Audi A1 E-Tron Charging

Audi is rolling out a new solar program for its fledgling fleet of eTron electric vehicles. The German manufacturer is planning to expand the solar panel system at its facility in Ingolstadt so that the electric vehicle's batteries may be charged using clean, renewable energy from the sun. Audi says that by the end of the year, it hopes to cover some 80,730 square feet of the plant's roof with new photovoltaic panels. By the end of the project, Audi says it will have nearly 205,000 square feet of its German manufacturing facility's roof covered with the solar cells. The company says that the new installation alone should produce enough electricity to power 180 homes.

Audi plans to only use about one third of the electricity produced by its solar system directly at the plant, with the juice going to both charge the company's eTron vehicles and assist in the manufacture of other products. The rest of the energy will likely be fed back into the surrounding power grid. Hit the jump for the full press release.

[Source: Audi]
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AUDI AG: Solar energy for the e-tron

* Photovoltaic equipment to be extended at Ingolstadt production plant
* New electric car charging stations use green electricity
* Audi Plant Manager Peter Kössler: "We aim to set the standards in every area"

Audi is to use solar energy for future mobility: at the Company's main plant in Ingolstadt, Audi e-tron models will in future have their batteries charged with current obtained directly from photovoltaic equipment on the plant site. The Company is greatly extending its solar energy capacity: by the end of the year additional photovoltaic modules will have been installed on a 7,500 square meter area of the new Audi A3 body construction building's roof.

"This concept shows that Audi is tackling the topic of electromobility systematically," said Plant Manager Peter Kössler. The photovoltaic installation uses innovative thin-layer modules that satisfy the most stringent environmental protection, efficiency and flexibility standards. "We aim to set the standards in every area," added Kössler.

Audi is again extending its cooperation with Green City Energy: in 2009 this Munich-based company installed photovoltaic modules on an area of 11,600 square meters at the Ingolstadt plant. Audi has now made an additional 7,500 square meters of roof area available on the Audi A3 body construction building, with a peak output rating of 500 kilowatts. Approximately 460 MWh of electricity can be obtained from this new installation, enough to satisfy the annual needs of around 180 households. The extension increases the total annual output from all the plant's installations of this type to about 1,500 MWh, of which approximately one third is used directly where it is generated.

This is the first time that solar energy generated on site has been used directly in Audi's electricity network. As well as the new battery charging stations for electric cars, other production facilities will also use this green electricity. By reducing transmission losses, consumption at the generating point makes a worthwhile contribution to energy generation according to climate-friendly principles.
Audi also makes use of solar energy at its second German production plant in Neckarsulm. The photovoltaic installation there is located on the roofs of several garage parking facilities, and generates more than 1,000 MWh of electrical energy annually.