Owning an Audi e-tron is fantastic but the biggest worry any EV owner has is range anxiety. The real range differs from the advertised range. Let’s look at why that might be.
The Audi e-tron mileage range is from 232 miles – 300 miles depending on the model you have according to Audi, but the real range can be considerably lower depending on your driving style, climate, and how many extras are on your car.
In this article, we’ll look at what factors affect the range and how you can extend it.
Audi e-tron Range
The Audi e-tron is available in Q4, Q8, and GT models. Each has a different specification and range distance and also the price varies significantly.
|Model||Range (Audi)||Starting Price|
The range stated above is the Audi factory range but we know in the real world the actual range can be quite different, and unfortunately much lower. Many factors can affect how your range is calculated, such as:
- Driving Style
- Use of AC/ heating
- Extras on your car
- Apps and auxiliary items
We’ll look at these individually.
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How Climate Affects Your Range
The Audi e-tron (and most EVs) are powered by Lithium Ion battery cells. Chemical reactions occur to make each cell work and power your vehicle.
In cold weather, this reaction is slowed and reduces the amount of power available to you thus reducing the range of your car.
But we must also consider that an EV differs from an ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) in how it heats your car. An ICE car uses residual heat from the engine to warm the interior of your car. An EV doesn’t have this extra heat and so needs to redirect some battery power to heat the cabin and so also reduces the range of the high voltage battery.
The Audi e-tron range is reduced by approximately 8-10% in a zero-degree climate. Prior to 2021, a winter package was available on models, which included heated seats and steering wheel, heated windscreen jets and adaptive wipers, and preconditioning for the high voltage battery. Some of these features are now standard but some are not available, and I wonder if is it because they were draining so much of the battery and ultimately the range.
Preconditioning should always be done through the wall charger and not the high-voltage battery as the range reduction is too high, and you haven’t even left for your commute yet.
How Driving Style Affects Your Range
The way you drive your e-tron can also reduce the range of your car. Steady driving will maintain a steady range reduction. If you are driving fast, then it makes sense you are using more energy. Although the highway speed is 65-70 mph, driving at 60 mph consistently will conserve energy in your battery and therefore extend the range.
But if you are driving in Stop-Go traffic, you are constantly accelerating and braking, which with a larger battery such as the e-tron, will cause the range to drop much quicker than a smaller battery.
If you have a heavy foot, this will hugely impact the range of your e-tron. To achieve the optimum range smooth acceleration and braking are required.
How Does the Use of AC/ Heating Affect Range
The use of AC and heating will reduce your battery range. Where you live and the general climate is definitely a factor but that doesn’t mean you can’t own an EV in a very cold climate. Norway has one of the highest EV ownership, with 79% of all Norwegian cars sold in 2022 being an EV or PHEV.
It just means you need to be aware that your range will drop more rapidly than normal if you have your heating on (or AC) for long periods of time.
The initial dash range will drop by 25-30% but will readjust as time goes on to approximately 15-20% reduction. This is still quite the loss for the sake of being ambiently cold or warm.
It’s better to preset the temperature to a certain degree to maximize the most of your range.
Preconditioning your e-tron is also a battery guzzler. Preheating can use 8%+ of a charge. It’s better to use the power from a charger, (wall) to precondition before you leave the house rather than the power from the battery.
How Do Extras on your e-tron Affect Range?
Weight is also a factor in your range. The Audi e-tron is one of the heaviest EVs on the market, at approximately 5500 lbs compared to the Tesla 3 at 3552 lbs. There’s no denying it’s a larger car, with more space, but the high-voltage battery is also heavier.
A heavier car means more work for the batteries in order to power the car to move, which in turn reduces the range of the car.
But when you then add extras to the car, such as roof boxes or bike racks this reduces the range even further.
The more aerodynamic your roof box is the less range reduction there will be. But the extra weight could be a range reduction of 10-15 miles in every 100 miles traveled.
The same can be said for a bike rack on the rear of the car. However, if you have bikes on the roof, the range reduction will be very significant as the aerodynamics are reduced and the e-tron is fighting against it.
How Do Apps and Auxiliary Items Affect Range?
Other items that can affect the range are things that are running in your car. Well, what’s the point in having extras if you can’t use them right? Well yes, and if you have plenty of range and aren’t traveling very far then no it doesn’t matter what you have running.
On the other hand, if you’re doing a long journey and aren’t fully sure of the charge points along the way, it might be a good idea to limit any auxiliary items, for example, turn the heated seats off (especially in the rear) and limit apps on your info screen. The more devices you have plugged in the more drain that is on the battery.
Ways to Extend the e-tron Battery Range
There’s nothing worse than range anxiety, and if you can’t quite believe the range shown this is exacerbated further. But there are ways that you can extend or at least preserve some of your range, according to Audi. They are:
- Efficiency Driving Mode
- Maintain the vehicle
Audi Efficiency Driving Mode
As it suggests, the Efficiency Driving Mode is designed to make the most of your battery. There are six modes in your e-tron: auto, comfort, all-road, dynamic, off-road, and efficiency.
Each adjusts the suspension to suit the driving mode. By reducing the drag on the suspension the car becomes more energy efficient and therefore uses less range than if you were in dynamic mode.
As I mentioned already, preconditioning your e-tron can drastically reduce your range by up to 8%. But if you utilize the energy from the wall charger instead, this will preserve the high-voltage battery.
Maintaining your e-tron
Maintaining your e-tron’s service schedule will keep your battery in good shape. This includes your tires and tire pressure. The weight of your e-tron will wear your tires 20% quicker than an ICE (Internal Combustion Engine). Maintaining the correct pressure is very important so they wear evenly.
Reduced tire pressure (even by a couple of PSI) can make a difference in rolling resistance – the energy required to maintain a certain speed over a particular surface. The higher the rolling resistance the lower the tire efficiency and the lower your range.
Removing any extras on your e-tron will also improve your range. Items such as roof boxes, bike racks, and any excess weight in the trunk will reduce the range. If you’re not using the items they are better off in your garage. The lighter your e-tron the better your range and the lower your range anxiety will be.
I’ve written other articles on common Audi issues, which you hopefully won’t ever experience, but if you do, we have you covered with these posts:
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