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Audi debuts e-tron electric SUV, defying Tesla Model X

Luxury carmaker Audi has finally launched the production version of the most-anticipated all-electric “e-tron quattro SUV”. The company expects the vehicle to give stiff competition to Tesla (TSLA) and other key players in the electric cars segment. But Tesla is likely to remain carefree as the Audi weapon is likely to hit the market only by mid next year.

Audi has given a price tag of $86,700 before incentives for a special Edition One that could hit the shelves of the stores in the second quarter of 2019. This could be followed by a base variant of the battery-powered crossover with a price tag of $74,800. The company has started accepting reservations for the car at an initial $1,000 deposit, and it can be configured at Audi’s website.

The e-tron SUV will be integrating Amazon’s (AMZN) Alexa voice assistant into the car and offers features similar to the Amazon Echo smart speaker. Also, Amazon will provide home installations of car chargers for a price of around $1,000 by hiring electricians through Amazon Home Services. Other car makers like BMW, Ford (F), Volkswagen and Toyota (TM) are also building cars with Alexa Skills support.

Picture Courtesy: Audi

It is likely that the all-electric e-tron SUV would see the roads by next year as the company will make it available to showrooms by the second quarter of 2019. This is Audi’s first vehicle and the company is interested in bringing out twelve fully electric vehicles by 2025 in main markets.

The car has a 248 miles range on its 95 kWh battery, and when using the 11kW standard home charger, it takes about 8.5 hours to charge. Also, using a fast charge technology, the e-tron can charge at 150 kW or in about 30 minutes 80% of battery could be charged. The company will also offer a dual onboard charger option and buyers can expect different mobile charger options when it hits the stores-front.

Comparison-wise, only the Tesla Model X and Jaguar I-Pace remained the all-electric luxury SUVs in the market. The Model X can travel up to 295 miles with either a 75 or 100 kWh battery pack, while the I-Pace can cruise up to 240 miles on a 90 kWh battery.

Other key players such Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Volvo Polestar 2 sedan, and General Motors’ (GM) Chevrolet Bolt 2 have already came out with their electric models but those are likely to hit the markets by 2020. Experts believe that this could favor Tesla to establish greater space in the electric vehicles space. Also, Model X could dominate the electric SUV market for at least the next two years.

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