Home Electric Vehicle 2019 Audi e-tron quattro EV Ownership Review

2019 Audi e-tron quattro EV Ownership Review

We’re spending three months with this Audi e-tron, reviewing the full ownership experience with ongoing updates.

What are the Actual 2019 Audi e-tron Operating Costs?

by Michael Harley on March 24, 2020

Current Odometer: 6,058 miles
Latest efficiency: 2.1 mi/kWh
Overall efficiency: 2.2 mi/kWh
Maintenance/Service Costs: $0.00
Time out of Service: 0 days

I installed a ChargePoint Home Flex charger at my residence that allows me to very accurately track charging expenses on a mobile app — it literally connects online with your utility company to use actual rates. (A screen shot from earlier this month is below.)

Note that I added 128 miles of range for $6.87 one night and 158 miles of range for $8.13 the next night (charging after 9:00 PM for reduced rates). Both figures calculate out to a $.05/mile running cost, which is significantly lower than the estimated $.19/mile running cost of a 2020 Audi Q7 (EPA 21 MPG with California fuel at $3.99/gallon). Or, if you want to look at it another way, the e-tron delivers an “operating cost” equivalent to about 80 MPG!

In other words, a family that drives 12,000 miles/year will spend only $600.00/year (about $50.00/month) on electrical charging. This is in sharp contrast to the Audi Q7 owner who will spend a whopping $2,280.00/year (or $190.00/month) on premium gasoline. Add in the time gained by not having to visit the gas station weekly and the cost/time savings of driving a pure-EV like the e-tron are significant. And then there’s the instant robust torque of the electric motors, the minimal maintenance, the emission-free driving…

 


Can You Drive the 2019 Audi e-tron in the Rain?

by Michael Harley on March 22, 2020

Current Odometer: 5,984 miles
Latest efficiency: 2.0 mi/kWh
Overall efficiency: 2.2 mi/kWh
Maintenance/Service Costs: $0.00
Time out of Service: 0 days

Of course you can! Many consumers don’t realize that you can drive a pure-electric vehicle, like our 2019 Audi e-tron, in heavy downpours without worry (despite the popular convention that electricity and water don’t mix). No need to worry in Audi’s five-passenger crossover — or any other EV for that matter — as the company’s engineers worked tirelessly to ensure that all energized components are safely sealed from water, dust, and dirt intrusion. Rain, carwashes, dirt roads, and sand dunes won’t affect the electrical system. And, while we are on that subject, the engineers have also developed a protective system for the high-voltage chargers. In a nutshell, the charger cord isn’t electrified until the wall unit and vehicle have both signaled an approval “handshake” acknowledging that all safety systems are working properly (the “click” of approval typically takes a few seconds). This means you can plug the e-tron in while you are soaking wet and standing in a puddle of water — or you can wait until the rain stops coming down.

2019 Audi e-tron


Range is Temperature and Driving Style Dependent

by Michael Harley on March 16, 2020

Current Odometer: 5,865 miles
Latest efficiency: 1.8 mi/kWh
Overall efficiency: 2.2 mi/kWh
Maintenance/Service Costs: $0.00
Time out of Service: 0 days

While the overall efficiency of the e-tron continues to hover at 2.2 mi/kWh, I’ve noticed a significant swing on the trip efficiency based on ambient temperature and driving style. The EPA rates the 2019 Audi e-tron at 204 miles of range, but on a cold morning (following multiple short errands) the range usually indicates about 165 miles following a full charge. On the other hand, I’ve seen the range indicate 211 miles on a warm day following an efficient drive. Keep in mind that the Audi e-tron continuously updates its range so it will add/subtract miles based on numerous inputs and calculations. This is helpful, as it allows the operator to “stretch” miles in much the same manner as a combustion vehicle — mellow driving increases range. Below: We’ve taken the 2019 Audi e-tron to the beach several times. The pure-EV does well on the drive over the Santa Monica mountains as the abundant torque makes passing in the mountains effortless.

2019 Audi e-tron


213 Miles on One Charge (with 16 Miles Remaining)

by Michael Harley on March 5, 2020

Current Odometer: 5,275 miles
Latest efficiency: 2.9 mi/kWh
Overall efficiency: 2.2 mi/kWh
Maintenance/Service Costs: $0.00
Time out of Service: 0 days

Following-up on the morning drive that allowed me to drive the 2019 Audi e-tron 103 miles on just 54 miles of consumed range (see post below), I decided to not charge the e-tron during the day and see if I could make it home without stopping (keep in mind that my commute is about 192 miles round-trip). With that mindset, I set the e-tron in “Efficiency” mode and proceeded north with the Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) set at just over the speed limit of 65 mph. Nearly immediately, the energy efficiency jumped from 2.0 mi/kWh to 2.5 mi/kWh — and estimated range climbed accordingly. Ambient temperatures were in the mid-50s, so I shut off the HVAC completely… and running efficiency climbed to nearly 3.0 m/kWh! Doing math in my head, I realized that I was going to pull into the driveway with 30+ miles of range remaining so I took the long way home. Finally, at 9:48 PM, I rolled into my driveway after covering 213 miles without a charge. My overall efficiency averaged 2.9 mi/kWh during the drive (it dropped .1 as I sat parked), and there was still 16 miles of range left on the battery — that’s about as close as I’d comfortably like to cut it.

2019 Audi e-tron


103 Miles on Only 54 Miles of Range!

by Michael Harley on March 4, 2020

Current Odometer: 5,165 miles
Latest efficiency: 2.8 mi/kWh
Overall efficiency: 2.2 mi/kWh
Maintenance/Service Costs: $0.00
Time out of Service: 0 days

The efficiency of the 2019 Audi e-tron is most evident when speeds drop. This morning, I departed home with a full charge showing 181 miles of range. I sat in the car over the next two-plus hours negotiating traffic in the LA Basin, which limited my average speed to 47 mph. With the Audi in “Efficiency” mode, the burn rate was just 2.8 mi/kWh, which translated to consuming just 54 miles of range (the on-board computer continuously recalculates range based on real-time consumption). After driving 102 miles, I still had a range of 124 miles showing on the screen! I didn’t charge at the office… going to try to cover the 96 miles back home again…


The 2019 Audi e-tron Delivers 311 Miles in One Day, with Only Level 2 Charging 

by Michael Harley on February 28, 2020

Current Odometer: 4,748 miles
Latest efficiency: 2.2 mi/kWh
Overall efficiency: 2.2 mi/kWh
Maintenance/Service Costs: $0.00
Time out of Service: 0 days

I departed my home at 4:38 AM with a fully charged battery (showing 186 miles of range) and drove the 2019 Audi e-tron 97 miles to the office. Once there, I plugged into the Level 2 charger on the side of the building. Six hours later, I unplugged drove 97 miles back home again. After I arrived around 2:00 PM, I plugged the e-tron back into my home Level 2 charger for the next six hours. Then, at 8:00 PM, I drove round-trip to Los Angeles airport (other 100-plus miles). I finally arrived back home at 11:14 PM with 42 miles of range remaining. All told, I drove 311 miles in one day completely worry-free. The all-electric experience was convenient as I effortlessly used the Level 2 chargers at my home and office — no need to visit any public charging stations and zero range-anxiety. This is a perfect example of how an electric vehicle is supposed to be used.


Coasting vs. One-Pedal Driving 

by Michael Harley on February 25, 2020

Current Odometer: 4,420 miles
Latest efficiency: 2.3 mi/kWh
Overall efficiency: 2.2 mi/kWh
Maintenance/Service Costs: $0.00
Time out of Service: 0 days

Many automakers, including Tesla, have engineered their electric vehicles for “one-pedal” operation. This means that the vehicle immediately switches to brake recuperation mode each time the accelerator pedal is lifted. The effect from the driver’s seat is significantly increased drag as the electric motors reverse their roles and act as generators while converting kinetic energy into electrical energy.

Audi (and Porsche, for that matter) believes there is a more efficient approach — coasting without drag. Based on the logic that no recuperation system delivers 100 percent recovery (at best, under ideal conditions, that number is about 70 percent), Audi chooses to maximize the glide phase to retain as much kinetic energy as possible by cutting power to the motor and all but disengaging the gearbox. As a result, the e-tron coasts almost frictionless across the pavement when the accelerator is lifted. When the brake is applied, energy regeneration takes place (as expected). As an added benefit, Audi offers two levels of decelerative regeneration for those who prefer it. It is accessed via the steering wheel-mounted paddles.


Slower Speeds Yield Very Impressive EV Gains 

by Michael Harley on February 21, 2020

Current Odometer: 4,077 miles
Latest efficiency: 2.6 mi/kWh
Overall efficiency: 2.2 mi/kWh
Maintenance/Service Costs: $0.00
Time out of Service: 0 days

Typically, I set the cruise control at about 75 mph for my long commute. This speed consistently delivers a “burn rate” of about 2.3 mi/kWh with the e-tron (I average about 73 mph when LA traffic is factored in). To test efficiency at a slightly lower speed, I set the cruise control to 70 mph for this morning’s 96.5-mile drive. After arriving at the office, the math (I use a hand-held GPS) said that I had driven with an average highway speed of 68.04 mph. The e-tron had consumed electrons at the rate of just 2.6 mi/kWh, which is a notably impressive gain for a five mile-per-hour decrease in velocity. According to the vehicle’s trip computer, I had consumed a mere 57 miles of range over 96.5 miles of driving — that’s jaw-dropping! Next week, I will drop the speed by another five and see what happens.


2019 Audi e-tron Delivers More Miles than Promised

by Michael Harley on February 7, 2020

Current Odometer: 3,042 miles
Latest efficiency: 2.3 mi/kWh
Overall efficiency: 2.2 mi/kWh
Maintenance/Service Costs: $0.00
Time out of Service: 0 days

I’ve noticed that the Audi e-tron, unlike any other EV that I have tested, delivers more real-world miles than estimated by its trip computer. During this morning’s 96.5-mile commute, I averaged 72.92 mph on the highway leg and the e-tron used just 70 miles of range during that period, which is better than a 25 percent improvement. Returning more miles than promised is very unusual, as my experience with other pure-electric vehicles is just the opposite (Tesla and Kia both come to mind). Credit likely goes to Audi’s meticulous thermal management of its battery and efficiency during the coasting cycle of driving.


Silent Luxury, Pure-EV Style

by Michael Harley on February 2, 2020

Current Odometer: 2,447 miles
Latest efficiency: 2.4 mi/kWh
Overall efficiency: 2.2 mi/kWh
Maintenance/Service Costs: $0.00
Time out of Service: 0 days

Electric vehicles, by design, operate much more quietly than their combustion counterparts because they lack noisy engines. Audi takes things a few steps further ahead with its pure-EV by focusing on significantly reducing cabin noise. Laminated glass, acoustic insulation, and meticulous work in the wind tunnel (managing airflow) make the e-tron one of the quietest vehicles that we have ever driven.

The downside is a weight penalty. Heavy batteries and premium sound deadening force the e-tron to tip the scales at about 5,750 pounds. This is about 800 pounds heavier than its Q7 sibling. The Tesla Model X (5,500 pounds) and Jaguar I-PACE (4,700 pounds) are lighter, but neither is as quiet or as comfortable as the Audi e-tron. At cruising speeds, the Audi is near-silent, while the (noisy) Tesla and Jaguar are notably louder.


 

Introducing the 2019 Audi e-tron quattro

by Michael Harley on January 27, 2020

Current Odometer: 1,921 miles
Latest efficiency: 2.4 mi/kWh
Overall efficiency: 2.2 mi/kWh
Maintenance/Service Costs: $0.00
Time out of Service: 0 days

The Audi e-tron was launched as an all-new model for 2019. Slotting in physical stature above the Audi Q5 and below the Audi Q7, the 100 percent electric five-passenger crossover is fitted with dual asynchronous motors and a 95 kWh battery. The EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) certified the vehicle with an estimated range of 204 miles. While a 200-plus mile driving range is strong, the figure is notably fewer than the range of the Jaguar I-PACE (253 miles) and Tesla Model X (351 miles), which are the vehicle’s premium pure-EV competitors.

After piloting a 2019 Audi e-tron across the United States in a cross-country Cannonball-style drive late last year, we were impressed with the crossover’s comfort, efficiency, and ability to use convenient 150-kW DC high-speed commercial charging stations. The high-powered units use the SAE Combined Charging System (CCS) to restore an 80 percent charge to the e-tron’s battery in about 30 minutes, which makes it one of the quickest on the market.

Home Level 2 charging

But using high-speed chargers isn’t the “use case” for today’s EV. Electric vehicle owners should have a lower power Level 2 charger at home to charge overnight (during off-peak hours) and wake to a fully restored battery. Those with longer commutes will have a Level 2 unit at work, to charge during the day. While high-speed DC chargers are significantly faster, their use should be reserved for road trips when the vehicle is hundreds of miles from home.

Putting this logic to the test, we’ve borrowed a 2019 Audi e-tron quattro. The Galaxy Blue model, in range-topping Prestige trim, carries an as-tested price of $84,890 (including a $995 destination charge). Equipped with ventilating and massaging Valcona leather seats, acoustic laminated glass, and a Bang & Olufsen audio system, the cabin is comfortable and serene. A full suite of innovative technology, including Audi pre sense safety features and adaptive cruise control, make it effortless to drive.

Our objective is to challenge the e-tron with a daily 190-mile commute, load it up with adults for evenings on the town, drive it over the mountains to the beach, and run family carpools. All without ever having to tap into the public DC charging grid. Many experts say that a 200-mile range EV is more than sufficient for everyone. We are going to find out.

 

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