battery-Electric Vehicles (BEVs), Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs), Extended Range Electric Vehicles (E-REVs) and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs).|
|Regenerative Braking||Driving at all times requires braking. However, on more densely populated roads, the frequency and intensity of braking increases, reducing the efficiency of the vehicle. Regenerative braking is the process of capturing energy, otherwise wasted during braking. According to the rules of physics, energy cannot be destroyed, instead it simply transfers from one state to another. The same principle applies to braking. The kinetic energy that propels a car forward is usually displaced or wasted as heat. Regenerative braking captures this kinetic energy, that in turn recharges an onboard EV battery, increasing both efficiency and electric range. Electric cars like Toyota Prius PHEV, Jaguar I-PACE BEV and Tesla Model 3 BEV use regenerative braking to increase efficiency and electric range.|
|Torque||Torque (Nm) is the measure of the force that can cause an object to rotate about an axis. Torque is a key factor in determining acceleration of a vehicle and is defined as the engines rotational speed. Torque is most commonly defined as the force required to twist an object. For example, a wrench being used. The heavier a car, the more important is the role of torque i.e. the vehicle needs more rotational force to help it accelerate faster.|
|WLTP (Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure)||In a bid to continue to improve the quality of data released by automotive manufacturers (OEMs), on efficiency, range and CO2 emissions, Europe has introduced the WLTP testing procedure. WLTP is seen as a significant improvement over the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) testing standard designed in the 1980s. In general, WLTP data is more realistic compared to NEDC! WLTP has been developed with the aim of becoming a global standard, so that cars can be easily compared between regions. However, real world driving data will still differ from WLTP data. As an example, the real world electric range of an electric car can be significantly lower than the stated WLTP range, depending on driving style, driving conditions, weather, onboard services used and more!|
|ULEVs (Ultra-Low Emission Vehicles)||An ultra low emission vehicle is any vehicle that emits less than 75g of CO2/km and is capable of operating with zero-tailpipe emissions for at least 10 miles. In general, ULEVs release emissions that are at least 50% lower than petrol and diesel cars, by using low carbon technologies. ULEVs include all types of electric vehicles: BEVs, PHEVs, E-REVs etc. and are a key solution in improving air quality. There are currently numerous ULEVs available, to include e-cars, e-vans, e-motorcycles, e-mopeds and e-taxis. Examples include: Nissan Leaf, BMW i3, MINI Countryman PHEV and Renault Kangoo ZE.|