By on December 18, 2018

Image: Audi

Customers won’t get a chance to buy an Audi E-tron SUV until next year, but, if money’s tight, they might want to hold off for a while. The German brand’s first electric utility vehicle (seen above) arrives in the second quarter of 2019, carrying a base price of $74,800 — at least once the launch editions clear out. More E-trons will follow, including a Sportback version of the SUV and a top-flight GT sports sedan.

Green, but still requiring plenty of green to plunk one in your driveway. Audi apparently has a solution for budget-minded premium EV shoppers, and it plans to make it happen with help from Volkswagen.

The MEB platform found beneath VW’s upcoming line of I.D.-badged electrics will set up shop beneath a new Audi SUV, Autocar reports.

The unnamed SUV will, naturally, be smaller in size than the E-tron, positioned between the overseas-only Q2 and familiar Q3 in terms of footprint. The model’s bound for a reveal in late 2019, the publication states, with a launch occuring the following year. Audi’s newest electric will likely bow as a 2021 model.

As one would expect, the little ute borrows design elements found on the larger E-tron. The model will appear with a similar shoulder line, grille and air intakes, according to Audi design boss Marc Lichte.

By borrowing VW’s architecture, Audi’s smallest EV could boast a pre-credit price as low as the high $30k range, which might not sound like a bargain for some. Audi’s two larger SUVs keep it in-house, using the brand’s modular longitudinal platform, while the upcoming GT is said to ride atop the bones used by the hard-to-pronounce Porsche Taycan.

Once here, the model will face competition from the Jaguar E-Pace in the fledgling (but poised to balloon) premium electric utility vehicle segment.

[Image: Audi]

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25 Comments on “A Cheaper Audi EV’s on the Way: Report...”


  • avatar
    ACCvsBig10

    Bring on 10 year auto leases

    • 0 avatar
      stingray65

      Might be a problem when the batteries crap out after 8 years.

      • 0 avatar
        FerrariLaFerrariFace

        People used to say the same thing about hybrids when they first came on the market. Batteries won’t last, and will be horribly expensive to replace. But that really hasn’t turned out to be the case.

      • 0 avatar
        kwong

        You mean IF they crap out after 8 years. I have 13 years on our 200K mile old NiMH that has had zero issues. Folks with zero experience with electrified cars warned that the battery would cost $15K to replace when they go bad. Local shops charge $900 for a reman or $3K for a brand new battery. So as time, technology, and scale progresses the cost seems to go down dramatically. I’m just not seeing electrified cars crapping out to nearly the scale that concerned folks project.

        Besides, your arbitrary 8 year expiration date isn’t so far off from the average life expectancy of modern cars (11 years/132K miles). On the other hand, if improved batteries are available for the car within an 8 year span perhaps folks would be interested in upgrading…I would if the price was right. Perhaps you “x” out the cost of the battery and folks lease them instead.

        • 0 avatar
          SCE to AUX

          Your hybrid NiMH operates in a happy zone between 25-75% charge, and it has very rugged chemistry. Any degradation it has experienced is made up in higher fuel consumption, small as the difference may be.

          Today’s lithium ion batteries are much lighter, with much higher volumetric energy density, and deep cycling them is bad ju-ju (Exhibit A: Nissan Leaf). *All* degradation is noticed over time.

          The 8-year warranty of EV batteries makes no guarantees for range, but it is unlikely they will be non-functional by then. Degradation depends on many factors, including mfr. Tesla’s batteries are the best to date, for many reasons.

          It remains to be seen how VW’s batteries will fare, but they have likely learned many lessons from others along the way.

          • 0 avatar
            MBella

            All batteries are kept in their sweet spot, approximately 20%-80%. You never have a full charge, and fully discharged actually isn’t. This isn’t even exclusive to the world of cars. Even the phone I’m typing this on works that way.

          • 0 avatar

            SCE, don’t judge most EV batteries by the original LEAF batteries and their problems. They had minimal battery cooling and management and pushed the capacity to the max. Most other manufacturers do a better job.

            GM uses liquid cooling for their batteries and their 0-100% charge is actually using something like that “happy zone” that you mention. Volts have proven to have very few battery problems and some have gotten over 300K miles on a battery pack.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Weird choice. I imagine this shape will appeal to urbanites. But they don’t have anywhere to charge.

    Model 3 is a sedan and is selling like milk/egg/breads. IMO Audi or VW should bring the e-tron GT’s beauty to the masses. A Jetta sized fastback with ~250HP and ~250 miles of range for ~$40-50K would be a killer.

    • 0 avatar
      nels0300

      “to the masses…$40-$50K..”

      I want my next car to be electric, but they’re going to have to get cheaper than they are now.

      Let me know when there is something equivalent to my 2017 Elantra Sport for $20K, but with an electric drivetrain, and I’m there.

      I don’t know why they’re not there yet being that my Elantra Sport is much more complicated and probably has ten times the mechanical parts as a Tesla Model 3.

      It’s like comparing quartz watches vs automatics. The automatics are more complicated, more finicky, more expensive, and not as accurate.

      • 0 avatar
        kwong

        My used. We bought our 24K mile old Fiat 500e for $7,300 out the door and have saved over $4K on gasoline over the last 2 years. I would imagine a used Konai/Niro would be about $15K in 3 years.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        MSRP is just one piece of the puzzle. An electric car would be about $1000 less a year to fuel, and be much cheaper to maintain. So I would say a ~$30K electric car would be financially equivalent to your Elantra over ~5 years; especially if gas prices spike again.

        • 0 avatar
          nels0300

          Yeah, the fuel cost savings definitely offset the price difference, but there really isn’t any maintenance on the Elantra in the first 5 years besides oil changes which are cheap.

          Wipers, brakes, tires, etc will obviously still be needed on the electric car.

          I still think there should be a lot of room for prices to come down.

          Electric cars should be cheaper than ICE cars. Easier to manufacture, easier to engineer, much less complicated.

          How many people did Hyundai have to pay to develop the 2.0L Atkinson cycle engine, the 1.6L GDI turbo, the 6 speed hydraulic automatic, the 7 speed DCT, the 6 speed manual, the cooling systems for all of those options…..

          ….or they could just have two different battery capacities and / or electric motors.

          Electric cars should already be cheaper than ICE.

          • 0 avatar
            jkross22

            Eventually electrics should be cheaper unless there’s a badge to pay for. And until there’s wider adoption, carmakers will have to charge (ha) more to recoup development and engineering costs.

            Just don’t forget to plug in every night until wireless charging is available.

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            Well $200/kWh is what it is… so for the ~65kWh pack that seems to be the standard you’re talking about $13K. Then you still have the motor, differential and all the associated electronics and wiring. I wouldn’t be shocked (ha ha) if a basic EV powertrain cost $20K w/no car attached.

            The 1.6T and 7DCT were developed long ago so outside of tweaks their development cost is done. A brand new 1.6T costs about $3400, I imagine the transmission may be $2000… even if you bundle in all the peripherals and accessories I doubt you’d crest $10K, and that’s with dealer markup. So EVs have a long way to go to close the gap. Even if battery prices drop by half they will still have a slight premium as the motor and electronics will remain flat.

          • 0 avatar
            nels0300

            R&D is amortized as intangible assets and the cost is amortized over the period of time that the R&D produces revenue….so Hyundai is still paying for this on their P&L.

            The batteries wouldn’t be so expensive if automakers focused on developing them.

            Tesla started from scratch, built their own supercharger infrastructure that everyone said was too hard to do, and now they’re challenging established automakers in sales while Elon smokes joints on TV.

            EVs weren’t a priority for the big automakers, if they were, batteries would be a lot cheaper and we’d have a much more complete charging station network.

            They can do it, they just didn’t.

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            Well manufacturers are focusing on them now. It takes time.

          • 0 avatar
            Whatnext

            Yup, and without all those moving pats they should be a lot more reliable and require a lot less servicing.

      • 0 avatar
        Tummy

        Re: Nels0300
        “I want my next car to be electric, but they’re going to have to get cheaper than they are now.

        Let me know when there is something equivalent to my 2017 Elantra Sport for $20K, but with an electric drivetrain, and I’m there.”

        Hyundai Ioniq EV starts at $29k. There is at least a $7,500 federal tax incentive and up to $5,000 state incentives depending where you live.

        Hyundai Kona EV starts around $36k before incentives with about 250 miles of range. They are also coming out with the Niro and it will have about 300 miles of range for a similar price in 2019. There are many videos on youtube reviewing these cars.

        • 0 avatar
          nels0300

          $36K, $29K, that’s still quite a bit more than comparable gas engine equipped cars, and it’s only because of the tax credits that they’re remotely close in price.

          Give me something Elantra sized, not subcompact, full EV, for ~$25K *before* any subsidies. I know, I’ll probably be waiting a while.

          • 0 avatar
            Tummy

            The Ioniq sits on the same 106.3-inch wheelbase as the Elantra and and shares a good portion of the Elantra’s chassis componentry. I would say it’s practically the same car.

            The average selling price of new cars $36k now. Full size pickup average is $48k. So there is little incentive for manufacturers to make $20k cars.

            It always takes about 10 years before any new technology trickles down into regular cars. Leaf and Tesla Model S came out around 2011/2012 so we’re looking at only a few more years. Full EV will probably be a bit longer than 10 years since it’s such a change, but we’re getting there.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      @sportyaccordy: Check out this EV. Who knows if it will actually make to production, but damn, this one is a stunner:

      https://electrek.co/2018/12/14/mustang-tesla-aviar-motors-electric-muscle-car/

  • avatar
    nels0300

    Seriously, a guy who smokes joints on podcasts and can’t control himself on Twitter started an EV car company from scratch, and is now challenging companies who literally had a HUNDRED YEAR head start.

    GM, Ford, VW, Toyota, etc. have NO EXCUSE.

    Imagine VW, with basically unlimited resources compared to Tesla, had started their EV initiative 15 years ago instead of being bogged down by their idiotic clean diesel shit storm.


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