Audi Plans to Fight Tesla With New e-tron Electric SUV
【Summary】Audi’s packed a lot of technology into its upcoming all-electric SUV in the hopes of coming up with a vehicle that can take down the Tesla Model X.
When it comes to electric SUVs, only a few automakers have offerings on the road. There's the Hyundai Kona, which is a compact SUV that has a range of 250 miles. Tesla also has the Model X, which, when properly equipped, has a range of 295 miles. Jaguar recently came out with the new I-Pace that has a range of 240 miles. While there are a lot of other options coming in the near future, those are the major ones on sale at the moment.
Audi will be entering the electric SUV ring in the near future with its own offering that will be called the e-tron quattro. The German automaker recently showcased the upcoming vehicle at the Siemens AG facility in Berlin, Germany. This isn't the first time we've seen the vehicle, though, as that happened back in 2015 at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
Lower Range, But Quicker Charging
Back then, Audi claimed the vehicle would have a range of roughly 310 miles. Fast-forward to today and the automaker has changed its tune, stating the SUV will only be good for approximately 250 miles. That figure, though, is on the European Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure testing cycle. So it's possible for the vehicle to have less range when the EPA gets its hands on it.
If the e-tron SUV were to get the same range on the EPA cycle, that would put it in the same league as the Chevrolet Bolt. Audi's vehicle, though, has a trick up its sleeve – charging. The e-tron SUV will feature a 95-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack that will support 150-kilowatt DC fast-charging.
Non-Tesla chargers currently pump 50-kW of electricity through charging stations, making Audi's proposed fast-charger roughly three times as powerful. It would also make the e-tron SUV the only vehicle on the market that will be able to handle being charged by a 150-kW system.
According to Audi, the system can charge the vehicle in just 30 minutes. The automaker didn't state whether that was for a full charge or something less. Unfortunately, it'll be hard to find one of those 150-kW chargers, as they're sporadically placed for the time being. The automaker does have plans to install 200 fast chargers along major highways in Germany by the end of 2018.
Volkswagen, though, is collaborating with other companies to develop a network of fast-charging stations across Europe. The goal of the partnership is to erect 400 charging stations by 2020.
What About Regular Charging?
Consumers that don't have access to Audi's fast-chargers will have other options. The SUV will be equipped for Level 2 AC charging at 11-kW or 22-KW, while consumers that register for a myAudi card will have access to the majority of AC and DC public charging stations in Europe.
On a household electrical system that runs at 11-kW, the vehicle will get a full charge in 8.5 hours. While Audi didn't state how long it would take for the e-tron SUV to get a full charge on the 22-kW charger, it should take a little longer than 4.5 hours.
Audi's e-tron SUV is part of the automaker's larger plan to have three electric vehicles in the lineup by 2020. By 2025, Audi hopes to have 25 percent of its lineup to be comprised of electric vehicles. While Audi plans to unveil the e-tron later this July, the SUV probably won't hit the road until 2020 in the United States.
Vineeth Joel Patel
Joel Patel has been covering all aspects of the automotive industry for four years as an editor and freelance writer for various websites. When it comes to cars, he enjoys covering the merger between technology and cars. In his spare time, Joel likes to watch baseball, work on his car, and try new foods
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