Audi launches electric SUV in Tesla's backyard, with help from Amazon


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The firm is forecasting Tesla's market share will drop to 86 percent next year as the e-tron, Jaguar's I-Pace and Porsche's first electric auto, the Taycan, start attracting buyers. European sales start in November. Electrify America will eventually set up thousands of high-speed chargers, including more than 800 at WalMart outlets, as well as Level 2 systems. A new generation of the quattro drive, the electric all-wheel drive, ensures excellent traction and dynamics. "But if you look at charging, fast charging, and the range, you are going to see a range that is at or better than the Model X with the e-tron".

The 2019 Audi e-tron, an all-electric crossover, will be able to travel up to 248 miles on its 95-kWh battery.

Navigation is standard on the e-tron and comes with a special route planner when paired with Audi's Connect Plus subscription service that offers suggested routes with available charging points.

All are meant to boost the market for premium electric vehicles and also to collect share of that market from Palo Alto, California-based Tesla, that has had the niche mostly to itself.

By all appearances, the e-tron is instantly recognizable as a modern Audi four-wheeler: stout, muscular, and well-proportioned. With a sloping roofline to keep the idea of a sporty coupe-like styling on an SUV, the tail lamps are distinguished from other Audi models with the presence of a single LED line which runs across the entire back, from one tail lamp to another. Three hundred of them were deployed to accompany guests and light their way from the Embarcadero to Craneway, while the rest were used to light up the San Francisco Bay and eventually form a giant flying Audi four-ringed logo in the night sky, or at the interior for various displays.

Tesla offers wall connectors for home charging at a $500 list price, and will arrange for installation, according to the company.

Electric SUVs are extremely booming in the market at the moment.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who is also head of rocket company SpaceX, planned to mark the e-tron launch occasion by staging a SpaceX event in Los Angeles at roughly the same time Monday evening as Audi's unveiling. The Model X uses vertically opening "falcon wing" doors. Other available features include a 360-degree camera system, rear cross-traffic assist, lane-change and exit warning, an automated park assistant, and all-round sensors. In urban settings, the e-tron has a parking-assist feature to help with both parallel and perpendicular parking. The SUV will be produced in Audi's new plant in Brussels, Germany. Audi is the world's first carmaker to use such a system in an electrically powered series production vehicle. The battery of the vehicle has a capacity of 95kWh and develops a power output of 265kW.

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