Despite being rumored for several months now, it appears that Audi has pulled the plug on its R8 e-tron.
Although it’s been rumored for months now, UK publication Autocar has just confirmed that Audi has no plans to launch a production version of its all-electric R8 e-tron. Several working prototypes of the high-performance EV have already been built, but Audi sources told Autocar those units will simply "be used exclusively for internal testing and development only." There are a number of possible reasons as to why Audi has canceled the R8 e-tron, including lack of demand, but it may come down to battery technology.
The progression of battery technology just hasn’t advanced at the pace it was expected to when development on the project began a few years ago. Limited range and long charging times are apparently the two key areas that haven’t been resolved at a level sufficient enough to satisfy owners, leaving prospective owners weary of getting on board. Those factors haven't deterred rival Mercedes-Benz from electrifying the SLS AMG into the SLS Electric Drive, or BMW from proceeding with its upcoming hybrid i8 sportscar, but Audi has apparently arrived at different conclusions.
The cancellation of this electrified supercar does not necessarily mean the German automaker will give up entirely on EVs, stating that, "Through the R8 e-tron, Audi has acquired extensive expertise that will benefit its electrified production models." The R8 e-tron was impressive in terms of performance, capable of going from 0-62 mph in 4.2 seconds and an electronically-limited top speed of 124 mph. It was powered by a lithium-ion battery and two electric motors, but even in good road and weather conditions, the R8 e-tron only had a range of 133.59 miles before its juice ran out.