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.
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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.