Audi Confirms Korean Battery Suppliers for 300-mile Electric SUV

By · August 18, 2015

Audi Q6 concept

Leaked images of the Q6 concept, sourced to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

Audi confirmed last week that it is developing a battery for a pure electric sport utility vehicle. The batteries, to be sourced from South Korean suppliers LG Chem and Samsung SDI, could provide as much as 300 miles of range for an electric Audi SUV, coming in about 2018.

"With our first battery-electric Audi SUV, we are combining an emission-free drive system with driving pleasure," said Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, member of the board of management of Audi.

“Now with our engineers and our battery-cell suppliers we are at a stage where we can say, yes, this is feasible and we believe that with the ongoing investments in terms of infrastructure development we think that 2018-2019 is the right time to come up with such a car,” said Rupert Stadler, Audi’s chief executive, in an April interview with UK’s AutoExpress. “It will look nice. It will have sufficient range and we think the infrastructure will be sufficient in terms of supercharging.”

In late July, AutoExpress reported that an electric SUV was confirmed for production, and will be previewed at the Frankfurt auto show in September. According to the publication, it will likely be badged as a Q6—and will sport a sleeker profile than current Q5 andQ5 models.

Car and Driver reported that the Q6 will serve as a platform for multiple electric technology, including plug-in hybrid and hydrogen fuel-cell variants.

Few additional details are available, and it’s too early to confirm if and when the Audi electric SUV would be offered in the United States.

According to Autoblog, the vehicle carries the internal codename C-BEV, and will use a sizable 90 kilowatt-hour battery pack. Autoblog said that three electric motors could provide a total output of 500 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque.

Most reports suggest that the new model is targeting the Tesla Model X, due next month, as primary competition. Those two vehicles are the only two all-electric SUVs on the horizon. Nearly every new all-electric vehicle planned for the coming years will have greatly expanded driving range, compared to the current first generation of EVs that commonly offer about 80 miles of range.

Meanwhile, a number of automakers—including Audi, BMW, and Volvo—plan to offer new SUVs with plug-in hybrid powertrains that provide about 20 to 30 miles of all-electric range before a back-up gasoline engine is used to extend driving range by hundreds of miles.

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