Luxury carmaker Audi has confirmed to debut the most-anticipated all-electric “e-tron quattro SUV” on September 17 this year in San Francisco. It is unlikely that the vehicle will be hitting the streets this year as the automaker has settled for early 2019 to make it available in the showrooms. Experts believe that with the launch of e-tron, Audi is going to give a stiff competition to Tesla (TSLA).
The market believes that Audi has been delaying the launch due to the diesel emission scandal that prompted CEO Rupert Stadler’s arrest on June 18. Audi’ parent company Volkswagen appointed Bram Schot as Interim CEO, replacing Stadler.
According to Reuters, Stadler has appealed to a court for release from custody after spending a month at a prison in the Bavarian city of Augsburg.
For the past three years post the scandal, Volkswagen has been under tremendous pressure. In the US alone, Volkswagen has spent nearly $25 billion, which includes costs relating to settlement, recalls and penalties. Nearly hundreds of thousands of cars were taken off the road for repairing or scrapping due to the issue.
Audi will start accepting reservations for the e-tron SUV in the US on the same debut date with the deposit amount of $1,000. The reserving customers will have the option of configuring the vehicle at Audi’s website on the same day. Audi has followed the steps taken by Tesla in online reservations. Now people can place and track orders online or with a dealer.
Experts believe that Audi is drifting itself towards all-electric but e-tron could establish Audi in all-electric vehicle space as it is the first of the three vehicles coming in the next two years.
The e-tron, which is a 5-passenger premium SUV, has a 245 miles range and up to 150kW of fast charging that’s similar to Tesla’s Superchargers. It takes about 8.5 hours to charge with the standard home charger that will deliver 11kW. The full technical specifications will be disclosed at the event.