The second largest luxury automaker in the world, Audi AG, has initiated a project that will seek to research and develop a battery for electric cars that could last “more than” 500 kilometers, or at least 312.5 miles per charge.
According to the carmaker, which is in a bitter competition with German rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz for worldwide sales supremacy, the technology would be used to power an all-electric sport utility vehicle and, if successful, could then be applied to numerous other models across its range. The project is also involving its Korean partners Samsung SDI and LG Chem, with the latter already implicated in several other longer-range battery projects with other competitors such as General Motors and Nissan. “This will allow us to supply a technological solution that makes electric cars even more attractive for our customers,” commented Dr. Bernd Martens, Member of the Board of Management overseeing procurement at Audi AG. Next to the initial cost, longer range is among the crucial points for the electric vehicle market. Today – save for the Tesla Model S, practically all battery cars on the market don’t last more than 100 miles – 160 km – on a single charge.
Tesla has recently announced its latest version of the Model S – the P90 – can now boast a range of about 300 miles, though the variant has not yet been certified by the officials from the EPA. General Motors is also working on an all-new, battery electric vehicle – the Chevrolet Volt – that will push the mileage to around 200 per charge and be sold as an affordable electric car.