Audi is revving up for the U.S. release of their first all-electric vehicle, the 2019 Audi e-tron. Today we learned two things: that we should see the car in dealerships this May, and we are finally getting the Audi e-tron EPA rating.
With a range of just 204 miles (328 km) on a full charge, this news is bound to leave a lot of electric vehicle buffs a little disappointed.
It is much less than expected, and it puts the Audi e-tron behind most of its main competitors. The Jaguar I-PACE has a range of 234 miles (376 km), and the Tesla Model X Long Range boasts an impressive range of 295 miles (475 km). It also puts the e-tron behind much of the mainstream market, since the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range can travel 220 miles (354 km), the Nissan Leaf Plus goes 226 miles (364 km), and the Chevrolet Bolt and Kia Niro EV both have ranges just shy of 240 miles (386 km).
Audi e-tron EPA Rating Issues in the Battery?
The electric vehicle world has been waiting on the EPA estimate since last year, but Audi offered no U.S. range at the time. They did provide European numbers at the time– with the Audi e-tron expected to do 259 miles (416 km), but the U.S. system follows slightly different guidelines for estimating the range of an electronic vehicle. When finally released, the Audi e-tron EPA rating came to only 204 miles (328 km).
What seems especially disappointing is the fact that the Audi e-tron has a 95 kWh battery, which has a slightly larger capacity than the 90 kWh battery in the Tesla Model X 90D and the Jaguar I-PACE. Both vehicles score higher on the EPA test cycle (the Tesla Model X 90D is rated for 257 miles (413 km) and the Jaguar I-PACE for 234 miles (376 km), respectively). Instead of increasing the range, Audi seems to have somehow choked it.
Audi e-tron’s Charging Speed
Audi maintains that one cannot solely look at the range as the only standard of measurement for their vehicle. One of their main arguments revolves around the charging speed– and in that area, they may have a leg up on their competitors.
The Audi e-tron currently supports up to 150 kW on compatible chargers, much like the high speed chargers being installed by Electrify America. Such a charger could give owners up to 54 miles (87 km) of range in only 10 minutes. After half an hour, vehicle will have about 163 miles (262 km) of range, which is almost 80% of the Audi e-tron’s maximum.
Not bad, right?
Audi e-tron: Coming Soon to the U.S.
The best part of today’s news? It looks like we should see the 2019 Audi e-tron delivered to reservation holders in the U.S. next month, and demonstration vehicles should arrive at dealerships about the same time.
The $74,800 electric SUV will still be eligible for the $7,500 tax credit and other incentives. Buyers will finally get the chance to experience the Audi e-tron’s leather upholstery, heated/ventilated front seats, and a Bang & Olufsen premium audio system. That is in addition to the air suspension, panoramic glass sunroof, GPS navigation, and a four zone automatic climate control system.