This new e-tron long-distance test is proof.
The name of the game for electric vehicles is range. This is most people's greatest concern, and rightly so. Nobody wants to get stuck somewhere in the middle of nowhere with depleted batteries. Charging stations are nowhere near as abundant as regular gasoline and diesel fill-up spots, but automakers such as Tesla and the Volkswagen Group are working on that. In the meantime, EV buyers have to rely upon powerful batteries to provide proper road performance and go the distance while doing so.
Audi wanted to prove both with a long-distance road test featuring its all-new e-tron SUV. The goal? Ten European countries in 24 hours. The distance? Just over 994 miles from Lake Bled in Slovenia to Amsterdam in the Netherlands. The three-vehicle convoy traveled through Austria, Italy, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, France, Germany, Luxembourg, and Belgium.
The new e-tron, which is on sale now, reaches 80 percent of its power capacity in less than 30 minutes thanks to direct-current charging at high-power charging stations as well as the vehicles' 150 kWh fast-charging capability. A total of seven charging stops were required. These stations also happen to be integrated into Audi's proprietary charging service that covers 100,000 charging points in 19 EU countries.
Audi also emphasizes that the number of stations will continue to grow. E-tron customers only need a single card to begin the charging process at any of these charging points. Owners register only once on the myAudi portal with their preferred billing information and that's it. Automatic billing is done via the customer's account. No cash necessary.
"Our electric SUV is an excellent long-distance car because it perfectly combines a high degree of ride comfort, performance and efficiency," said Hans-Joachim Rothenpieler, Audi Board of Management Member for Technical Development.
Like any Audi, the e-tron is also a fully-fledged luxury vehicle with features such as leather seats with massage function, an ionizer for first-class air quality, and ambient lighting. Combined with plenty of interior space, the new Audi e-tron SUV is, without question, the biggest threat yet to the Tesla Model X.