The production-spec Audi e-tron heralds the dawn of a new era for the brand with the four rings as the company transforms from a conventional carmaker to a systems supplier for electric mobility.
Audi has revealed the key technical details of the production version of its e-tron SUV. The upcoming Audi EV is the first car on the market that can charge at charging stations with up to 150kW. This makes it replenish its electrical juice by 80 per cent in barely 30 minutes, so that it can set off on the next long stage of its journey, which is claimed to be ~400km.
This super quick charging happens at high-power charging stations using the European charging standard combined charging system, such as those in the Ionity network (the ‘ultra-fast’ joint electric car charging network by BMW, Mercedes, Ford and Volkswagen). By the end of 2018, there will be nearly 200 of these high-power charging stations in Europe with six charging points each. Plans call for 400 locations at intervals of 120km along highways and main transport routes by 2020.
The key feature behind this is the thermal management system for the e-Tron’s lithium-ion battery. Located in the vehicle floor, it stores 95kWh of energy to provide a range of over 400km in the realistic European WLTP test cycle. In addition to fast charging with direct current, the electric SUV can also be charged on the move with alternating current at AC chargers, with up to 11kW standard and optionally with 22kW. All together, customers can use more than 65,000 public charging stations throughout Europe.
At market launch, Audi will provide e-tron customers simplified access to roughly 80 per cent of these charging stations with a proprietary charging service. Whether it’s AC or DC, 11kW or 150kW – just one card is all customers will need to start the charging process. Customers have to register one time on the myAudi portal and conclude an individual charging contract. The procedure will become better with Plug & Charge, which is set to debut in 2019, where a card will no longer be needed – the car will authorise itself and unlock the charging station.
Audi will offer various solutions for charging at home as well. If desired, an electrician referred by the local Audi dealer will check which charging options are available in the customer’s garage and install the corresponding technology. The standard mobile charging system can be used in two ways - with a charging power of up to 2.3kW when connected to a 230V household outlet and with up to 11kW when connected to a 400V three-phase outlet.
With that being said, Audi has only revealed the charging technology behind the upcoming e-Tron. The SUV’s exact combined power output and the output of each motor still remain a mystery. Industry rumours have previously pointed towards the car pumping a combined output of 240kW (~320bhp), but an official confirmation is still awaited.