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Audi to have a plug-in hybrid in every model series; new BEV in 2018

Audi will have a plug-in hybrid in every model series in the coming years as part of its efforts in efficiency and sustainability, said Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management at Audi AG for Technical Development, during his speech at Audi’s Annual Press Conference in Ingolstadt.

Plug-in hybrids, natural gas vehicles and battery-electric drive systems will have a key role to play in achieving CO2 targets, Hackenberg said. Audi already launched the A3 e-tron plug-in hybrid (earlier post) and the Audi A3 g-tron (earlier post) on the market in 2014. Both of these already have siblings: the Audi Q7 e-tron plug-in hybrid (earlier post) and a future Audi A4 g-tron based on the second generation of the modular longitudinal platform (MLB 2).

On the full battery-electric vehicle side, Audi showcased the new R8 e-tron , which is available for custom order, at the Geneva Motor Show. (Earlier post.) The new R8 e-tron uses a newly developed high energy density lithium-ion technology which was specially conceived for a purely electric vehicle drive. In comparison to the first technology platform (earlier post), the battery capacity has grown from 49 kWh to approximately 92 kWh—without changing the package.

As a result, the range for the new R8 e-tron is a good 450 kilometers (280 miles) n the fuel-consumption cycle, Hackenberg said.

The Audi R8 e-tron continues to be our technology carrier for future electric cars.

—Ulrich Hackenberg

New battery-electric SAV in 2018; >500 km. Hackenberg said that in early 2018, Audi will launch a new battery-powered sports activity vehicle in the large premium segment with a range of more than 500 kilometers (311 miles).

It will have a new, very attractive design, which we are developing especially for the e-tron range and for battery-electric vehicles. This sports activity vehicle will be built on the second generation of the modular longitudinal platform. From the very beginning, this tool for optimal drivetrain diversity implementation has been designed for a broad variety of concepts.

—Ulrich Hackenberg



One has to wonder where the batteries will come from. With all the announcements of plug-ins of all types there would seem to be not enough battery manufacturing if they intend these to be sold freely and without limitation. I guess they will make them, but they will largely remain compliance cars intentionally. So that they can look as if they care about the world and the people, but they don't really care about anything. I am not being critical of Audi specifically, but the car companies in general, who have the same limited and begrudging approach to doing something good.


I wouldn't worry too much about EV batteries and/or quick charge stations for future extended range BEVs.

It will all come (and more) with demand.

Batteries slow evolution and specially patents over protection may be major problems slowing the transition from ICEVs to BEVs.

Patrick Free

Not sure how competitive this Q6 eTron SUV with 90KWH pack (Versus 85KWH offered for several years by Tesla already today) will still be competitive... if it only comes in 2018, means more than a year after Tesla GigaFactory will hit full speed production, and my expectation is Tesla should be able to offer their dream 500M/800KM # 160KWH Battery packs at that moment, or at least 110KWH = +30% more for same price...
Plus still no word on any project of WW Group 135KW Superchargers network across Europe. While we know their CCS standard is limited to 100KW in theory today (Only one 100KW model like this is installed in Germany so far. All others are running at ridiculous 22KW and few at 50KW, that are not what is needed on the motorways for the long & vacation trip where 1000KM/Day will consume at least 275KWH at 130KM/H on the motorways). And we heared about no coordinated plans even to roll 100KW models across Europe, the German car makers still expecting the states to roll them for them at tax payers expenses, wich will never work.... And a decent German long range EV without a Superchargers network will just not sell anywhere.
Although I'm right in the target audience of this Q6 eTron, I'll take a Tesla Model X far before, likely in 2016 and not wait for this new, although far better, vaporware from Audi...


Huge amounts of battery capacity is being built, they just don't hype it as gigafactories.

China is putting in around 100GWh by 2020:

'Li-ion maker Boston Power has secured US$290 million in local government financial support for the expansion of its two facilities in China. The company’s Liyang facility will receive a total investment of $160 million, increasing its manufacturing capacity fivefold by 2016. The company’s Tianjin facility will grow its capacity to 4GW by 2017, and is expected to reach 8 GWh in manufacturing capacity by 2018.

The expansion of these facilities will allow Boston Power to meet the growing demand by leading Chinese automakers in the Yangtze River Delta and throughout the Bohai Gulf in Northern China. China’s EV market is expected to reach US$35 billion by 2020, with demand for high-end lithium-ion batteries hitting 100 GWh.


A 3-phase charging system with 100 KW charging per phase would charge a 150 kWh pack in less than 30 minutes. Using 135 KW charging per phase could charge a 200 kWh battery pack in less than 30 minutes.

Of course those very large packs may have to be electrically split into 3 packs while receiving very quick charging from triple charging units.


Do you know which numbers to believe? A battery factory with 4GW capacity would produce ~8000GWh/year of battery on a single shift per day, 5 day working week. Is it actually 4MW, or 4GWh/year, or ...

Account Deleted

I guess that Audi has finally got it that in order to be a relevant future luxury car maker you need to make long-range BEVs.

Even more importantly, these BEVs need to be fully autonomous. If you cannot deliver that by 2025 in volume you are going to bankrupt rather quickly thereafter. To see why note that each fully autonomous BEV could be operated as a taxi service doing 100,000 miles per year and thus replace 7 non-autonomous cars on the street (6.7=100,000/15,000). Driving the usual 15,000 miles per year at an average 40 miles per hour means 375 hours per year spend driving or about 1 hour per day. An autonomous car driving 7 hours per day should therefore be able to log 100,000 miles per year. Tesla making just 1 million autonomous taxi BEVs by 2025 should therefore be able to displace production of 7 million non-autonomous cars per year. Alternatively Tesla may make 2 million autonomous BEVs per year and thus displacing production of 14 million non-autonomous cars per year. So it will have a very dramatic impact globally once those autonomous BEVs begin to hit the market.

The autonomous cars will be BEVs and not gassers because BEVs can be build to be many times more durable than gassers thus having lower capital cost per mile driven and we know that electricity per mile driven is always less costly than gasoline. So it has to be autonomous BEVs not autonomous gassers.



The 4GW is obviously a typo and should read 4GWh.
From the context this is plainly per year, and the 8GWh for 2018 is in the same ballpark as the Tesla 'gigafactory', which in fact is scheduled to be a fairly modest affair in its initial incarnation in 2017.

This is just one producer in China, and the article clearly indicates that lots of others are building out capacity.

For instance the VW group has always said that they would source cells from China, and assemble into packs elsewhere, currently Germany.

BYD is also rapidly expanding for its bus, car, and stationary storage markets, where it has grid scale facilities already in operation, unlike Tesla which maxes out at fairly modest enterprise scale installations for Walmart.


"very large (battery) packs may have to be electrically split into 3 packs "

Why would you split them in 3? What would benefits be over current compact battery systems, centrally controlled, like say in Tesla's?
What about number of power switching elements?
What happens then on motor side of battery interface?

If I'd need to split battery pack for any reason, it would be in two (regardless of number of phases in the grid, be it 1, 2, 3, 5,...) - IMO much easier (and cheaper) to balance them, than 3.

Jens Stubbe

BEV's currently puts out more CO2 than efficient ICE and hybrid cars because the CO2 used to produce the heavier BEV's and the CO2 to produce the electricity they use combined makes for higher CO2 emissions.

Going forward we will most likely see entire globe driven by renewables but by then BEV's will still trail behind advanced hybrids because advanced hybrids substitute a heavy battery with a much lighter motor powered by Synfuel produced solely by renewables.

I think Audi as a part of VW is taking the sensible road. BEV's are over hyped and the problems regarding the needed infrastructure change with parallel fuel and electricity systems will probably play in the hand of hybrids that can fuel from both tanks and chargers.


The temporary 3 to 1 battery pack split is to reduce charger and cables from 600 KW to 200 KW because 600 KW CHARGERS AND ASSOCIATED CABLES could be too much of a near term challenge.

Very quick recharge (under 20 minutes) for 500 to 700 Km BEVs represent a real challenge. A half charge after 300 Km may be quickly enough done (under 30 minutes) with 200+ KW charging facilities. .

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