The e-tron’s Secret Weapons

Audi has revealed the battery and charging tech it believes will set new EV apart

Audi has sparked its e-tron all-electric SUV into life by revealing further technical details about its battery and charging system ahead of its launch in August.

The e-tron was electrified last week at a Siemens engineering centre in Berlin, where a dramatic 500,000 volt spark was discharged from an ‘impulse generator’ – a piece of lab equipment more normally used to test heavy-duty electrical switchgear.

Audi stressed that the two-second high-voltage impulse of electrical energy was not part of a standard testing programme, more a symbolic stunt to demonstrate its first long-range battery electric vehicle jumping into life.

More significantly, Audi confirmed for production a two-motor layout – one per axle – and a departure from the concept’s two-rear, one-front motor set-up.

The production battery will be 95kWh, using pouch-type cells supplied either by LG Chem or Samsung.

Audi claims the e-tron will be “the first car on the market that can charge at up to 150kW”. Tesla superchargers are rated at 145kW, and a maximum of 120kW per car at a two-berth charger.

The 150kW figure is half of what Audi announced in 2015 at the launch of the e-tron concept. However, charging at 800V/300kW is a future development, said the firm.

JULIAN RENDELL