Audi is moving to make its growing EV and PHEV ranges ever more accessible through new models like the e-tron 50, which is now available for UK ordering priced from £59,900. The new variant joins the line-up alongside the continuing e-tron 55 quattro.
“This new version of the e-tron opens up the possibility of driving ultra-economically and with zero local emissions to a wider customer base,” says Director of Audi UK Andrew Doyle. “Our research has shown that on a daily basis many prospective buyers will cover significantly less than the 190-mile maximum achievable in the e-tron 50 on a full charge, so for them this more accessible yet no less accomplished variant makes perfect sense. It is also notable for introducing attractive new specification options, including the ever popular S line, that will roll out across the e-tron range in the longer term.”
Like its e-tron 55 counterpart, the e-tron 50 is a product of the carbon-neutral Audi Brussels plant. Its battery has a 71 kWh capacity, and delivers its energy via a newly calibrated drivetrain incorporating an electric motor on each axle with a combined output of 230kW (309 bhp) and 398.3 lb ft of torque. In the WLTP test cycle a range of up to 190 miles has been proven to be achievable, and up to 80 per cent of this total can be restored in as little as 30 minutes at fast-charge stations thanks to the electric SUV’s 120kW charging capability.
Alternatively, the battery can of course be replenished at home using AC charging – a 7kW home wall box charger is currently available at no extra cost to all e-tron and e-tron Sportback customers. In the e-tron 50, a full charge of a depleted battery using one of these wall boxes can be completed in around 10.5 hours.
In the interests of efficiency, only the rear electric motor is active in most driving situations, but the two driven axles can operate as an ‘e-quattro’ all-wheel-drive system, helping to shore up the e-tron 50 in all road conditions and to propel it smoothly as well as silently to 62mph in seven seconds on the way to a top speed of 118mph.
The front electric motor is activated predictively when needed. In combination with modern suspension components including air suspension and the e-tron’s low centre of gravity, it provides excellent dynamics and stability.
The lower gross weight of the e-tron 50 quattro also contributes to efficiency, as does the advanced thermal management system with its standard thermal pump. This system regulates the temperature of the interior as well as the battery and cools the electric motors, the power electronics and the charger. In this way it is designed to ensure that the high-voltage components enjoy a long service life and enables fast charging with direct current (DC).
Like the more powerful version of the electric SUV, the Audi e-tron 50 quattro also recuperates energy via its two electric motors, with priority given to the rear motor, during more than 90 percent of all deceleration actions. This means that the energy from practically all normal braking manoeuvres is recovered and fed back into the battery. The newly developed wheel brake system with electrohydraulic actuation is activated only when the force of deceleration exceeds 0.3 g. This results in short braking distances in all situations.