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Audi is reverse-engineering/benchmarking a Tesla Model X but doesn’t know how to charge it

first model x europe

Audi plans to release an all-electric luxury SUV, the e-tron quattro, in 2018. The vehicle is expected to become the first all-electric competitor to Tesla’s Model X. Earlier this year, we reported on one of the first Model X in Europe spotted near to Audi’s headquarters in Ingolstadt (pictures above), where the german automaker is believed to be reverse-engineering or benchmarking Tesla’s SUV – something it also did with the Model S.

Now a Model X reportedly driven by an Audi engineer has been spotted again over the weekend, but this time in a more interesting context.

Tesla Model S owner and TFF forum member, StefanKV, shared pictures of a Model X he spotted at the Tesla Supercharger in Schweitenkirchen.

Like the last time the Model X was spotted near Ingolstadt earlier this year, the vehicle also had an Ingolstadt license plate number, meaning it was registered in the city. European deliveries have yet to start and Tesla doesn’t have a facility in Ingolstadt, with the nearest being a store and service center in Munich or a gallery in Nuremberg. It could also be the same Model X with a different license, it’s not clear at this point.

What is clear is that driver wasn’t aware that he wouldn’t be able to charge the vehicle at the Supercharger and had to leave without charging it.

The car is a US import and therefore doesn’t have the same charging plug as the European Superchargers. In order to get their hands on the vehicle, they probably had to import an early ‘Signature Series’, or even ‘Founders Series’, in the US through a third-party or by purchasing the car pre-owned since a few have been spotted for sales – though for a significant premium.

Audi’s electric-mobility chief, Stefan Niemand, recently had surprising words of appreciation for Tesla and especially its Supercharger network:

“I hate to admit it, but Tesla did everything right”

While this is a flattering comment for Tesla, it loses some of its value if they don’t know how to use it.

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  1. Martin Dobes - 7 years ago

    well guys.. its not just to show “Tesla Killer” prototypes.. with a production cars your are behind what.. 6 years.. a how about with infrastructure ? perhaps once you build first you would know how to use it..

    • Electric Feel - 7 years ago

      Its pretty clear no one seems to know what they are doing when it comes to Electrics, which is a massive embarrassment for these auto makers which they wont admit to.
      They became complacent because they thought things would never change. They never thought to try and change them. They just wanted to keep things as they are and keep share holders happy releasing newer models every year, with minor changes like LEDs….

      Thats what happens when an entire industry is owned by one thing: Oil.

      • Ryan - 7 years ago

        Which is very similar to our homes. A huge percentage are fossil fuel heated.

  2. Anon - 7 years ago

    Lol. I can’t believe they didn’t know about US/EU plugs.

  3. Electric Feel - 7 years ago

    Comedy gold.
    How long has Audi been in business?

    • quiviran - 7 years ago

      Apparently not very long in the BEV business.

  4. František Kubiš Jr. - 7 years ago

    I doubt it is Audi’s car, more likely some individual imported it.

    • Anon - 7 years ago

      Well, the guy walking around the car definitely wears an Audi jacket, so I doubt it’s just some individual.

      • Heleauto - 7 years ago

        That red license plate signs that this car has special status, like manufactury testing bed or so. Regular ones are black.

      • Justthink - 7 years ago

        The red license plate is not a “special license plate”. It is used for transfer purposes, for when you import a car for example and it doesn’t have a license plate yet. Since the other one driving around near ingolstadt DID have a license plate already this would suggest it is a second import. If the earlier car was sold it would not need the transfer license plate neccessarily.

        There is no such thing as license plates for prototypes. They use regular license plates.

  5. jednoucelovy - 7 years ago

    Hm, maybe they will try to fill it up with petrol next to see if that works.

  6. Andy Berry - 7 years ago

    Audi , these Germans do not know about German electrical grid. Compared to North America

    How stupid are they ?

    • peter gzowski - 7 years ago

      Audi’s electric efforts have decimated the competition for some time… Tesla is interesting enough and will do well. Your thoughts on the king of motorsports are born of your intellectual capacity.. grains of salt are available cheaply enough.

  7. Kim Neeper Rasmussen - 7 years ago

    They can try to fill it up with gas and light a match, and see if it will run 🙂 “Tesla killer” they all are, perhaps in 2020 they’ll have something almost as good as Tesla had in 2012.

  8. Jonas - 7 years ago

    Is it any adapder to charge US tesla at the EU supercharger??

    • Robert Weekley - 7 years ago

      I have not heard of any stories on that idea even, let alone – Reality, neither on here, InsideEVS, or Green Car Reports!
      May the Editors of could advise us on this: Basically a Type 2 Plug to Tesla USA, or Maybe something for the ‘Universal Charging Cord’: a Type 2 Adapter to go where the NEMA 14-50 Adapters Go on that cord?

      The Tesla Model 3 Charging options Might be different – as they said in the presentation – the cars charging would be able to charge on 50 Hz, 60 Hz, and just about any voltage – anywhere in the world!! You got Electricity – The Tesla Model 3 Can Charge! So – I am starting a Rumor: One Side of the car will have USA Tesla Receptacle, the other will have European Type Receptacle, and the Adapters will include one for China’s Plugs! (Will they need a different one for Africa? Brazil?, Etc!)

      • Nero - 7 years ago

        Tesla in US uses their own Tesla sockets, in EU they use Type 2 sockets in their cars. Google the difference.

  9. Event Horizon - 7 years ago

    How deliciously pathetic and deserving for Audi, who thinks they can wait this long (roughly 4 years after the Model S debuted, and 6 years or more since development began) to scramble to reactionary compete with a fast-paced brand with EV technology that is literally at least 13 years more advanced than anything Audi has ever made or even been so bold to dare to imagine. Add to this, another point I have not read from anywhere but occurred to me, which is that much of the advancement in Tesla’s sensory technologies that put the competition to shame are undoubtedly are all superior benefits derived from advancements made within SpaceX for rocket telemetry, navigation, and vertical landing sensors and processing technology. Autopilot safety and convenience features, Falcon Wing Doors, Auto-Parking, Summon, and more, all are likely offshoots from SpaceX. To my knowledge, no other auto company gets what is literally rocket science technologies to add to their cars. Not only that, but if this is truly so, Tesla gets those advancements from SpaceX for absolutely no cost whatsoever due to Elon Musk at the helm of both companies simultaneously.

    For Audi to say “I hate to admit it, but Tesla did everything right”, while it is certainly a begrudgingly spoken compliment. It is also a vast over-simplification coming from simple-minded social regressionists. If one reads between the lines, the full statement is “While our parent company Volkswagen Group was busy cheating egregiously for years on so-called Clean Diesel Technology–ehem, (I mean–Clean Diesel marketing propaganda), we at Audi were doing our part by jealously mocking Tesla and the very concept of EV’s in general, once even saying “Electric cars are for Idiots” … and thinking of Tesla as a non-threatening joke despite them having mobility technology that is now well over a decade more advanced.

    The inevitable truth is that Audi will likely never catch up, but even if they do succeed in bringing desirable market-successful EVs to market, then by their very own definition, then Volkswagen Group would be automotive world’s biggest laggard hypocrites (behind FCA), and they would then be admitting that THEY are the true “idiots”.

  10. Kuk - 7 years ago

    He he he, hello to Ingolstadt, you forgot to do your homework! ;D
    Unmoglich :))

  11. Kuk - 7 years ago

    He he he, hello Germans you are loosing your patience with the details!! 😀

  12. Luke - 7 years ago

    I’m long Tesla and short Fahrvergnügen…

  13. danfrederiksen1 - 7 years ago



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