Do you agree with Audi's prediction about electric car ranges?
The Audi e-tron GT arrived last week as the German automaker's answer to the Tesla Model S. With stunning styling inspired by the gorgeous concept, the e-tron GT is arguably one of the best-looking electric cars yet, while the performance of the range-topping RS e-tron GT is faster than the Audi R8.
But there's one area where the e-tron GT falls significantly short compared to the Model S: range. Audi estimates the e-tron GT's 93-kilowatt-hour battery pack will provide 238 miles in the standard e-tron GT and 232 miles in the high-performance RS e-tron GT based on the EPA cycle. Tesla has a huge advantage here, as the Model S Plaid+ will allegedly offer over 520 miles of range.
In an interview with CNET Roadshow, Audi CEO Markus Duesmann admits Tesla has an advantage over Audi when it comes to range. "Much of the industry started with much smaller batteries," he said. "Tesla started with huge batteries, and we see how important range is for our customers. That's why we've invested in more range. From now on you will only see purpose-built cars, so you have more space to put a big battery."
While many automakers are striving to reduce range anxiety to attract more buyers, Duesmann believes future EVs will offer less range instead of more. "Putting huge batteries for thousands of kilometers, I'm not sure that this is a trend that will go on," he said.
"Later on they will go down because charging infrastructure is denser and also the experience of customers." It's a bold prediction, but it makes sense as infrastructure continues to improve and charge times get faster.
However, Duesmann also admitted it will take time for customers to transition from combustion engines to EVs. "Today you go to the gas station and get your fuel and its very natural how you get your energy for driving, he said. "With electric cars it's not that natural, you have to adjust your behavior a bit. But once you're used to that I think battery sizes will go down again." Smaller batteries will also make electric cars smaller, lighter, and cheaper in contrast to current EVs that are "unnecessarily heavy, expensive, and big" according to Duesmann.