Electric cars really only have one main problem — charge time. While battery range is important, the amount of time it takes to charge an electric car is more important. It doesn’t matter if an EV can drive 300 miles on one battery charge, if it takes a few hours to charge it in full it will never be a viable long-distance car. But if it can charge in thirty minutes or less, things change. And that’s exactly what the Audi e-tron will be able to do.
Audi recently brought the e-tron to the Siemens high-voltage test bay’s Faraday Cage to strike it with some lightning. Up to three million volts of the stuff. Really, this was just a really cool way of showing off the fact that the Audi e-tron can charge really quickly. Sure, it’s a bit of a stunt but it’s cool.
Under the floor of the e-tron will be a 95 kWh batter that will have the capability to charge at 150 kW, which is faster than any other electric car on the market. The next fastest car on the market is the Tesla Model S, which can charge at 120 kWh at a Supercharger station. So the Audi e-tron will charge at a whopping 30 kW faster. And it will be able charge like that at any high-powered charging stations that us the European-standard Combined Charging System (CCS). The ability to charge that quickly has to do with the advanced thermal management of the battery pack.
So with that charging speed, the Audi e-tron can charge 248 miles of range in less than thirty minutes. So if you’re on a long trim, you can stop off, start charging your car, have a cup of coffee or some lunch and set back off again. So it vastly increases everyday usability.
If you want to charge the e-tron at home, you can plug it into a 230-volt household plug for 2.3 kW charging. That takes all night to charge the battery to full, so it’s really only an emergency charge. For instance, if you’re staying at a friend’s house overnight, you can plug your car into an outlet in their garage. Or, if you have a 400-volt outlet installed in your garage or outside your home, you can charge at 11 kW, which can charge it in 8.5 hours, which is also pretty long. However, if you buy the e-tron, you can have an optional charging system installed at your home which can charge it at 22 kW, cutting the charge time in half.
To make life even easier, Audi will be linking your car to almost all charge station accounts. So you only have one card that allows you access to use any charge station and you only have to register one time at the myAudi portal and subscribe to an individual charging contract. Billing will be automatic, with no physical form of payment. And following that, Audi’s Plug & Charge function will allow for the e-tron to just pull up to a charge station and the car will wirelessly connect to the station and unlock it. So you just have to get out and plug it in. No fiddling with different access cards or accounts.
The Audi e-tron will be the most important car for the brand since the original Audi Quattro. The latter car launched the brand into the world of motorsport and made the world take Audi seriously, in terms of performance. Now, the Audi e-tron will thrust the brand into the world of electric vehicles and people will be forced to take Audi seriously. Especially considering it will be the fastest charging electric car on the market.