4 reasons Audi could now be the upcoming king of EVs

11w ago

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There was a bit of an earthquake in San Francisco earlier this week. No, not a tremor sourced from the San Andreas fault. Audi launched its first electric car – the Audi e-tron – in the Californian city.

The German giant has joined Tesla and Jaguar in the premium EV sector and despite the other company’s head starts, it isn’t too far-fetched to predict that the four rings will quickly dominate the electric car game. Even with Mercedes being on the brink of launching its own electric SUV, here are the reasons that Audi could climb to the top of the EV tree.

They’ve already been experimenting with the e-tron brand

You can currently walk into an Audi showroom and purchase an A3 e-tron or Q7 e-tron, both of which have been ‘electrified’ via a hybrid system. The company therefore has plenty of experience with electric motors in conjunction with internal combustion engines, so it’s not a massive leap for Audi to knuckle down with developing a full electric vehicle programme.

Audi has promised to produce 12 all-electric cars by 2025 along with electrifying the rest of the range by going down the plug-in hybrid route. So the company is very much using its e-tron platform to become a market-leading manufacturer of cars driven or assisted by electric motors.

It has one of the largest infrastructures in the car world behind it

Audi is obviously part of the Volkswagen Group which is in itself the second largest manufacturer of cars on the planet. Sitting just behind the might of Toyota, the VW Group pumps out over 10 million cars per year, with just under 2 million of those being Audis. Shift some of that internal combustion-building workforce to electric vehicles and Audi could quickly become the world-leading producer of EVs.

The company has already committed an entire factory in Brussels to e-tron production. That’s a serious shift for a company that has just launched its first ever electric vehicle so it is definitely organising its tools for a switch to electric propulsion.

It could be the next company to make EVs cool

The main thing that will convince people to commit to buying EVs is a coolness factor, moving away from the haters that describe them as glorified milk floats. Audi knows this and is producing concepts and tech that will push the brand further up the cool wall.

Very recently we’ve had the delight of seeing an e-tron Vision Gran Turismo racing car which took inspiration from the legendary Audi IMSA racers of the past. Just last month we also saw the PB18 concept that would fit nicely as an electric R8 replacement, sporting a central sliding driver’s seat and a rear end to rival even the original R8 supercar. If Audi can convert either of these into some sort of road-going production car, it will quickly push past Tesla as the most exciting EV manufacturer in the industry.

It has tackled charging head-on

Charging up your electric car is one of the main fears that current car owners have towards taking the EV plunge. Will I be stranded? Will it take forever to charge? How far will I be able to go on one charge?

Audi has come up with the most efficient charging system yet with the new e-tron SUV. Using a 150kW charger, the e-tron will charge from 0-80% in just 30 minutes, a solid 15 minutes quicker than its supercharging rivals. On a long journey that necessitates a full charge like that, you will probably need to stop for a proper food and toilet break anyway, so half an hour should feel totally normal and fall seamlessly into your travel requirements.

Do you think that Audi could be the EV king going forward? Has the e-tron impressed you from its launch in San Francisco? Tell us what you guys think in the comments below!

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Comments (4)
  • I expect Volkswagen to transition well into pure EVs. The Golf GTE and Passat GTE get good reviews, the A3 e-tron less so and the Q7 e-tron is fine for city use, much like the competing Range Rover P400e, though you're into internal combustion use pretty much constantly for rural activities and towing, of the sort you might well buy an Audi Q7 or Range Rover for.

    I do think people over estimate how complex an electric car actually is - the real complexity is hybrid and plug-in hybrid technology, managing things like the transition from electric to internal combustion, designing complex gearboxes which incorporate electric motors, replacing starter motors and the like. A pure electric vehicle is a simple construct with just the one moving component - the electric motor - and there's a history of high performance, high duty cycle motor and electronic design in the rail sector one can make use of. The real complexity in an electric car is a mix of battery chemistry, which manufacturers largely contract out to companies like Panasonic and LG, and there software which manages the battery tech, regen braking and so on.

    You just need to look at what's coming along - the Hyundai Kona has been joined by the (technically near identical) Kia Niro EV and it's another pure EV with a proper 200+ mile range that is genuinely usable day to day for most drivers. That's Hyundai/Kia, who make solid and dependable cars, but which you could never really describe as a being at the cutting edge of technology. That's in contrast to the VW brands who have really pushed the envelope, not just with their emissions testing, but with the development of the Bugatti models, the Audi and Porsche Le-Mans programs and the Audi Formula-e entry.

    2 months ago
  • Hmmm. Here’s my take. I am currently leasing an Audi A3 e-tron and will turn it in this December. I am planning on replacing it with a Jaguar I-Pace. In so many levels, the I-Pace is better than the e-tron Quattro. It IS DESIGNED as an EV, maximizing cabin size due to lack of ICE. It is faster 0 to 60 by over 1 second. It has more range at approximately 240 (estimated EPA, 298 WLTP). It looks like a concept car come to life, not a generic CUV. Furthermore, it cost less, even fully optioned.

    2 months ago

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