Audi Technical Boss: R8 E-Tron Has Re-Entered Development Phase With “Different Type of Battery”

JAN 14 2014 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 20

For a Very Short Time, the Audi R8 E-tron Held the Fastest Lap Title For EVs at the Nurburgring

For a Very Short Time, the Audi R8 E-tron Held the Fastest Lap Title For EVs at the Nurburgring

We’ve been keeping a close eye on the Audi R8 e-tron for a reason that those out of the know won’t understand.

Audi R8 E-tron Now Production-Bound?

Audi R8 E-tron Now Production-Bound?

If you recall, last time we reported on the R8 e-tron, Audi claimed that its range jumped from 134 miles to 248.5.

That jump in range convinced Audi to re green light the development of the vehicle.

Now, Audi technical chief, Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, is confirming that the R8 e-tron in back in the development stage.

It’s due solely to this range increase that the R8 went from shelved to back in development.

Here’s what Hackenberg told Auto Express at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show:

“I had a deeper look into the technology and found the problems were the range and the cost, so we are currently working on optimising those.  The original concept was based on battery modules, we’ve now taken the step to use a different type of battery.”

The battery breakthrough we’ve all been waiting for seems to almost be upon us.  How else could the R8 e-tron magically jump from 134 miles of range to 248.5?

Hackenberg says the R8 e-tron will be a “tech carrier for other models.”

As for Audi’s future direction, Hackenberg stated:

“With battery tech now it is vital to have plug-in hybrids, but as batteries improve we will move more towards all-electric.”

If that’s not Audi doing a 360 then we’re not sure what is.  Audi goes electric.  Hard to imagine, ain’t it?

Source: Auto Express

Categories: Audi

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20 Comments on "Audi Technical Boss: R8 E-Tron Has Re-Entered Development Phase With “Different Type of Battery”"

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*Yawn* OK, Audi… Whatever you say. Whatever you say…

There may be truth to Audi’s statements after all. Consider the case with Infiniti. They slowed down their EV program also to allow time for battery advancements that it seems are either available now, or very soon coming. I would hope they are telling the truth in both cases.

Battery advancements have been pretty foreseeable for some time. Car manufacturers that have not or are not position themselves to be able to rapidly take advantage of the advancing technology with be playing hard catch-up up game soon.

It’s clear it’s destined to go in that direction. Soon only all-electric. Already convenient on the higher level cars. And then you need really fast charging stations everywhere.
That’s what Tesla is doing, of course.
Now, will other automakers try and join Tesla, or make alliances among some of them, for these ultra-fast charging networks?
I would actually hope in something (much) faster than current Superchargers (120-135 kW). Something around 300-400 kW. Or even higher, if practical (technically possible it is).
This network should last decades, and soon bigger, faster charging batteries will be available.
To put 100 kWh in 10 min it takes 600 kW. That would be something. But even charging 50 kWh in that time, quite good.

That would be great, but we need the cheaper batteries to be capable of that first.

At the moment, the convenience of charging at home makes 135kW good enough for the <10% of time you need superchargers. Price is the first hurdle to get over.

Otherwise, EREV will remain the way to go. I guarantee you that a ~30kW range extender will have a manufacturing cost of less than $2k in the near future, if not already. It's going to take a long time for that to be the cost of taking an EV from 100 miles up to 200 miles, and even the latter is still a little restricting for a primary car.

Yes. Difficult to compete with EREVs at current battery costs… Though I really doubt you can add an EREV for less than $2,000. We know how much the not really powerful enough RE option in the i3 costs to the public. And you need something more powerful than that. So, costlier. Anyway, it’s certainly true that, at present, for those who drive irregularly (I mean, not about the same number of miles a day), EREVs are more convenient. That’s not the case, especially in $9-10 a gallon Europe, when you consider people who drive approximately the same distances every day. Whatever they may be. Just have a battery sized for that and the savings will pay it back in time. Sure, you should allow some 70,000 miles driving or so. But the situation is still quite different, I believe, for higher end cars. (And that’s what Tesla have based their plans on). The main aspect, I would say, is that of the far superior driving experience in a pure EV, which might be priceless for high end cars. More silence and less vibrations than in a Rolls-Royce, even with huge torque (immediately) available,… I was fascinated (sort of …) by… Read more »

Of course, go EREV, or BEV, depending on your needs…

Also, if long travels are rare, I would prefer choosing a pure EV, and rent a hybrid for long trips.

“I had a deeper look into the technology and found the problems were the range and the cost, so we are currently working on optimizing those.”
————–

– Captain Obvious.

+1

+2

How long did it take Audi to realize this…..? 🙂

GSP

I’ll believe it when I see it… Audi + electric = eternal delay with all words and no action

Let’s break this down.

The 23kWh back in the Focus Electric offers a max of 100 EV miles(tested 99.8 real world). And that’s only using 80% of the pack. Where 100% capacity should offer 120 miles of range.

Which means a 46kWh pack using current technology in the Focus Electric should offer 240 miles of max range.

The R8 e-Tron has a 48.6kWh back now at 248.5 EV miles MAX range. So it seems VW/Audi just managed to bring their EV close to current capacity/range levels in a small lightweight vehicle. The e-Golf is already there, and it seems the Audi will get a larger size of the e-Golf battery pack.

The range was just poor before as Audi mentioned, and now it’s at a more expected level based on ‘current’ battery technology.

So there is really no real battery breakthrough here….

So is the audi the only car with a decently sized battery besides the rav4ev and tesla’s?

How much do they want for it? And are they part of the vw family saying they are the world leader in electric cars, unfortunately they dont have any for sale yet.

I don’t think 120 miles for your FFE is normal. I’m sure it is possible to do when trying really hard and not driving normally. I got 112 from my Leaf once, just as an experiment. Excellent miles/kWh is around 4. While I agree they may be blowing smoke, these guys are claiming more than 5 miles per kWh. Even the i3, with all its carbon fiber, can’t claim 5 miles per.

Actually the eUP is rated below 12 kwh/100 km in Germany which is better than 5 mi/kwh! So 5 mi/kwh is achievable. The eUP weights a lot less than the i3. The krux of the i3 are his “heavy” assistant systems…

Audi are so pity. Did you see the poster behind the car. Fastest lap on the Nurburgring with series production electric car. SERIES CAR

I’m guessing they’re looking at liquid electrolyte battery system to get such a jump in range. Just a WAG though.

Audi just doesn’t get it. If the car is done it will be like Mercedes SLS, dumb and overpriced.
There are no new batteries on the horizon.
What they may have done is take the tesla laptop cell route. That could reasonably get them to 400km range. That approach is however at the expense of being heavy but since R8 is a poor car with high price, that shouldn’t be a problem.
Should we guess 4 second acceleration and 200k$ price tag… nitwits.

“If that’s not Audi doing a 360 then we’re not sure what is. Audi goes electric.”

Technically, if their direction is “no electric” and they do a 360, then their direction is again “no electric”. Maybe a 180 is meant? Or did you mean they got from electric yes to no to yes – in that case, never mind 🙂