The Audi e-tron is the luxury brand's first all electric vehicle. It comes in both an SUV and crossover body type and is equipped with Audi's signature engineering and reliability. Although faulted for its limited range and low efficiency, drivers love the comfortable, quiet ride that doesn't compromise on luxury. The lack of efficiency is compensated by strong acceleration and a lot of power.
The first e-tron was released in 2019, after a decade of Audi hybrids had been on the market. In 2020, Audi released the e-tron Sportback which has a redesigned body shape and unlocked slightly more of the 95 kWh battery pack, increasing the range by 14 miles. Otherwise, the two share the same mechanical and technical specifications.
A 2022 update promises to address the range and offer a wider range of options for EV shoppers. New additions to the lineup include a three-motor "S" version, an entry level version with smaller battery pack and lower price point, and a performance GT version at the top of the line. Both SUV and Sportback body types will be available as the car model becomes a brand nameplate.
As of November 2021, a software update was released for 2019 and 2020 e-trons that adds an additional 12 miles of range. The update modifies the cooling system and battery settings to use less energy and allow the added range.
There are three trims available for both the e-tron and the Sportback. The Edition One, however, was a limited release for the 2019 model year. All trims are available with optional tow package that has up to 4,000 lbs. of towing capability, and winter heating package. The latter includes battery preconditioning which is recommended for cold climates.
The Premium Plus trim is the base level but comes with tons of luxury appointments, such as heated and cooled seats, a premium Bang & Olufsen sound system, leather interior, and a sunroof. Safety features come standard including adaptive cruise control, rear and forward collision alerts, and a top down camera for parking assistance.
The Prestige trim has additional luxury touches such as a heads up display, massage seats, and interior LED lighting. It also includes advanced safety features such as lane and intersection assistance and a traffic sign recognition tool.
The Edition One was a limited trim for the 2019 model year and offered special paint colors, bumper design, and stitching.
In 2021, Audi added a lower priced entry trim called the Premium, which has trimmed down features from the Premium Plus and has an optional convenience package which is an add-on to include the safety and driver assist system.
The Audi e-tron is an all-electric vehicle, running solely on power provided by a high voltage lithium ion battery. It has zero tailpipe emissions. Although it is still a fairly new car, the lithium ion batteries in the e-tron should have similar properties to other, better known formulations.
Range is how many miles a car can go when fully charged. Like with an ICE car, factors like outside temperature, driving conditions, and driving style can affect the efficiency and energy needs of the car. Battery powered cars are most efficient when the temperature is warm, terrain is flat or downhill, and the car can use its regenerative braking feature to recharge the battery. So, while the EPA rates vehicles with a single "range," this number is really an estimate under a set of highly controlled conditions. Short term range changes tend to reflect external factors, while permanent range effects point to vehicle degradation and age.
Read more about how temperature affects range.
The Audi e-tron has only been on the road since 2019 so there is limited understanding of how the range changes with time. However, we know that most EVs hold their charge very well and that batteries are warrantied against capacity loss for 8 years or 100,000 miles.
In the Recurrent data set, we track the maximum achievable range at 100% charge for vehicles in different locations and conditions. We have seen e-trons with a maximum range as low as 88 miles and as high as 279 miles. However, most used ranges fall between 163 miles and 236 miles - largely centered around the e-tron's original range.
The main ways to measure vehicle efficiency, or energy use per distance traveled, are MPGe and miles/kWh. You may see these values on new car stickers or on dealer listings. The MPGe for the e-tron is between 74 and 78 MPGe. This translates to 2.17 - 2.32 miles per kWh. These values are below average for most EVs, which is expected given the e-tron's focus on performance over economy. Some industry experts have suggested that the e-tron's efficiency is low because designers have prioritized battery life over capacity, meaning that more of the battery is held in reserve to be used strategically when the battery starts to age.
The Sportback version has slightly lower efficiency than the standard e-tron.
Our community of Audi e-tron drivers give their car a Charging Score of 4.15/5, meaning that most drivers are somewhat satisfied with their charging experience. The e-tron has a pretty large battery and it can take a while to charge: on a standard, household 120V plug it will take several days to full charge. The e-tron is known for having a pretty fast on-board charger, so with a Level 2 (240 V) charger, it can recharge in nine hours. In 2021, Audi added an optional 22 kW charger, which is industry-leading and brings charge times to around five hours. While many home chargers are not yet compatible with a 22 kW on-board charger, these speeds can often be found at public Level 2 chargers.
The e-tron is also compatible with DC fast charging at speeds up to 150 kW. This translates to an 80% charge in around 30 minutes.
The e-tron uses lithium ion batteries - a power dense, high voltage technology that works well for storing a lot of energy. Although the lithium ion batteries in an EV are much stronger and more durable than those in your phone or laptop, they will still start to lose power and capacity with age and use. Battery degradation happens because of two things:
a) the age of the battery (also known as 'calendar' aging)
b) how the battery is used, charged, and stored
Calendar aging is inevitable - it starts the moment a battery is made. However, there are things that can cause a battery to degrade faster. The way an EV is charged and stored will impact the rate of battery degradation, so there are ways for an EV owners to slow the process. This discussion is covered in a research article on battery degradation.
The battery size, or battery capacity, is measured in kWh. All Audi e-trons have a 95 kWh battery, which is large for an EV. Most manufacturers design their batteries to hold some percentage of capacity in reserve in order to protect the life of the high voltage battery. In 2020, Audi redesigned auxiliary systems to allow the car to access more of the battery capacity, giving the vehicle a slight bump in range.
In late 2021, Audi also released a software update that increases the efficiency of cooling systems and battery settings, allowing more of the battery to be used for range. This update should add around 12 miles of range to all 2019 and 2020 e-trons.
Audi offers an 8 year, 100,000 mile warranty against defaults or extreme degradation in the high voltage battery. The warranty is transferable to new owners, and additional warranties are available from Audi for used vehicles, although the battery is often not covered under supplementary policies.
This page shares e-tron data collected from 138 drivers across the United States. Each of the 843 thousand miles driven helps to draw a picture of the driver experience. We polled our community to find out what they love and what they could leave with their vehicles.
Most liked features:
"The e-tron has the features of a luxury car that don't make driving green a sacrifice.
"It cradles me in comfort and drives like a dream"
"43min 1-100% charge on 150kW DC charger"
Room to improve:
"Lack of range for trips, lack of charging locations makes it nearly impossible to take trips in the Northeast US. The Audi mobile app is horrendous. The app is so unreliable I rarely use it."
"Software glitches and maintenance. The maintenance schedule seems overboard for an EV. Having to take it for a scheduled service every 10,000 miles is just a way for Audi to keep their dealers happy."
"The connectivity to the Audi to do things such as precondition the car unlock the doors check charge etc only works 10% of the time. This is unacceptable can’t even warm up my car before leaving for work."
The Green Score for the e-tron is GREAT. Like other battery electric vehicles, it has no tailpipe emissions. It also has the benefit of coming from a factory that is certified net zero emissions, which means that all carbon emissions created during the manufacturing process are offset by carbon credit purchases.
If driving electric isn't environmentally friendly enough for you, you can lower your impact by buying used and avoiding the production and shipment of a brand new car. Finally, you can really up your green game by powering your EV with renewable energy for the ultimate clean machine.
Although there are plenty of luxury and sports car configurations available for Audi's first EV, the entry level MSRP for the 2021 Audi e-tron was around $65,900 before federal tax incentives. The highest trim level brings the price up to $79,100. This pricing makes it competitive with a range of highly-regarded EVs, including the new VW ID.4 and the Tesla Model Y. The Sportback pricing starts a bit higher than the e-tron.
Since the e-tron is not that old, used prices are not that much lower than new. For instance, most used e-tron fall between $63 and $87K, meaning that many are actually above the lowest priced new e-tron. In 2022, Audi is releasing a lower priced entry model to the line, the Q4 e-tron. It will have a slightly smaller battery and start at $44,995, which is priced far below any used model.
However, Audi will also be releasing a performance "GT" e-tron, starting at $102K.
Cost per range mile is one way to look at the value of an EV across different makes and models. It helps a shopper understand how much of the purchase price is really going towards range, as opposed to amenities, comfort, or brand name. The e-tron has a cost per range mile of $350 to $420.
Recurrent uses data from the AFDC to determine the range of annual charging costs for the e-tron. The highest electricity price we use is in Hawaii and the lowest in Louisiana. We assume an average driving pattern of 34 miles a day, 5 days a week, 49 weeks a year with 25% highway driving, plus a few additional highway road trips. For a 2020 Audi e-tron sports back, this puts the annual charging costs between $508 - $1590. More detailed and personalized values can be calculated at the link above.