As carmakers pursue longer ranges for their electric vehicles, bigger batteries are any easy solution—but higher density can keep weight down
The Ingolstadt luxury car maker will carry over its existing 89kWh-usable battery pack for entry-level Q8 E-tron models, while adding a new 106kWh-usable large pack that is four percent heavier despite its 19 percent uplift in energy storage capacity.
Meanwhile, the outgoing pre-facelift E-tron model’s 71kWh entry-level battery will be scrapped.
In Australia, it is likely that the majority of the Q8 E-tron range, including the SQ8 E-tron that is a facelift of today’s E-tron S sports SUV, will use the 106kWh pack.
Carter Balkcom, Audi Germany’s Q8 E-tron product marketing manager, said that the brand had worked hard to keep weight down as much as possible.
“We’ve taken measures to offset weight growth, so our underbody protection structure is made out of a new material which saves seven kilograms,” he said.
Audi says that it has been able to gain between 30 and 40 percent more range with the 106kWh battery pack than the previous 89kWh model, with the Q8 E-tron now able to travel up to 600km (WLTP).
“Customers really benefit from the 20 (kilograms). They get a lot for the few extra kilograms,” Balkcom continued.
While 20kg matters little in a vehicle that weighs about 2610kg unladen, the pursuit of batteries with a high concentrated density within the same space within the chassis – along with a focus on energy efficiency – will assist drivers to travel further on a single charge.
Audi recently renamed its E-Tron SUV to the Audi Q8 E-Tron. The model with upgraded batteries can produce up to 370kW/973Nm in top 55 trim.
Pricing for the Q8 E-tron is yet to be confirmed, however the model is expected in Australia in 2023.
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