Audi announced today that the e-tron, the automaker’s first next-generation electric vehicle, is finally going to arrive in the US in May. At the same time, the electric SUV received its EPA rating: 204 miles.
The e-tron was originally supposed to launch in 2018, but deliveries have been delayed officially due to software issues and unofficially due to rumored battery supply problems.
It finally started to hit some markets in Europe earlier this year and now Audi has confirmed that it’s making its way to the US as soon as next month.
The German automaker says that reservation holders will start taking deliveries in May and US dealerships will start getting display vehicles and a fleet for test drives.
Along with the US introduction, the electric SUV is getting its EPA rating and it might be surprising to some: 204 miles.
This is significantly lower than the few other electric SUVs on the market despite having a similar size battery pack: 95 kWh.
During our Audi e-tron first drive review, we noted that the efficiency was surprisingly low and that the electric SUV would see a tough time getting to 200 miles of range on a single charge.
The “problem” is that Audi is taking a very conservative approach when it comes to the longevity of the battery pack.
We started suspecting that when the e-tron achieved an impressive 155 kW fast-charge rate and was able to maintain it for a long period of time close to 80% of charge.
Audi has since confirmed that it keeps a significant 12% reserve of the battery pack capacity. Compare that to battery experts and even Elon Musk who recommended reserves as high as 10-20%
I think Audi is being a little too conservative here.
If you have a good thermal management system for the battery pack, which I believe Audi has, energy capacity degradation is really not that big of an issue — at least based on the long-term data we have from Tesla vehicles.
That said, I understand where they are coming from.
They understand that 200 miles is plenty of range for most people and therefore, they preferred to focus on the longevity of the battery pack.
Compare to the Tesla Model X 90D which is officially 257 miles EPA. Even 88% of that (a 12% reserve) is 226+ miles. So there are likely some other inefficiencies going on here like the Jaguar I-PACE.
It will be interesting to see how it’s received by the market.
What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.
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