Audi’s 310-Mile Pure Electric SUV Scheduled For Early 2018 Launch


According to Audi research and development chief Ulrich Hackenberg, the arrival of the German automaker’s pure electric SUV with 310 miles of range is set for early 2018.

Of course,a long-range electric SUV will directly compete with the Tesla Model X, but the Model X will have the jump on Audi’s electric SUV since it’s expected to come to market in the second half of 2015 (~September).

Audi released the sketch above of the electric SUV at its annual press conference in Germany.  Aside from the sketch and the claimed 310-mile range, there’s not much else we know at this time about the electric Audi SUV other than it will supposedly be based on the next-generation Q5.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the battery cells for this upcoming long range Audi will be supplied by LG Chem, who earlier this month was out promoting the ability to sell “300 mile” batteries ranging from 80 kWh to 120 kWh.

Automotive News adds:

“The EV will be Audi’s first foray into the mainstream market with an EV. The niche R8 e-tron supercar is the automaker’s only EV on sale currently. For the second-generation R8 e-tron, which debuted at the Geneva auto show, Audi doubled its range to 450km because of its new battery cells.”

“Audi says it new battery-powered SUV will have a longer range than the Tesla Model X crossover, which will go on sale shortly. The Model X has a range of up to 267 miles.”

Source: Automotive News

Categories: Audi


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52 Comments on "Audi’s 310-Mile Pure Electric SUV Scheduled For Early 2018 Launch"

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Time to join the “SuperCharger Alliance”. 😉


Yup, all I ask for are for multiple stall, charging stations open 24/7 built at strategic locations along freeways to enable long distance driving. I am willing to pay no more than gas equivalent.

Don’t tell me about CHAdeMO or CCS, just show me these charging stations. Otherwise I’m keeping my V8 + Leaf.

I agree with all of your requirements except for price. I would still charge at home for cheap the vast bmajority of the time, that paying a premium over gas (within reason) would still be cheaper in the end.

Absolutely, anyone committing to the Supercharger would be a real storey. Sorry Audi but your teaser image is just smoke and mirrors to me, just trying to ride off Tesla’s coat tails. I do appreciate the attempt, but 3 years away? Anybody can make all sorts of claims about 3 years from now. Most people won’t notice if it doesn’t happen. Tesla’s Model X is much more convincing thank you very much. I plan to buy their future Model E crossover, which will much more affordable and therefore attainable. At least GM comes out with an actual Bolt concept to display, before making claims about 200+ mile range.

I’d still rather have a twizy

me too….

“Audi says it new battery-powered SUV will have a longer range than the Tesla Model X crossover”
I wouldn’t be so sure about that. It’s been 3 years since Tesla released its 85kWh Model S. Like how they released the 70D, I wouldn’t be surprised if Tesla has another new battery up their sleeve for the Model X.

Or a new Motor Technology That Makes the Battery Last Longer….??? All Everyone Talks About Is more Battery Power, & that’s Great! How about a more Energy Efficient Electric Motor…I Wonder If Anyone Is Working On That! I Bet It’s Coming ……

Large, modern electric motors like the one in the Tesla are already well above the 90% efficiency rate – it would be a lot of trouble to eke out one or two percent more. A matter of diminishing returns.

Motor ain’t the weak part of the traction chain.
Battery, inverter and regen have much more space for improvement, and one plus in one of the knot is probably going to improve one other as well.
Not to forget aerodynamic, heat recovery and heat insulation as other means.
More capable C rating battery will give you more regen, more heat tolerant battery would provide better cold or hot performance and provide possible heat accumulation for saving more kwh to heat up the cabin.
Better inverter might relieve the battery some losses and provide even more regen.
Motor, not so much, but not impossible to improve on power density, volume reduction, and lower counter electromagnetic losses at high rpm.
In any case, since all those parts work together, improvement on one is beneficial for the ensemble.
Actual overall efficiency is about 75%.
It’s possible to get to 85% in near breakthrough.

Batteries with improved tolerance for cold and heat are certainly possible. But other than operating in extreme temperatures, we’re not going to see a 10% improvement in the efficiency of well-designed EVs. Efficiencies are already too close to 100% for that much improvement. There’s no way around the Second Law of Thermodynamics; no process can be 100% efficient.

Electrical systems can get reasonably close to that 100% efficient; modern EV motors exceed 90% efficiency. But friction in mechanical systems will always limit the efficiencies of automobiles, so long as automobiles ride on wheels mechanically powered by shafts, gears, and tires. As I recall, Tesla claimed the Roadster was about 80-85% mechanically efficient, and I doubt anybody is going to exceed that by much.

Now, if you want to imagine a science-fictional future in which cars float on antigravity using 100% solid state electronic systems for power, then maybe we can get a 10% overall improvement. Maybe.

Current EV motors may be efficient at the shaft, but we haven’t seen hub motors in production yet. A two hub front, conventional rear, could be in Tesla’s future.

A 500km range is ok now but in 2018? In the mean time Audi has the new Q7 e-tron.

Audi will have this car out in time for the 450 mile range Mitsubishi i-miev. I base this off of how everyone is talking about how the unicorn battery is going to come hopping on to the scene to save us all.

The unicorn battery is LG Chem’s NMC chemistry. Given the 85D already gets 502km NEDC range, even accounting for the lower energy density of NMC, they probably can fit enough cells in a SUV body for 500km range using that chemistry.

The key question is how much it will cost (and how much volume/weight they have to sacrifice).

If graphine gets into the equation then most autos will get 500 miles per charge in under 5 min charge time. 2017-18 is going to be an interesting year for electrics. I hope they share Tesla”s supercharging system.

I have already commented on here a few times about the Mitsu Sales exec who told me that they have a 200 mile Graphene Battery car car coming out next year which takes no time at all to charge and won’t cost the earth !

Sounds very promising.

A Nissan Exec told me I was going to be able to get an Infiniti LE when my 2011 LEAF lease ended, just sayin’.

“it’s expected to come to market in the second half of 2015”
Yeah well, that remains to be seen…

If dreams were horses, all the dreamers here would ride. Not a lot here for the ordinary man until longer range traction batteries are affordable.

Ordinary man’s commute is 40 miles per day or less in USA.

So get over with it!

Its unordinary trips and in ordinary people who need more 😉

Ordinary person just need fast (230v) plug at home and even slow at work. That is it.

That sounds an awful lot like “The majority of commutes are don at an average speed of no more than 60 km/h, so why would I need a car that can drive more than 100 km/h?”

Or” The average occupancy of a car is 1.3 persons, why would I ever need a car that can seat 5?”


Right, I don’t. My Leaf takes care of 90% of our family’s trips. For the rest we have a backup Civic, which we could easily swap with car share or a road trip rental, considering the money we are saving on gas. We only keep the Civic because its convienient to have as 2nd car. As a result of our savings, we are able to save up for the Tesla Model 3 crossover coming in a few years. So get on it, and get your EV, or be left behind…

There is just no way any German auto maker is going to use a foreign DC charger, particularly after working so hard to outlaw CHAdeMO and Supercharger in the EU.

They will use their German Menekkes Type 2 / CCS-Combo2, even if they are only 25-50kW.

Actually, Daimler (Mercedes) might adopt Supercharger at some point.

CCS and Chademo can use both up to 170kW. But no automaker up to today released a car that can use this much (for CCS or Chademo), therefore no stations of this level exist today.

No usage of Tesla supercharger needed.

Agree..except that they aren’t already deployed. So why wait. Tesla has built itself a huge strategic advantage in the supercharger network. Nissan has likwise done so in urban areas with CHAdeMO. Also there is the Soul EV which can use 100kW charge from CHADEMO Network. Deployment is key… so where are these CCS chargers… at even 50kW?

yeah, but i don’t think tesla will open its chargers for free. Therefore the traditional automakers probably wont go this way, they still think they are not responsible for estabilishing the infrastructure.

According to Plugshare, the best place to find CCS Combo would be Kansas City, MO.

The US-spec CCS connector rating is 100 kW. Period. I can’t speak on the EU CCS, which could be higher, and could be what you are referring to.

Now let’s hope that it really iis new battery tech, and not just compliance project.

to little too late hohoho

Audi should start with the aluminium Audi A2 which was designed with battery storage compartments in the floor:

Audi research and development chief Ulrich Hackenberg should organize an attractive trade-in offer for existing gasoline A2 cars, then return them to the factory to be rebuilt as BEVs and EREVs.

For reference under the NEDC* the S85D’s range is 475km or 295mi.

So, that 2018 plan is a bit better than than the S85D’s current NEDC rating. However, given Audi’s track record I think it’s safe to ignore them for the next 3 years and see what’s happening at that point.

* New European Dream, er, Driving Cycle, which is a very generous test that leads to European manufacturers building PHEVs with crappy AER.

Tesla’s advantage isn’t just time to market. They also have the route-to-market and owner experience advantages.

the problem for tesla is that they have a small market. that means that while they are the market leader in the BEV segment, they are not a strongly entrenched leader. granted tesla is strongly entrenched among EV enthusiasts, but EV enthusiasts are both small in number and most of them are not people who will actually buy a tesla.

In the market segment where they actually have a product they are one of the top sellers. Even outside the group calling themselves EV enthusiasts.

You’re correct, though, that they get their asses handed to them in the pickup truck segment.

Tesla is spending more than $2 billion of its own money to build a battery Gigafactory, precisely so it can break out of the niche market it’s in. What other automobile manufacturer is doing that? None of ’em.

Not saying that Tesla will soon be one of the Big Boys, but if they continue to grow at their present pace, they will be as large as the present size of the Ford Motor Co. within 10-12 years. Yeah, that’s a big “if”. But it’s looking more and more possible every year.

tesla either needs to get into higher volume segments, or it needs to get out of its current high end segment and start making $1 million exotics. it can’t stay where it is as you have noted.

You should read their “secret” master plan from 2006 where they laid out their strategy to do just that:

well, i would say that they substantially missed their target on having “the second model will be a sporty four door family car at roughly half the $89k price point of the Tesla Roadster”.

the general Tesla strategy is a good one though, but there are fundamental problems with BEVs related to energy density and most importantly recharge time that are significant obstacles to general market acceptance. that’s why i think that, while Tesla has a good overarching strategy statement, i think that their product strategy (exclusive BEV) is wrong. what you see other companies doing is a mix of BEVs (which are good technology test beds) and PHEV/EREVs (which benefit from BEV technologies).

One more and more likely scenario is that if Tesla sells the Model 3, the success will lead to way more sales than expected. The consequences will be lack of sales from the other manufacturers in the same category as model 3. Eventually they will have excess production capacity and will have to close factories and sell them to others. At that moment, since others looking to buy extra capacity are going to be few, Tesla will have a buyer’s market for picking up one by one the vacant factories coming on the market. They will retrofit those to produce more Teslas which will make even less sales for the other brands and soon Tesla will become a giant manufacturer if not a monopoly thanks to its superchargers. The new standard oil (EV way)!

i’m not sure how excited i would get about this news because you can bet that this is going to be priced in the high end market segment.

Viable alternative for people who don’t want potentially troublesome falcon doors.

it’s now starting to make sense that tesla got rid of their “low end” model S; so that the model X could be come the new “low end” model S.

i’m not so convinced that the falcon doors are going to be a disaster. first, i’m not bent out of shape over these doors as some seem to be. second, i’m not as convinced as i once was that they would be susceptible to leaking. from the photos that i have seen of the falcon doors, the gaskets have positive slope; so excess water will be shed. so water that sits on the top gasket will be shed toward the rear of the door where the rear gaskets would then direct the water down to the door sill where it would drain from the car.

Not seeing how an SUV will become the “low end” of a line whose base model is a sedan.

I agree that probably far too much attention has been focused on the falcon wing doors. If they prove troublesome, Tesla can simply replace them with sliding minivan-style doors, and achieve the same end. Not going to be good for Tesla’s reputation if they have to do that, but in the long run I doubt it will matter all that much.

the battery options for the model X are the same as those for the model S, so the pricing will be comparable. i would expect the model X to be slightly less expensive than the model S because i assume that there will be less focus on performance. by getting rid of the $60,000 model S that allows tesla to define the price points between the two models more distinctly.

i would expect the model X to be priced comparable to a BMW 5 series or Benz E-class. then you would have the model S priced comparable to the BMW 7 series or Benz S-class.

picture me rollin’ in my [delete “500 Benz”] Model X…

Even though Audi is at least three years behind Tesla it’s nice to see established auto companies attempting to compete with Tesla.

3 years from now. there will be at least 10 cars with 300 mile range. Volkswagen cannot think of pricing it high at 100K + range.

This company is controlled by some OPEC country.

Yeah, it’s a bizarre ongoing trend where people talk about other auto makers “competing” with Telsa by imitating where Tesla is now… and they plan to get there in another three years. Don’t they understand that at that time, Tesla cars will have another three years of advancement?

Oh yeah, everyone, I should hold off on buying an “X” because Audi has something better coming, soon, I promise.

310 miles is a good emulation effect on the 400 miles route.

InsideEVS… great article as always, BUT do not simply repeat made up information that other sites post. Specifically, “The Model X has a range of up to 267 miles.” Nobody knows that stuff, the Model X probably hasn’t done an EPA or NEDC test yet. As for Audi, well, sure, it’s great that they’re putting out a long-range BEV. The more BEVs the better. The Model X will be in its 3rd year and may be getting a new battery by then. Of more importance by 2018 will be the charging method. There are already a lot of BEVs out there and all the owners know that charging speed is a big issue. Audi doesn’t seem to be saying much. How many kilowatts will their charging speed be? At some point, it doesn’t matter if your range is a lovely long 300 or 400 miles. The car is impractical if you can only charge it at 50kW. “it will supposedly be based on the next-generation Q5” – if it is not a ground-up BEV design, there is no hope for maximised interior cabin space, or class-leading handling. If you are taking a gasoline car body-in-white and putting batteries into it,… Read more »