The 2021 Audi E-Tron, the company’s first all-electric car, costs nearly $ 9,000 less than the current version and gets a range of 18 miles – bringing the EPA’s estimated range to 222 miles on a full battery pack.
The starting recommended price drops thanks to a new basic version of the E-Tron SUV that now starts at $ 65,900, which is $ 8,900 lower than its current price tag of $ 74,800. There are, of course, some sacrifices. The company’s “Matrix” LED headlamps (which are not available in the US to begin with) are not included with the base model, nor is the Bang & Olufsen sound system. Audi will sell more fully loaded versions of the 2021 E-Tron starting at $ 79,100.
The improvement of the E-Tron’s range comes from adjustments and optimizations, such as making it possible to occasionally switch off the electric motor on the front axle when it is not needed to save energy. Audi also gives the 2021 E-Tron access to more of the total capacity of the 95 kWh battery pack. The new version of the electric SUV has a total usable capacity of 86.5 kWh, an increase of 83.6 kWh. (Car manufacturers typically limit the usable capacity of the batteries in electric cars to reduce deterioration over the life of the car.)
Those changes cause the new EPA range to rise from 204 miles to 222 miles. While that’s far from the numbers Tesla achieves today – the latest Model S sedans can travel 402 miles on a fully charged battery, which has a total capacity of 100kWh – all improvements to electric vehicle range are welcome, and fortunately they ‘become a common phenomenon. For example, in late 2019, Jaguar announced a similar bump as the range of the I-Pace, moving the total from 234 miles to 246 miles. Even the Chevy Bolt reached 21 miles range last year during a model year jump.
Audi has two smaller, cheaper Q4 versions of the E-Tron coming up next year, which will be powered by the modular electric vehicle platform of parent company Volkswagen. Designed from the ground up to power the many upcoming electric cars of the Volkswagen group, the platform should provide better range and performance at a lower cost.