Audi's EV Launch a Big Win for Tesla

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Amazon's partnership with Audi to provide home charging systems is the first time the online retailer has struck such a deal with an automaker, and signals a new front in Amazon's drive to expand its reach into consumers' homes beyond the presence of its Alexa smart speakers in living rooms and kitchens. Arcadia Power connects a homeowner or renter's electricity bill to a renewable energy project such as wind or solar without extra equipment.

In a note to clients on Tuesday entitled "Audi e-tron launch - another lap Tesla wins", UBS analyst Patrick Hummel and team, who rate Tesla at sell, pointed to the lower range of the E-Tron in comparison to Musk's Model X, as well as its slower acceleration pace.

Audi unveiled on Monday its first fully-electric vehicle, the e-tron SUV. When it comes time to charge the electric crossover SUV, Audi's built-in fast-charging technology will handle up to 150 kw that will recharge the battery to about 80 percent in around 30 minutes at specific charging stations.

Tesla has developed its own network of Supercharger charging stations with more than 11,000 chargers in North America. Add in styling that has helped Audi attract a growing percentage of upscale buyers in the US, and it's clear the e-tron is taking full aim at Tesla (TSLA).

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Tesla CEO Musk has long said he welcomes the arrival of more electric vehicles because it will grow the EV market and ultimately spur more people to stop driving gasoline- or diesel-powered vehicles.

The electric SUV is powered by two powerful electric motors that are locally CO2-neutral and virtually silent.

But the e-tron, Mercedes' upcoming EQ models and other luxury electric vehicles will add a level of competition Tesla has not yet seen.

Similar in size to the Audi's popular Q5, the E-Tron starts at $75,795, and a refundable $1,000 will get you on the waiting list for one when deliveries begin early next year.

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