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

Audi e-tron images

Audi on Monday staged the worldwide launch of a new electric sport utility vehicle on the home turf of competitor Tesla Inc, and highlighted a deal with Amazon.com Inc to make recharging its upcoming e-tron models easier.

The Audi e-tron midsize SUV will be provided in the United States in 2019 at a starting cost of $75,795 before a $7,500 tax credit. It is among a volley of electric vehicles coming from Volkswagen AG brands, along with other European premium brands consisting Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Volvo Cars and Jaguar Land Rover.

All are intended 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.

“I want Audi to be the leading electric vehicle seller in America over the long term,” Audi of America President Scott Keogh informed Reuters.

Audi dealers, mainly those from California where Tesla has made major inroads, cheered the e-tron at Monday night’s crowded event. Experts on Tuesday expressed issue that the vehicle’s driving range may not match up to the Tesla Model X.

Audi officials stated they do not have official range numbers for the e-tron SUV under U.S. testing procedures. They stated the vehicle should gain a range under less rigorous European testing standards of approximately 250 miles or 400 km.

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