Electric Vehiciles

2021 Audi E-Tron buyers can get an Arcadia renewable energy subscription with purchase

The Audi E-Tron is an all-electric SUV.

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Customers who purchase or lease an all-electric Audi E-Tron or E-Tron Sportback between March 2 to April 30, 2021 may be eligible for a subscription to Arcadia to power their vehicles with renewable energy. Here's how it works.

Arcadia connects renters and homeowners across the U.S. to wind and solar energy through utility data and billing technology. Users utilize renewable energy certificates to purchase their power from those renewable energy sources. Audi describes the process:

"In select markets within Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island, Arcadia's platform connects qualifying customers to community solar projects in their area. These customers are allocated a portion of the energy output from their community solar projects and earn credits on their power bills as the projects generate power and add renewable energy to their local grid."

Based on customer polling by Audi, 85% of E-Tron customers and 90% of E-Tron Sportback customers state that environmental impact is either "important" or "very important" toward purchase considerations.

Qualified customers who get one of those two vehicles can get a complementary subscription for up to five years. Participating Audi E-Tron and E-Tron Sportback customers may also be eligible to receive up to a $750 credit toward their electricity bill through the Arcadia platform with a subscription.

This isn't the first partnership between Audi and Arcadia. The company collaborated in 2018 and 2020 with similar initiatives.

Audi's E-Tron and E-Tron Sportback are assembled in Brussels, Belgium in a plant that is certified as carbon neutral. The automaker has set the goal of reducing vehicle-specific carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent by 2025 and is set to achieve carbon dioxide neutrality globally across the lifecycle of its vehicles by 2050.

Both E-Tron models are capable of charging from zero to 80 percent battery capacity in about 30 minutes using a public DC 150-kilowatt fast charger. The 2021 E-Tron and E-Tron Sportback have EPA-estimated full-charge ranges of 222 and 218 miles, respectively.

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New luxury EV

Lexus announces all-electric RZ 450e

Lexus just announced the new RZ 450e

Lexus

Lexus and Toyota have finally jumped onto the EV train, and we’ll soon see new all-electric SUVs from both. The Lexus variant, named RZ 450e, features a reasonable range, upscale interior, and neat all-wheel drive technology. We don’t have firm pricing for the Lexus, but expect it to start in the mid-to-high $40,000 range.

2023 Lexus RZRange is expected to reach 225 miles per chage. Lexus

The RZ shares a platform and much of its underlying engineering with the Toyota bZ4X and Subaru Solterra, but will take a more upscale approach. Though its size and overall shape are similar to the others, the Lexus’ exterior styling is sharper and sportier, with functional aerodynamic bodywork. A new Lexus logo is spelled out on the rear gate, instead of the traditional “L” of previous models.

The SUV comes with a 71.4-kWh battery that should deliver a range of around 225 miles on a charge. All-wheel drive is standard, and uses the RZ’s dual electric motors to shift power between the wheels that need it most.

Inside, the RZ features a minimalist, open space with controls meant to remind drivers of a horse’s reins. Ultrasuede upholstery and woodgrain trim come standard. Lexus notes the RZ’s head-up display is controllable via steering wheel-mounted buttons that handle navigation, audio, and other functions.

2023 Lexus RZThough similar to the Toyota bZ4X inside, the Lexus IS more upscale and minimalist. Lexus

Speaking of the steering wheel, the first RZs will be available with a round wheel only, but later on, Lexus will offer a yoke-style wheel like the one seen in the Toyota bZ4X concept and Tesla’s Plaid models.

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Just 55 of the SUV will be built.

Mercedes

The Mercedes-Benz G-Class is an aspirational vehicle, and is one that shouts "I've made it" to the world. Its six-figure price tag legitimate military background, and hardcore off-road capabilities make it appealing on many levels, and there's even a go-fast version from AMG. The G63 cranks up the already bonkers G-Class to 11, with a big V8 and aggressive styling. To commemorate AMG's 55th year tuning Mercedes' vehicles, the automaker is releasing a limited "Edition 55" G 63.

Mercedes-AMG G 63 "Edition 55"The Edition 55 gets unique styling touches inside and out. Mercedes

Though the Edition 55 adds plenty of unique flair to the AMG-massaged G-Wagen, the SUV's beating heart remains untouched. It's a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 making 577 horsepower, and is good for a 0-60 mph time of just 4.5 seconds. That's in an SUV with a curb weight just shy of 6,000 pounds. Four-wheel drive and a nine-speed automatic transmission are also standard.

Mercedes says the Edition 55 comes finished in Obsidian Black metallic and rides on 22-inch forged wheels, even though the images it sent to accompany the announcement clearly show a not-black SUV. It also comes with the AMG Night Package, which brings blacked-out trim and unique accents, and the fuel filler cap is embossed with the AMG logo. Inside, the cabin features a black and red color scheme with stainless steel accents throughout. Black velour floor mats stitched with "Edition 55" in red are standard, along with an AMG Performance steering wheel wrapped in microfiber. The seats are covered in black and red Nappa leather upholstery, and Edition 55 badges are seen throughout the space.

Mercedes-AMG G 63 "Edition 55"The 577-hp super SUV can sprint to 60 mph quicker than many sports cars. Mercedes

When Mercedes says "limited edition" here, it means business. Just 55 of the SUVs will be available in the United States, and will be released later this year. There's no word on ordering or pricing details yet, but it's a safe bet that the ultra-exclusive G-Wagen will sell out quickly.

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