A week driving emissions-free in the Audi e-tronDec 27th, 2019
What’s it really like to live with a new electric vehicle? Over the busy Christmas holiday, we got behind the wheel of a 2019 Audi e-tron to find out.
Using the all-new Audi e-tron to run our holiday errands, visit friends and family and maybe even squeeze in a little road trip should be interesting – how will its range fare in the cold weather? Follow along as we discover what it’s like to live with an electric SUV in the winter.
Electric car math: consumption is measured in kWh/100 km instead of l/100 km. In ideal conditions the e-tron’s battery will deliver 320 km of range. Running the heater and other electrically-powered accessories reduces that; when you switch them on, their effect is immediately reflected in the range readout. The good news is regenerative braking – even though we traveled almost 50 km to get home last night, using the steering wheel paddle to activate the most aggressive regen setting meant we only reduced 260 km of range to 245!
One of the advantages of electric vehicles is their superior space utilization. Electric motors are remarkably compact and free up interior and storage space. The e-tron even has a secret Santa stash where the engine would normally be.
It’s true that the e-tron’s range isn’t quite what you would get from a conventional gasoline SUV. Then again, most electric vehicle owners will charge at home or at work every day, meaning you always leave with a full “tank.” Charging is simple, with a power-operated door on the driver’s side and simple status lights. A charger is included in the e-tron’s base price.
Like many people, we’re running around chasing Boxing Week deals in the e-tron, logging a number of highway kilometres and depleting the vehicle’s range. (Because of regenerative braking, electric cars are actually more efficient in stop and go driving.) Fortunately, apps like ChargePoint and Electrify Canada make it easy to locate a public charging station. In fact, one of the country’s fastest DC chargers is at the Toronto Premium Outlets in Milton.
The best part about the e-tron is that it’s still an Audi. It’s fast smooth, and all-wheel drive makes it stable and confident in any situation. And like every Audi, its interior is beautifully-made, packed with technology, and full of clever and interesting details.
Pro tip: using the car’s touchscreen, or the my Audi app, you can program your e-tron to warm up (or cool down) to your preferred temperature while it’s still plugged in. Not only does this make your drive more comfortable – no more waiting for the car to warm up – but it also reduces the load on the battery and increases your range.
The e-tron is a festival of lights!
One of the advantages of driving an EV is VIP parking. Many retailers provide designated spots for electric vehicles close to their entrances. IKEA even has DC fast chargers that can rapidly juice up your e-tron in just a couple of hours.
After a week of driving, we’re smitten with the e-tron. We’ve covered over 500 km emissions-free, and in the process spent less than $30 on electric “fuel” – remarkable for such a spacious, fast, and luxurious SUV. If you’re into Audis for the technology as well as the style and performance, it’s worth a hard look.