This Audi e-tron It has been launched in India with a starting price of Rs 1 crore (ex-showroom), marking the German brand’s entry into the country’s electric vehicle sector. Despite the increasing awareness of electrification, buyers still have some concerns when adopting new technologies.
- e-tron gets 8 years/1,60,000 km battery warranty and 5 years free RSA
- Customers can sell their e-tron back to the company within 3 years
- The design of e-tron looks like any other modern Audi SUV
“Our research shows that before buying electric cars, there are a lot of anxiety and questions in the minds of customers. Therefore, at least until electric cars become common in daily life, people will worry about them. Therefore, in terms of electrification, we are Work has been carried out on many fronts,” Balbir Singh Dhillon, head of Audi India, told OurIndia in a recent interview. Therefore, the company is trying to increase customer confidence in electric vehicles by providing benefits and packages for after-sales, roadside assistance (RSA) and charging.
Multiple service, warranty and repurchase options
Dhillon mentioned that car buyers’ “fear of the unknown” is the first obstacle to the acceptance of electric vehicles. “This is one of the factors we consider-how much is the repair cost, what will happen to my battery, etc.” In order to quell this concern, the company launched various plans.
e-tron provides a 2-year standard vehicle warranty, and the warranty period for the battery pack is 8 years or 1,60,000 kilometers. The vehicle warranty can also be extended to the fifth year.
Since after-sales is an important factor in shaping the owning experience, Audi provides a number of service plans for 2-5 years. It also promises customers to provide 5 years of free roadside assistance (RSA), if there is a failure, they can use it anywhere in the country.
Electric vehicles are still a new concept in India, which means that their value retention is relatively unknown. As far as Audi is concerned, it is trying to resolve this ambiguity through a buyback program. “If you feel uncomfortable, we will buy back your car at 60% (of the original price) after one year, 55% after two years, and 50% after three years. Therefore, this should make customers feel Satisfied,” the head of Audi India explained in detail.
Provides multiple charging options
Charging has always been a focus of potential electric vehicle adopters, and Audi believes that it can solve this problem by providing convenient options. “We will provide each customer with two chargers. One is a fixed (wall-mounted) charger that can be installed in the parking lot of the customer’s office or home,” Dhillon said. This year, users who purchase e-tron will be provided with a free 11kW AC wall mount box. In addition, Audi also provides an 11kW AC portable charging cable for each car as a standard configuration.
“The second is a charger that you carry with you. It can stay in the car no matter where you drive. The charger will have two plugs-you can use a plug with a five-pin public charging point. If you There are no public chargers around, you can also use ordinary three-pin point charging,” he added.
The top e-tron 55 is equipped with a 95kWh battery, which can be charged from 0-80% in 8.5 hours using 11kW AC power. It can also perform DC fast charging with a maximum power of 150kW, which reduces the charging time to only 30 minutes. However, customers are more likely to find a 50kW DC fast charger on the public network, which can fully charge the battery to the 80% mark in less than 2 hours.
In terms of public charging, the automaker provides free charging to its customers in the Audi showroom equipped with the facility. It is also installing 50kW fast chargers at “key” Audi dealers in India. The company said it will install more than 100 chargers in 75 “key” cities.
Dhillon explained in more depth: “We have installed more than 30 chargers at dealers in multiple locations across the country. We will use our (VW) group company to view locations. For example, suppose there are 25 large-scale Highways or golden quadrilaterals, as long as there are a lot of cars flowing. We will not restrict these chargers only for our e-tron customers. We are letting anyone charge their cars, but for our customers, we will make them Free (at least in 2021).”
Audi has also developed a solution for car owners who run out of juice on the road. “For example, if your battery runs out, RSA will find you and use the battery to charge your battery,” Dhillon said. This should be enough for electric vehicle owners to reach nearby charging stations or service centers and charge them further. However, the facility was initially only available in six cities.
e-tron aims to simplify the transition from ICE SUV
According to the European WLTP test procedure, the e-tron 50 is equipped with a smaller 71kWh battery, which can provide a driving range of 264-379 kilometers on a single charge. e-tron 55 saw the same number rise to 359-484 kilometers. “I think this is enough for urban commuting. We don’t commute many times a day, so I personally think that most of the time, the car will be charged at home. They only need to charge once or twice a week, which is enough ,” said the head of Audi India. Audi hopes to reduce anxiety about electric vehicle ownership through e-tron.
The company also used equipment to mount electric cars on the gills. “In the final analysis, we are selling Audi, and we want our customers to have the same experience as our other (internal combustion or ICE) SUVs in the past. The e-tron happens to have a battery and an electric motor, not an engine. Therefore, we want to provide the same Experience,” he said.
In this effort, the e-tron was designed to look like any other modern SUV from Audi, with only a few clues, such as the front grille and orange brake calipers, to give it away as an EV. However, this may make some buyers want, and they also want to show off their green certificates for electric vehicles. Nevertheless, eliminating the pain points of owning an electric car is still very effective for e-tron.
“I think the anxiety at the beginning will be high, once you drive this car for a month or so, the slope of anxiety will drop. Then, it will become any other car,” Dhillon said.
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