German auto manufacturer Audi has currently over 20 units of the Audi A1 e-tron on the roads of Munich for a pilot run. Some trial participants were given the keys to their electric cars weeks ago. Audi, E.ON, the public utility organization Stadtwerke München (SWM)and Technische Universität München (TUM) are project partners in this fleet trial.

E.ON and SWM are in charge of expanding and maintaining the charging infrastructure in the Munich metropolitan area.

E.ON and SWM have installed a demand-oriented charging infrastructure; SWM within the Bavarian capital's city limits and E.ON primarily in outlying areas. All electric fueling stations offer power generated via renewable energies. This fleet trial is part of the Modellregion Elektromobilität München (Electric Mobility in Munich as a Pilot Region) project, sponsored by Germany's Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development.

The Ministry is providing the region with some ten million Euros for electric mobility. This project will address a number of issues, ranging from the power grid itself to data transfer between drivers, vehicles and electric fueling stations. For example, the use of a smartphone as a driver's main interface will be examined.

We want to use this fleet trial to learn more about our customers' usage of electric cars, and their expectations in this regard. We are planning additional fleet endeavors in strategically important markets, states Franciscus van Meel, Head of Electric Mobility Strategy at Audi AG.

Audi A1 e-tron is a zero-emission electric vehicle for the first 50 kilometers and the battery comprises a package of lithium-ion modules mounted in the floor assembly in front of the rear axle. The car has been designed to foster the continuous enhancement of charging technology by focusing on direct-current (DC) fast charging as well as cable-free charging.