Audi is about to enter the EV fray with a brace of electrified A1 subcompacts, but before its merry band of beta testers can get behind the wheel, they've got to give the automaker a glimpse into their mobile lives.

Audi will begin testing its A1 etron fleet in Munich this summer, and the first step is to determine the habits of drivers before they begin running around in the range-extended EV.

The plan is to install an app in potential testers' smartphones that tracks their individual "mobility behavior," monitoring their usage of cars, bikes, public transportation and walking. Once they're handed the keys and begin testing the A1 etron, Audi wants to see how their transportation habits change. The data collected will give the automaker a better idea of the day-to-day habits of the typical EV driver and allow Audi to further tune the A1 before it goes on sale.

The original A1 etron debuted at the Geneva Motor Show in 2010, packing a incredibly small, 254cc rotary engine paired to a front-mounted electric motor and 12 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The whole package is good for just over 100 horsepower, only adds 154 pounds to the curb weight and allows drivers to travel for up to 31 miles on electric power alone before the Wankel engine kicks on to extend the range to 155 miles.

Once testing concludes next year, there's a good chance that a production version of the A1 etron will hit the market as early as 2013.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]


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