Being the first series production electric vehicle to be rechargeable at up to 150 kW, the Audi e-tron is particularly well placed to reap the efficiency rewards offered by IONITY’s latest high power fast charging station in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, which officially opens for business on Thursday July 18.
The new site at the Milton Keynes Coachway, located just off junction 14 of the M1 motorway and close to the headquarters of Audi in the UK, is equipped with four high power 350kW chargers which can replenish the e-tron using renewable energy to 80% of its battery capacity from a full drain in around 30 minutes, and charge it fully in around 50 minutes. Milton Keynes is the second IONITY location, following Maidstone in Kent, and a third station in Gretna Green, Dumfries and Galloway, is set to go online later this year as part of the organisation’s plan to establish a nationwide network of 40 sites.
By 2020 the IONITY joint venture, which unites Daimler, Ford, BMW and the Volkswagen Group, aims to have 400 convenient High-Power Charging (HPC) sites on stream across Europe offering a combined total of up to 2,400 chargers. The network has been designed to facilitate pan-European travel, with a focus on ultra-fast charging times and convenient motorway locations. High Power Charging is widely regarded as essential to the increased adoption of electric vehicles, making long distance journeys far more viable than is currently the case when the more commonplace 50kW chargers are relied upon.
With its maximum 350kW charger outputs IONITY’s UK network is future-proofed, meaning that as EV battery technology becomes ever more sophisticated charging times of as little as 8 minutes at these stations will increasingly become the norm, making the case for foregoing fossil fuel even more compelling. Every charge point in the network is also provided with 100% renewable energy by IONITY partner Octopus Energy’s ‘Electric Juice’, greatly reducing the environmental impact of every journey ‘fuelled’ by one of the stations.
When its power isn’t being rapidly restored by an IONITY DC charger, the high-voltage 36-cell, 95kWh battery mounted beneath the Audi e-tron’s passenger compartment can of course also be recharged at home with alternating current (AC), ideally via a home wall box. It powers electric motors mounted on each axle which offer up an impressive 300kW output and facilitate a driving range of up to 237 miles*. By mobilising each axle the motors also effectively operate as an electric quattro all-wheel drive system, ensuring that the 664Nm torque output they generate is always used to best effect. This also works in favour of a 0-62mph sprint time of just 5.7 seconds.
The more immediately evident technology on board the new Audi e-tron primarily consists of two large MMI touch response displays with haptic feedback and voice control, complemented by the fully digital Audi virtual cockpit, MMI navigation plus and internet-based Audi connect infotainment services. Combined with comprehensive comfort features, high-quality materials and exceptional workmanship, these advanced systems make travelling under Audi electric power a suitably premium experience.
The Audi e-tron is available to order in the UK in two forms – e-tron and e-tron Launch Edition – priced at £71,560 OTR and £82,310 OTR respectively.
In the Launch Edition the already comprehensive e-tron standard specification expands further still to include features such as Matrix LED lighting, camera-based virtual door mirrors and a host of additional driver assistance systems.