There are a lot of things to love about the Audi A3e-tron which got a price tag this week. Chief among them is the car’s beautiful looks and almost reasonable $37,500 starting price tag. Unfortunately for the EV enthusiasts amongst us, it has a relatively small battery, unless you are comparing the Prius PHEV. Audi says the 8.8kW hour battery will take the etron around 15-20 miles on a charge (subject to tuning and final EPA testing). That’s not even a tenth of the range of the Tesla Model S and that makes sense since the battery is a tenth of the size.
Audi is also a little ambiguous about when the electric will kick in saying that the ICE will be required to help for high powered situations.
As the owner of a Prius plug-in, this sounds very familiar and it s a big turn off. The ICE ticks on all the time and it is hard to make it a few miles without gas. Hopefully Audi’s controls are a little better.
So for now, think of this as a A3-priced A3 with 17 miles of electric tacked on with a whole lot of powertrain complexity that comes with it.
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You hit the nail on the head. As soon as I saw the graphic of the powertrain…man – that is overly complex. It’s just so unnecessary. I love Audi, don’t get me wrong, but what a terrible way to go about it. There’s nothing quite like seeing the Tesla powertrain in the store – a thing of real beauty and simplicity
You can’t get a lot of power out of (an into) a small battery. That’s why the ICE has to kick in, and that’s also why some PHEV takes more time than expected to recharge.
About your title, I don’t think you really mean a 8.8 kW battery. It’s not conceptually wrong, but the engine would have to be on almost all the time. 😉
Daniel Steinberg: you don’t get to see everything when you look at the Tesla “showroom chassis”; there are pumps, compressors, and all sort of ugly things if you look inside a real Model S.
Totally! Though once you’re sitting in the finished car and you have not only a ton more space in the cabin (e.g. – no big center console) but also the entire frunk, it almost feels like night and day.
Not quite an apples-to-oranges comparison, but I have an electric skateboard that goes 12 – 16 miles on a charge…and it’s not one of the ones that has a giant box hanging off the bottom. The battery’s built into the deck. Sort of crazy they couldn’t get any more range out of this car.