Audi e-tron range, battery and charging
The Audi e-tron gets impressive rapid-charging capability, but we'd expect better real-world range given the large battery
|Range||Battery size||Wallbox charge time||Rapid charge time|
|180 miles||71kWh (e-tron 50)||10hrs 30mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)||26mins (10-80%, 125kW)|
|249 miles||95kWh (e-tron 55)||13hrs 45mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)||38mins (10-80%, 155kW)|
The fact of the matter is, the Audi e-tron is a very heavy car. While the 249-mile range for the flagship e-tron 55 quattro is adequate, it's somewhat disappointing given the size of the battery and the cars is comes up against. The Mercedes EQC has a smaller 80kWh battery but manages 259 miles of range, while the Jaguar I-Pace records 292 miles.
The e-tron can rapid-charge at 150kW, but a relative dearth of such stations in the UK right now means you'll be lucky to find one that can deliver that charging speed. It's normally only 50kW charging on offer at motorway services in the UK, which will top up the battery to 80% in about an hour and 15 minutes.
Audi e-tron range
The 2019 Audi e-tron 55 returned a range of 249 miles in official tests, before it was upgraded for the more recent 2020 model year. However, we've driven the aforementioned car extensively in the UK and Europe, and found the average range to sit the wrong side of 200 miles – around 192 miles in real-world use.
That said, the Jaguar i-Pace isn't much better, managing around 212 miles over varied roads in mild weather. This is in part due to the fact that – as with most electric cars – the e-tron keeps some of its battery capacity in reserve to help extend the battery's life. The e-tron has a usable battery capacity of 83.6kWh, which is very close to the usable capacity of the I-Pace.
We've not yet driven the upgraded 2020 e-tron 55, which has a larger 95kWh battery and a claimed 271-mile range. Nor have we tried the new-for-2020 e-tron 50, with a smaller battery and claimed range of 180 miles. As soon as we do, we'll update this review with real-world range estimates for both.
The Audi e-tron has the potential to charge very quickly indeed, as it's capable of charging at speeds of to 150kW – faster than the EQC's maximum capacity of 110kW and the I-Pace's top charging speed of 100kW. That'll take the battery from 20-80% capacity in around 30 minutes. The problem is that 150kW chargers are currently few and far between in the UK, so, by and large, you'll have to rely on 50kW units while out and about. That means a top-up time more like 90 minutes for the e-tron 55.
You can also charge the e-tron at home, of course; a standard 7kW wallbox will charge the e-tron in around 12 hours and cost around £11 at the average domestic tariff of 13p/kWh. Of course, charging can be scheduled for off-peak hours, when you could halve that cost by taking advantage of cheaper tariffs.
Like Jaguar, Audi guarantees its electric vehicles' batteries for eight years or 100,000 miles; whichever comes first. That's on top of the standard manufacturer warranty of three years/60,000 miles, which covers the rest of the car. Unfortunately, there's no guarantee of battery performance, as there is with both Mercedes and Jaguar, both of which promise to replace the batteries if they drop below 70% of the as-new performance within eight years.
In This Review
- 1VerdictAudi's first production electric car is impressive, but also outclassed by rivals like the Jaguar I-Pace and Tesla Model X
- 2Range, battery & charging - currently readingThe Audi e-tron gets impressive rapid-charging capability, but we'd expect better real-world range given the large battery
- 3Running costsThe usual electric-car advantages apply here, but there's no getting around the fact the Audi e-tron is expensive to buy initially
- 4Electric motor, drive & performanceThe Audi e-tron is comfortable and smooth but far from the last word in sportiness
- 5Interior & comfortThe Audi e-tron has a fantastic interior and features some showstopping technology
- 6Practicality & boot spaceSeven seats aren't an option, but in other respects the Audi e-tron is practical and family-friendly
- 7Reliability & safetyThe Audi e-tron fares well in both of these areas, with loads of advanced driver aids and a five-star Euro NCAP score