Audi represents Vorsprung durch Technik. That means thinking today about the future of mobility. But it’s not just a question of design or performance – it’s also a question of how to power our cars to get from A to B. And from today to tomorrow.
Audi is pushing forward innovations in this area: not simply by building efficient engines, but also by developing alternative drive and mobility concepts. By also seeking inspiration from nature for new sources of power that allow us to travel new paths. An innovative contribution to this goal is made by our Audi g-tron models – in combination with Audi e-gas.
One example is the Audi A5 Sportback g-tron1: 80 percent less CO2/kilometer with Audi e-gas technology purely in gas mode (CNG) on a well-to-wheel assessment (a calculation of emissions that includes both the production of fuel and the running of a vehicle) compared with the Audi A5 Sportback 2.0 TFSI2 with 140 kW. As a g-tron customer, you can refuel as usual at any CNG filling station. Audi AG ensures that the total amount of gas consumed by the vehicle, calculated on the basis of legal standards for measuring fuel consumption and emissions as per NEDC/WLTP and statistical data on the annual mileage of Audi g-tron models that were ordered during the period March 7, 2017 to May 31, 2018 is replaced by Audi e-gas – for a period of three years after first registration as a new vehicle (the amount of CO2 saved is also calculated on this basis and may be lower in actual practice when running the vehicle). The Audi e-gas is fed into the European natural gas network, replacing fossil natural gas.
A comprehensive approach
With the Audi g-tron models and Audi e-gas as fuel from its own production sites and from partner facilities, the approach we are taking for our drive solutions isn’t just a matter of efficient engines, but also of the ecology of the entire energy system. A matter of enabling mobility that’s innovative before the vehicle has even driven a single meter. That’s the idea behind “Vorsprung starts before you drive.” And behind the combination of Audi g-tron and Audi e-gas.
Our very own drive solution
Audi e-gas is a fuel developed in the company’s own production facilities. It is made using renewable energy sources, water, CO2 and waste materials. Various processes are used to extract CO2 from the atmosphere, which is then converted into Audi e-gas by biomethane and power-to-gas plants. The power-to-gas plants split water into hydrogen and oxygen exclusively using renewable energy. The oxygen is released into the air and the hydrogen reacts with CO2 from the biomethane plant to form methane: our Audi e-gas. The biomethane plants demonstrably only use waste materials in which CO2 is also bound. This gives Audi e-gas an important advantage: the exact overall amount of CO2 that is emitted by the vehicle according to standard consumption is bound in the fuel. The additional CO2 emissions generated by the construction of the fuel plants, transport and compression of the fuel at filling stations are included, so that on an overall assessment CO2 emissions can be reduced by 80 percent. That means we don’t just focus on efficient fuel consumption, but also on the production of the fuel itself.
Back in 2013, Audi commissioned the world’s first industrial-scale power-to-gas plant: the Audi e-gas plant in Werlte, Germany. For the first time, large quantities of fluctuating energy generated from wind and solar power could be stored in the natural gas grid on a long-term basis. Very effective, because the expansion of fluctuating energy sources like wind means that it’s increasingly common for excess power to be generated. The power-to-gas process makes use of this excess power as fuel for mobility, which is why we believe the Audi e-gas project can be a crucial element and driver of energy transition.
Alongside this solution for the g-tron fleet, Audi is also working to develop other synthetic liquid fuels that could have a potential to reduce CO2 that is similar to Audi e-gas. It is called Audi e-fuels. One example is Audi e-benzin, which is currently under development – and is already being tested in our Audi models.
Power meets elegance
Power from gas: another step towards carbon-neutral mobility. The facts speak for themselves: the Audi g-tron with Audi e-gas combines sportiness, design and long-distance mobility with renewable energy. It can already be found today in the Audi A3 Sportback g-tron4. And soon it will be available in the Audi A4 Avant g-tron5 and the Audi A5 Sportback g-tron1.6
The Audi g-tron models have TFSI engines with specially adapted pistons and valves that can be powered both by cost-effective CNG (compressed natural gas) and petrol. So alongside the CNG tanks there’s also a petrol tank on board – guaranteeing full compatibility with everyday mobility. The low-slung CNG tanks adhere to Audi’s lightweight design philosophy, meaning they are significantly lighter than comparable CNG tanks made of steel. A variety of materials such as gas-tight polyamide and fiber-reinforced plastic ensure high rigidity. And all models switch from gas to petrol mode fully automatically.
Audi is constantly expanding its Audi g-tron fleet: the Audi A3 Sportback g-tron4 with 1.4-liter TFSI engine is available now, and can travel up to 400 km purely in CNG mode and if required another 900 km in petrol mode. In future, the new Audi A5 Sportback g-tron1 will feature an impressive 2.0-liter TFSI engine, and will be able to travel up to 500 km purely in CNG mode and if required another 450 km in petrol mode. And the Audi A4 Avant g-tron5 will have a range of up to 500 km in CNG mode and if required an additional 450 km in petrol mode.
The Audi g-tron is just one of the many solutions in the company’s portfolio of alternative drive technologies. And in combination with Audi e-gas, it’s a key element of the company’s comprehensive approach; helping Audi to achieve its goal of taking a step closer every day to the future of mobility.