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Audi drives toward greener pastures with electric car reveal

December 3, 2010

Audi showcased green cars at sustainability forum


Audi of America showcased its new electric car and charging station at the Design Miami sustainability forum last month in an attempt to market itself as an eco-friendly brand.

The automaker debuted its newest green technology, a 100-percent electric car that can be charged at an "e-den fueling station." Design Miami is a forum driven by sustainable automobile innovations and is therefore the perfect environment to display eco-friendly vehicles, per Audi.

“Our partnership with Design Miami is part of our cross-over strategy, meaning exploring and leveraging on platforms of classic auto shows [that are] mostly populated by the industry and enthusiasts only to reach a trendy, design-savvy and educated target audience," said Anja Kaehny, Manager of Lifestyle Communication and CSR of Audi of America, Hernon, VA.

“Obviously, this audience has a tremendous interest in sustainability and sustainable design concepts,” she said.

Design Miami is an international forum featuring of some of the most prominent dealers who specialize in limited-edition design.

The new green goods

The vehicle shown by Audi at Design Miami was the Audi e-tron Spyder, one of the brand’s most prominent studies in electromobility.

The Audi e-tron Spyder

This is just one of the eco-friendly models that Audi is producing. Most of the manufacturer’s standard models have engines that cut down on emissions and are considered micro-hybrids.

“The new hybrid and electric vehicles form a strong cornerstone of Audi's strategy for helping shape trends in society and developments in the markets,” Ms. Kaehny said. “These technologies stem from the efficiency modular system by means of which the brand has drastically reduced consumption, and therefore the CO2 emissions of its vehicles.”

Audi is also developing a family of "e-tron" vehicles that will be able to drive long distances under electric power. This will also include plug-in hybrids.

Also showcased at Design Miami was the e-den, where owners would wait at the charging stations. Inside would be wood furniture, organic food, potted plants and sustainable materials.

The point of the e-den station is to get car owners to forget about traditional gas stations and move toward a more sustainable future.

Audi’s position in electromobility

Electromobility is a hot topic right now, and one that Audi is furiously trying to mainstream.

The automaker is pressing forward substainably by trying out eco-friendly alternative fuel methods and developing systems to allow auto consumers to better monitor their emissions.

Audi's A3 TDI was also voted "Green Car of the Year" by Green Car Journal and was showcased in the brand's first Super Bowl commercial (see story).

Other automakers like Lexus are making strides towards green vehicles by making an array of hybrid cars (see story).

Audi's biggest initiative is its the Audi Urban Future Award, which the brand claims shows its innovative attitude toward a sustainable future.

The award goes to one of five individuals in the international architectural community that is using integrated concepts that work towards developing urban motility by the year 2030.

The recipient wins 100,000 euros, which makes the AUFA is the highest-paying German architectural prize. The award was handed out for the first time in August and will be bestowed bi-annually.

Ms. Kaehny said that Audi will be leveraging its initiatives through press conferences.

"In the future, we plan to involve not only media, but also the whole architectural and design community," she said.

Final Take

Rachel Lamb, editorial assistant at Luxury Daily, New York