Audi's first all-electric car, the 2019 e-tron, will make its global debut on September 17th in San Francisco. The automaker will also reveal the price and specifications, and US customers will be able to place a $1,000 deposit to reserve and configure a vehicle from Audi's website on the same day. The new reservation system is a big part of the launch, with Audi creating a Tesla-like process for customers to place and track orders online or with a dealer. The e-tron is expected to arrive in showrooms in the first part of 2019, said Audi.
"We're introducing a premium, customer-centric vehicle in a premium, customer-centric way," said president of Audi of America, Scott Keogh in a statement. "With our owners and our dealers, this process allows us to offer transparency from reservation and build all the way through delivery." Audi said it will unveil more details about the system at the launch event.
The e-tron will be the first of three all-electric vehicles launched by Audi by 2020. It's a five-passenger premium SUV with a range of about 245 miles and will support fast charging at up to 150kW, about the same delivered by Tesla's superchargers. The standard home charger will deliver 11 kW, enough to juice up the e-tron in about 8.5 hours. Audi will likely reveal more about its US charging network plans on September 17th.
Audi reportedly delayed the launch of the e-tron because of the arrest of CEO Rupert Stadler over the "Dieselgate" scandal. That cost parent company Volkswagen $25 billion in the US alone, and resulted in up to 20,000 deaths per year by respiratory diseases, by some estimates. VW also had to take hundreds of thousands of cars off the road and store, repair or scrap them.