When it comes to electric vehicles, Tesla Motors tends to suck all of the oxygen out of the room. The company first dazzled us with the two-seat all-electric Roadster, then followed up with the gorgeous Model S. The company is just weeks away from delivering the first Model X crossovers to paying customers and is just a little over a year away from unveiling its “affordable” Model III electric sedan.
In the grand scheme of things, however, Tesla is just a tiny player compared to some of the well-entrenched automakers around the globe. One such powerhouse is the Volkswagen Group, and more specifically, its Audi division. Audi announced this week that it has partnered with LG Chem and Samsung SDI to delivery battery modules for its upcoming all-electric crossover vehicle.
“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,” remarked Audi AG board member Dr. Bernd Martens. “With our first battery‑electric Audi‑SUV, we are combining an emission‑free drive system with driving pleasure,” added Audi AG Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, who is a Member of the Board of Management for Development.
Audi says that its all-electric crossover will be capable of traveling 500km (310 miles on a single charge) thanks to its battery partnership with the South Korean battery makers. For comparison, the Model S offers a driving range of up to 270 miles in 85D trim (85 kWh battery). A new 90 kWh battery option extends the range by 6 percent, which should take total driving range to 286 miles. The Model X, which would be more comparable to Audi’s EV crossover, would like have similar (if not slightly lower given its likely additional weight) mileage compared to the Model S.
We’ll likely learn more details on the supposed Q6 e-tron at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show in September, while the actual production rollout is likely at least a year away or more. In the mean time, the 2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron will be arriving stateside in October. This plug-in hybrid pairs a 1.4-liter TFSI four-cylinder engine with an electric motor with a 102hp three-phase AC electric motor. Combined power for the two engines is pegged at 204hp and is enough to propel the vehicle to 60mph in 7.6 seconds. EPA numbers, including all-electric driving range, will be released closer to the vehicle’s launch.