Ten countries in 24 hours: a bet won by the Audi e-tron, to prove that electric cars are ready for long journeys.
The e-tron’s journey through Europe
The range indicator in the Audi e-tron says that only 70 kilometres are left, and it is time to charge the battery. Behind the wheel is Johannes Eckstein, the Audi expert who is accompanying nine journalists attempting to drive through ten European countries in 24 hours, from Amsterdam to Lake Bled (Slovenia), driving the full electric SUV.
It is a stress-free trip: the Audi e-tron has a range of over 400 km, and the itinerary has been chosen to take into account the distribution of charging points. All very laborious? Not at all! All they had to do was to use the e-tron route planner function, included in the myAudi app, and the e-tron Charging Service maps. The result? A total of seven charging stops. “We deliberately chose somewhat longer distances to showcase the use of an efficient driving style”, explained Eckstein.
“Filling up” with electricity
Translated into practice, this means adapting one’s driving style to the specific situations, without wasting energy, and thus reducing the number of charging stops required. But even if the driver does not plan the journey so painstakingly, they can simply keep an eye on the Audi virtual cockpit, which provides constant information on the remaining charge and directions to the nearest charging point.
In this case, it is a charging station in the IONITY network, with chargers that can provide up to 150 kW of power, making the operation extremely fast. “Filling up” an electric car is a different experience than refuelling a traditional vehicle. After parking the Audi e-tron, Eckstein unlocks the charging station with an RFID card, however he could have done it by scanning a QR code with his smartphone.
Audi e-tron Charging Service
The Audi e-tron Charging Service provides access to over 107,000 charging points across Europe, with a single contract and only one access card. There is a variety of are different tariffs, depending on the user’s preferred method of charging, and all costs are invoiced together at the end of the month. The myAudi Portal allows users to monitor the charging process, view the costs and manage the contract, at any time.
In Europe CCS2 - Combined Charging System - connectors are standard at all charge points, and are used by the majority of manufacturers. A quick charging station such as IONITY’s is able to adjust the power supplied to match it to the battery’s current needs, meaning that there is no risk of an overload, also because the station itself is equipped with cooled cables that can hold up to the high power levels.
This means that it takes just 30 minutes to take the Audi e-tron’s battery from “nearly empty” to 80%, while it would have taken about 50 mins for a full charge. The car is soon ready to get back on the road.
After nearly 1,700 km the Audi e-tron arrives at destination. The e-SUV has successfully passed the long-distance test, demonstrating that electric cars can easily be used for long-distance travel in Europe. “Right now, a handful of new IONITY charging stations are installed each month in Europe," Eckstein concludes. “What seems like a bit of an adventure right now will be a matter of course in a year or two".
Source: Audi AG