Audi: upcoming battery-electric SUV to use LG Chem and Samsung SDI cell modules; 311-mile range
13 August 2015
Audi announced that it will develop the battery for a purely electrically powered sport utility vehicle on the basis of battery cell modules from the South Korean suppliers LG Chem and Samsung SDI. The two Audi partners plan to invest in the cell technology in Europe and will supply the Ingolstadt-based car producer from their European plants.
The new technology will give drivers of the Audi sport utility vehicle a range of more than 500 kilometers (311 miles). At Audi’s Annual General Meeting in May, the company announced it was developing a sporty SUV with electric drive, which is to be launched in 2018. (Earlier post.)
Together with our South Korean development partners, we are bringing production of the latest battery‑cell technology to the EU and strengthening European industry with this key technology. The cell modules are to offer particularly high performance. This will allow us to supply a technological solution that makes electric cars even more attractive for our customers.—Dr. Bernd Martens, Member of the Board of Management of AUDI AG for Procurement
With our first battery‑electric Audi‑SUV, we are combining an emission‑free drive system with driving pleasure. We will optimally integrate the innovative cell modules developed with LG Chem and Samsung SDI into our vehicle architecture, thus achieving an attractive overall package of sportiness and range.—Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management of AUDI AG for Development
Audi parent the Volkswagen Group recently named LG as one if its first 44 FAST supplier partners. (Earlier post.)
And so the competition begins. We WILL have EVs.
Thank you Tesla for waking everyone up.
Posted by: DaveD | 13 August 2015 at 07:10 AM
Finally, a 500 Km extended range, mass produced BEV.
TESLA may have much more competition than expected from Germany (VW, BMW and Mercedes) Japan, So-Korea and China. Wouldn't be surprised to see Chinese EVs flood the world market place before 2020.
This is all good news for future affordable extended range electrified vehicles.
Posted by: HarveyD | 13 August 2015 at 08:13 AM
Better late than never. The rumor was Audi would have decided on a make or not make decision until after they got some evidence on how well the Model X would do. Either that rumor was wrong or Audi (read the VW group) do no longer feel comfortable about not being able to have anything that can compete with Tesla. Porsche tried to make a plug-in that could compete but they have failed only selling 3000 Panameras and Cayennes plug-ins for H1, 2015 versus Tesla selling 21500 Model S.
Frankly, I doubt Audi will be ready by 2018 with something that can compete with Model X. You normally need 5 to 6 years to develop a new model and unless Audi has already been working on a BEV SUV for a few years by now they will not be ready for 2018.
In any case Tesla should be without real competition from anyone until 2018 at the least. That is enough time for Tesla to get to the limit of how many Model S and Model X that they can find demand for globally. It will probably be around 120,000 cars per year combined. But who knows Tesla could sell more if they could lower the 70,000 USD entry price. That is going to happen as battery prices drops once that Giga factory is up and running.
But the writings is on the wall is clear. In ten years the market for luxury gassers will be completely gone and replaced by long-range BEVs.
Posted by: Account Deleted | 13 August 2015 at 09:23 AM
The performance figures are so similar that it had looked as though Audi had went with Panasonic's NCA chemistry for the 18650's in this car.
Whether this is NCA we don't know, but it seems at least possible that this is NMC chemistry, which may be more stable and have some better characteristics than NCA.
I am looking forward to seeing what they come up with.
Posted by: Davemart | 13 August 2015 at 10:17 AM
I was getting confused with their plans for the R8.
Presumably this is the Q8 E-Tron.
I have no idea what chemistry or format they intend.
Posted by: Davemart | 13 August 2015 at 10:21 AM
The 311-mile range is almost certainly on the very inflationary EU driving cycle. As EV's are more sensitive than IC engined vehicles to the average speed of the cycle, it's unlikely that this number is a good as what a Tesla S90D currently achieves. Model X numbers will certainly be worse than for the S, but the X90D may be as good or better than the Audi. In any case, if Musk is to believed, a 100 kWh or greater pack will likely be available in the S and X by 2018; he recently indicated he expected capacity to increase by 5 percent per year on average, though the new pack releases will not be done on an annual basis.
Posted by: rashomon | 13 August 2015 at 11:58 AM
Yup. Big thanks and much credit to Elon Musk and the Tesla Motors team for catalyzing Big Auto in earnest.
Posted by: Rutherford Gnarlybone | 13 August 2015 at 01:13 PM
Great news. But until they announce production numbers, we really don't know what this is.
Audi is on record as saying they won't leave Tesla alone in their segment, so hopefully Audi will market this car, in addition to building it.
Fascinated to find out what their plans are for a long-distance charging network. CHAdeMO at Audi dealers is not going to cut it.
Posted by: electric-car-insider.com | 13 August 2015 at 04:40 PM
(Plugshare shows 53 SAE Combo in NA, a few hundred CHAdeMO)
Posted by: electric-car-insider.com | 13 August 2015 at 04:47 PM
Clearly, Toyota has been hiding any real efforts the have in BEVs so they don't have to admit the H2 stuff is in trouble. But with GM and the Germans openly responding to Tesla now, they will have to react and go public on EVs within a year or so.
Posted by: DaveD | 13 August 2015 at 05:13 PM
Yes, all vehicle manufacturers will have to get on the EV bandwagon to survive.
Toyota will not have a choice, it will soon have to produce extended range EVs and compete with all the others. That's normal unavoidable evolution.
Posted by: HarveyD | 13 August 2015 at 05:44 PM
Yes, lighter, cheaper 100, 120 and 140+ KW battery packs are around the corner. They are required for 500+ Km extended range BEVs, specially in cold weather areas.
Posted by: HarveyD | 13 August 2015 at 05:47 PM
@Harvey, true...Toyota will have to respond.
Plus I wanted to rile Davemart up :)
Posted by: DaveD | 13 August 2015 at 07:14 PM
Sorry for playing the devils advocate. However, I am a pessimist for any significant plug-in development until after 2025. Apart from this Audi there is only one other confirmed 200+ miles BEV in development and that is the Bolt by GM. It will not be produced in volume and because it is not luxury and sells for at least 35k USD it will not be in high demand either. Nissan have vaguely said a longer range Leaf is coming but nothing about how long or when.
Battery prices are not falling fast enough for long-range BEVs to be popular among ordinary cars. We are at least looking at 2025 and beyond before long-range BEVs can be mass produced at prices that can compete with typical 25k USD gassers. However, the small global market for luxury performance cars is a different matter. Tesla has proven that they are able to make a luxury performance sedan that is better than any similar priced gasser. Tesla business plan for plug-ins is the only one that makes sense. Focus first on luxury performance cars and take that market away from the gassers globally. When that is done between 2020 and 2025 the battery prices will have fallen enough to go after lower cost vehicles. By 2025 everything changes because of the arrival of the first autonomous vehicles that can go anywhere a human can go and then some. That will turn the auto industry upside down because one autonomous car can operate as a taxi doing 100,000 miles per year and thus replacing 7 non-autonomous cars. Operated like that a gasser or a hydrogen car will wear out after 2 years but a BEV can last 10 years and thus be the lowest cost way to implement autonomous transportation for the masses.
My conclusion is that nothing important will happen in the auto industry until we get autonomous cars and only after that will BEVs for the masses be the least costly means of transportation. If I should finish by a positive statement it would be that almost none automakers are serious about making long-range BEVs but everyone are serious about making autonomous cars. That means this extremely important field is getting the attention and money it deserves and consequently the technology will be ready sooner rather than later. So at the latest by 2025.
Posted by: Account Deleted | 14 August 2015 at 05:33 AM
I would like to say that, Gasoline, and probably Diesel ICE, could easily do 100k a year... you just have to get the right application. I was looking at Fords 3cyl. and all the maint. items for it, and figured that it is quite possibly one of the cheapest ICEs to own long term >150K miles. Diesel gets a little iffier, the new DPFs and other emission devices could be a barrier to any real longevity.
I think that Hydrogen is more apt to benefit in autonomous taxi service as its already displacing battery forklifts. Time is money, uptime is a good thing. Batteries can take a while to recharge based on a lot of factors. (charge rate, number of cells, AC-DC converter, available infrastructure...)
The EV, has its limitation, the battery. Sure it may get better, but its a large part of the purchase price so you're stuck with it for the life of the vehicle. If the battery suffers from any malady it can significantly hurt the vehicles usefulness. Adding more cells and circuits to this already fragile ecosystem can add more problems. Battery packs are often as good as their worst performing cells. Batteries also have a lifespan/number of charges; each time it cycles some capacity is lost.
In 10 years of 100k mile/year service as a taxi, what will the range be on that originally 300mi range EV be? 100 miles? 200miles? 50miles? 25miles? Will the pack still accept a charge?
I honestly think that Autonomous taxi vehicles should be able to hit 300K miles a year. There shouldn't be a need for much downtime, even as an ICE. And yeah, I could see the need for an ICE engine to be replaced after 1 or 2 years of service like this... but it's really only $2K-3K if you have a small motor like a 3cyl. The shortblock may only be a few hundred dollars.
I do feel that BEV vehicles will be treated like cell phones/laptops... tossed aside after so many years because the battery life is diminished, unless we come up with after market solutions/modular designs(that's a grey area because its considered "emissions equipment" so if its changed, it would have to be certified). Laws would have to be changed, or overlooked. Nowadays they are usually overlooked.
I don't expect to see any BEVs bought this year on the road in 15 years, much less 20 years. I do expect to see todays sport cars, commuter vehicles, trucks and other vehicles on the roads; the same way I see all the vehicles from the early 90s still on the road today. I will omit tesla's Model S, I figure it will have a collector following such as a mustang owner or Camaro owner its more of a sports car than a green commuter(that and it has a sustainable battery pack and still might be useful after 225K miles). I don't see that working out too much for the focus E, or Leaf.
Having said all these negative things, I will admit that as cost/range performance parity is reached with ICE vehicles it will a great thing. I do think we will get there, but its still 10 years too soon at the very least. I am leaning to 2025 before we see real progress.
I'll continue to drive my 2002 vehicle for another 2 years, buy a 2017? fiesta 3 cyl. drive that for 15 years and probably will get a hydrogen or BEV (all depending on what is available).
Posted by: CheeseEater88 | 15 August 2015 at 12:41 PM
"I don't expect to see any BEVs bought this year on the road in 15 years, much less 20 years."
Tesla has stated that ModS owners should be able to drive 200,000 miles with their initial batteries. I assume that means 200k before the battery drops below 80% capacity.
You think ModSs with 150 mile ranges will be sent to the crusher? How about one with a 100 mile range?
How about a 20 year old Nissan Leaf with a replacement battery? Ideal vehicle for someone with a modest length commute and 'shallow' pockets.
Posted by: Bob Wallace | 18 August 2015 at 07:43 AM
Do they plan on making replacement batteries for the leaf? If they are anything but original they'd have to go through tons of certification... We'd probably have 4 generations of leafs by then, are you telling me they'd still support it, a model that sells at such a low volume and has little value for most people to hold on to so long? That to me doesn't make any sense. We'd have our sub $100/kwh batteries by then with 300mile+ range vehicles.
I said omitting the model S, but likely it would be a show car or crushed if it was around 100miles range and not P85D model.
Posted by: CheeseEater88 | 19 August 2015 at 11:09 AM
The new Karma claims 600+ Km range. This could mean a real 400 Km range in winter time? Getting close to what an ICEV replacement should do?
Posted by: HarveyD | 20 August 2015 at 11:35 AM
"Do they plan on making replacement batteries for the leaf? "
Do you mean a higher capacity drop-in? Nissan has already announced the price of a replacement battery but one based on current technology.
It's hard to say whether Nissan would manufacture a new tech battery for 2012 Leafs in 2032. It would depend on how easy it would be to pack current tech into a 2012 Leaf package. Most likely they'd use replacement batteries from their warehouse, which is where factory replacement engines come from.
Or there might be enough demand for an aftermarket company to build a replacement.
Posted by: Bob Wallace | 21 August 2015 at 10:31 AM
Usually they may only keep an inventory for 8-9years,that will keep them safe for warranty, maybe ten because of California. But its a very low volume model... After those 9 years everything will become aftermarket salvage/reman.
If it were selling like a corolla or something of that nature, there is a business sense to keep production of high demand parts. But still not 20 years worth.
I think we are 2 generations till we have market penetration for EVs, and 5 generations for mass adoption. Its that mass adoption point we'll see parts being upgraded and released for out of production models.
Posted by: CheeseEater88 | 21 August 2015 at 11:00 AM
Where are the WW Group 3X Density batteries rumored a few months ago. How can they be not used here ?
Posted by: Patrick Free | 27 August 2015 at 10:03 AM
Range of 311 miles instead of 80 to 90 miles is more than 3X?
Posted by: HarveyD | 27 August 2015 at 10:29 AM