Speak EV - Electric Car Forums banner
1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
879 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The short version: 40,000 miles, 2.5 miles/kWh, 5% battery degradation, great car, don't buy one. For more, read on...

Despite recent events, I've continued to clock up miles at a slightly alarming rate. I suspect that my eTron is one of the earliest and highest mileage examples, so thought a quick public service update might be interesting. As per the title, I'm about 18 months and 40,000 miles in - which, coincidentally, is almost exactly 1,000 hours behind the wheel.

So, how's it been...? As a car, it's fantastic. For the same monthly outgoing on a company lease scheme as (say) a BMW 3-series two litre diesel, the level of refinement, comfort and performance is unbeatable. It's the smoothest and definitely the quietest car I've driven. Performance is rapid rather than sports-car fast, but I've seldom felt the need for anything more (having over 400 horsepower would probably be termed "adequate"). I spend an average of two hours a day in the car every day of my life (albeit most of my journeys are long), and it is very comfortable.

Consumption has been ... as you'd expect. Over two winters and one summer, I've averaged 41kwh/100 miles - or 2.5 miles per kWh. I don't drive fast, but do accelerate briskly. Range has been from 240 miles (summer, trying reasonably hard) to 160 (winter, appalling weather, in a hurry). One thing of note is that the GOM is very, very good. Recalculates according to destination and driving style and does so quickly and accurately.

Charging is equally impressive. 50kW on a standard rapid to at least 95% and never less than 40kW to 100%. Highest I've seen is 153kW on an HPC, and over 100kW is usually available from 20-80%. It really does charge fast. That does bring a potential concern on cell damage...I have been reasonably mindful of the battery, never storing at below 20 or above 80%. However, most of my journeys are very long, so I have rapid charged frequently and also charge to 100% often. I do always time charging to finish as close as possible to when I depart. I've calculated available capacity over full range a few times over the last 18 months, and it's degraded from 84kWh when new to 80kWh now...a 5% loss. Not sure if that's good or not - it's a relatively short period of time, but it's certainly been used.

So far so good ... now we come to reliability. In one sense, it's been fine, in as much as it's never broken down. However, I have had numerous problems with electrical gremlins, software bugs, leaking sunroof and charge port door failures. Problems I don't mind. I have used three dealers, and two have been nothing short of disgracefully incompetent. The car has been off the road for at least seven weeks during those 18 months, probably four of those due to either very slow fault finding or rectifying issues caused by previous work. On this basis, I can't recommend that anyone spends their own cash on one of these cars, especially as a second hand buy. Leasing is a different matter, and I'm glad someone else is holding the risk here. Having said that the car has (reaches for wood) been solid for the last six months, and I am hopeful that, as a very early adopter, I saw most of the early problems and have now reached the level floor of the reliability curve.

One final thought...the virtual mirrors. It hadn't even occurred to me to mention them until I took mental stock of the questions that people ask me about the car. I am completely used to them and, early problems aside, they have been fine, if slightly prone to misting in some conditions (usually cleared by rear window heating). In many cases, they are better than conventional - for example, low light conditions and low sun directly behind the car - as they compensate for brightness variation very well.

So - overall - great car, appallingly incompetent dealer service, love it but no way that I would buy one! It will most likely be one of the Koreans for me when the lease ends and I have to spend my own money.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,616 Posts
That battery degregation is worrying as they say it's got a 95kwh pack so already lops a good chunk off top and bottom to reduce the usable by about 11% give or take.
I'd agree with your assessment on the HPC causing a lot of this as it was also noted on the last Richard Symons YouTube video comparison when compared against the likes of an M3LR that the charging speed stays high for a very long time where as the Tesla drops down much earlier on.
I'm guessing some of the rapid speed is maybe that Audi have decided their BMS can be pushed harder to keep things in check, but then you have the likes of Nissan & Tesla that know the tech very well and know how the charging curve should be to help the batteries live a while.
 

·
Registered
Nissan LEAF30
Joined
·
7,427 Posts
Any LEAF owner would accept 5% battery degregation after that distance if charging like that. There's an element of both the high rate of consumption and high mileage causing the need for rapid charging. The remaining 95% is more than sufficient for the school run that most big Audi seem to end up on.
Interesting that all of the niggles are not related to the EV elements (I'm not counting the charge point door as that's similar to an ICE fuel cover) but presumably are "to be expected" with any big Audi.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
879 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That battery degregation is worrying as they say it's got a 95kwh pack so already lops a good chunk off top and bottom to reduce the usable by about 11% give or take.
I'd agree with your assessment on the HPC causing a lot of this as it was also noted on the last Richard Symons YouTube video comparison when compared against the likes of an M3LR that the charging speed stays high for a very long time where as the Tesla drops down much earlier on.
I'm guessing some of the rapid speed is maybe that Audi have decided their BMS can be pushed harder to keep things in check, but then you have the likes of Nissan & Tesla that know the tech very well and know how the charging curve should be to help the batteries live a while.
Yes - it's a 95kWh pack, of which I think about 84.4kWh is useable in the earlier models. Model year 2020 on apparently released a little more capacity, to about 86kWh, and also made alterations to the braking system which together gave a stated 5-7% range improvement. My calculations when the car was new certainly confirmed the c84kWh capacity, and using the same methodology now gives the 80kWh number...so I am reasonably confident in my conclusions. I was very surprised to see charge rates of around 80-90kW at 80% capacity, and 40-50kW at 99-100%...however good the battery cooling system, that has to take its toll.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kingpleb1

·
Premium Member
VW ID.3 1st Edition & Tesla M3 LR
Joined
·
7,339 Posts
My calculations when the car was new certainly confirmed the c84kWh capacity, and using the same methodology now gives the 80kWh number...so I am reasonably confident in my conclusions.
Thanks for sharing your experience!

What is that methodology, as a matter of interest?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
879 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Any LEAF owner would accept 5% battery degregation after that distance if charging like that. There's an element of both the high rate of consumption and high mileage causing the need for rapid charging. The remaining 95% is more than sufficient for the school run that most big Audi seem to end up on.
Interesting that all of the niggles are not related to the EV elements (I'm not counting the charge point door as that's similar to an ICE fuel cover) but presumably are "to be expected" with any big Audi.
Sure you're right...however, I've got another two years of needing to do the big miles so I'm interested to see if it stabilises or continues to degrade. My longest very regular journey is a 210 mile round trip which I can just do in most conditions with very careful driving. I suspect that won't last as, due to the excellent GOM, I am already no stranger to Mr Turtle. Which in itself, of course, will cause further degradation...so I may need to accept the inevitable and revert to charging en route. Just adds further time, though, as they're already long days.

And yes, the problems have all been unrelated to the EV system which, efficiency aside, is excellent. More of an Audi problem than anything else, it seems.

And finally...the car may well finish its days on the school run - but it won't be on my watch!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
165 Posts
the only comparison I have is with Tesla's, typically they have faster degradation at the start and then they smooth out, I wonder whether that will be the case with the Audi also.

Also with Tesla's its typically accepted that frequent DC charging will affect the battery so despite you helping the battery the state of charge you keep it in the DC charging will probably affect the battery.

Having driven the Audi I think its a brilliant car, but my local dealer didn't have a clue when I spoke to them about it, and the range ultimately out me off,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
879 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for sharing your experience!

What is that methodology, as a matter of interest?
Charge to 100% prior to a long journey and drive down to around 5-10% SoC. Use the car's stated efficiency numbers to calculate energy consumed and then factor up to 100% capacity.

So as an example...a recent journey was 212 miles and I drove from 99 to 8% SoC. car stated 34.2kWh/100 miles for this journey. Therefore I calculated a full-to-empty range of 212/(0.99-0.08) = 233 miles which, at 342Wh/mile, implies a capacity of 233 x 0.342 = 79.7kWh.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Padrino and Tooks

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,616 Posts
My main worry with the audi is that with that usable capacity vs quote capacity, your already seeing degredation which shouldn't be the case for a while.
the only thing i can summise is that the buffer of 5kwh bottom and top is so that the charging speeds can be kept high, and for a 400v not 800v pack as well im sure we will see some more issues.
Especially as by halfway thru year 2 you'll have waved goodbye to the battery warranty as well :eek:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
879 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
My main worry with the audi is that with that usable capacity vs quote capacity, your already seeing degredation which shouldn't be the case for a while.
the only thing i can summise is that the buffer of 5kwh bottom and top is so that the charging speeds can be kept high, and for a 400v not 800v pack as well im sure we will see some more issues.
Especially as by halfway thru year 2 you'll have waved goodbye to the battery warranty as well :eek:
Yes it seemed a bit much to me to see degradation so early...however, perhaps 5% is more to do with natural ageing from new...I'll keep an eye on it and report further. Audi state that the battery warranty is 8 years / 100,000 miles so it should last the duration of my lease (just) at my mileage. I've not dug deeply enough to find out exactly what level of performance is warrantied - probably 70% which would be verging on unusable for my requirements. Altogether, glad I've got it through a company car scheme.

Interestingly, due to covid cash constraints the company car scheme is being discontinued so I'll be on my own for the next one. I really don't want to lease personally, mainly due to my high mileage but also because I just don't like the idea of not owning the car...perhaps an old fashioned attitude, but I really don't want to be worried about any minor cosmetic issues etc. However, I also don't want to sink money into a battery that will degrade significantly. Looks like BMS on other modern high range cars ... for example, eNiro and Kona ... is much more conservative so maybe less of an issue. Or perhaps I'll treat myself to the new Kia whichever presumably has a higher voltage pack...?
 

·
Registered
Blue Etron 2019, 2014 Nissan Leaf
Joined
·
211 Posts
The buffers probably stay the same, the loss is out of the usable section, not the buffers. The first 5% loss is often faster than later losses. Seen this with multiple electric cars and with other batteries.

Charging and discharging speed depends on battery chemistry and geometry. A dark art, I know enough to know I don't know anything about batteries. Batteries can be chemically optimized to energy/mass or for power/mass and for lots of other things as well. I guess that Audi has chosen more power and less energy... But label that a guess. "C rate" is one way of expressing this. A type of cell we used in a portable equipment design could be charged at 0.8C up to half full, and less above that. Other types cells can be charged at 10C. It seems reasonable that Audi might have a battery expert that would understand this better than random people on the Internet.

I love the car, but it has had more issues in 2 years than the LEAF had in 6 years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
191 Posts
Thanks for that review of the Audi as it was on my shortlist of two and one reason I went for the I-Pace instead was that I watched a youtube video from an Audi Etron owner and he had a nightmare trying to get his car put right with some faults the same as you have had. I do not know if his faults were all the same as the ones that you have had but they sound similar. His videos are worth watching for anyone that is thinking about buying this car. Lovely car to drive though and I thought it was slightly better than the Jaguar in some ways. Just tried to look at those videos again and they have been taken down for some reason may be the owner was got at for putting them up. Someone has copied them though and put them up on this different channel that does not seem to have any connection to the original

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
879 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for that review of the Audi as it was on my shortlist of two and one reason I went for the I-Pace instead was that I watched a youtube video from an Audi Etron owner and he had a nightmare trying to get his car put right with some faults the same as you have had. I do not know if his faults were all the same as the ones that you have had but they sound similar. His videos are worth watching for anyone that is thinking about buying this car. Lovely car to drive though and I thought it was slightly better than the Jaguar in some ways. Just tried to look at those videos again and they have been taken down for some reason may be the owner was got at for putting them up. Someone has copied them though and put them up on this different channel that does not seem to have any connection to the original

Yes I saw those videos - some valid points, but he didn't half moan about some very minor things as well!

I had a long test drive (800 miles 😜) in an iPace First Edition. I did actually order one, but did have some reservations as I'd experienced flaky CCS charging during my testing, the GOM was a work of fiction and I was very unimpressed with the responsiveness of the infotainment. Went like stink though and was a really nice looking car. The car scheme then slashed the lease rates on the eTron, presumably due to better anticipated residual values, so I cancelled the order and went for that instead. No particular regrets, although I've had my fair share of issues with the eTron. Having said that, I do miss the way the iPace leapt off the line - felt like it wanted to pull your face off, whilst the eTron has more of a gentle shove in the back sort of delivery. Looking forward to trying the Kia EV6 GT.
 
  • Like
Reactions: burnt_crisps2

·
Registered
2015 BMW i3 REx 60ah, Solar Orange
Joined
·
114 Posts
Interested to know what the sunroof leak was eventually traced to and how it was fixed? Audi, and indeed the VAG group are utterly incapable of making a panoramic sunroof that don't leak. Widespread across Volkswagen and Škoda platforms too, etc.

I've now repaired the panoramic sunroof on my A4 Allroad 5-6 times over the last couple of years. That means disabling the battery (due to curtain airbag risk), removing parts of the interior trim (the interior grab handles are a pain without the right tool), A-pillars, roof lining pulled down slightly, etc. The drain pipes either leak or it's the actual sunroof cassette. It's made by Webasto for Audi, so could be the same in the eTron? That's down to using aluminium and plastic composite materials that are sandwiched together with a sealing mastic. Obviously, add in the heat of summer and a cold winter and you have a leak as soon as it goes out of warranty. Replacing the cassette is a huge job so I opted for a fibre-glass repair initially that I eventually removed and switched to a flexible Sikaflex 291 marine sealant. You can also use Captain Tolley's too that uses capilliary action to seal hair-line cracks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
879 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
@electricdriver when you say very early adopter is this your first EV if you did what did you have, and how does it compare.
Yes first EV - I meant early adopter of the eTron, it was one of the earlier deliveries in the UK. Driven hybrid but not full electric before, the changes in the company car taxation rules meant a long-held ambition to go fully electric could finally be realised.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
879 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Interested to know what the sunroof leak was eventually traced to and how it was fixed? Audi, and indeed the VAG group are utterly incapable of making a panoramic sunroof that don't leak. Widespread across Volkswagen and Škoda platforms too, etc.

I've now repaired the panoramic sunroof on my A4 Allroad 5-6 times over the last couple of years. That means disabling the battery (due to curtain airbag risk), removing parts of the interior trim (the interior grab handles are a pain without the right tool), A-pillars, roof lining pulled down slightly, etc. The drain pipes either leak or it's the actual sunroof cassette. It's made by Webasto for Audi, so could be the same in the eTron? That's down to using aluminium and plastic composite materials that are sandwiched together with a sealing mastic. Obviously, add in the heat of summer and a cold winter and you have a leak as soon as it goes out of warranty. Replacing the cassette is a huge job so I opted for a fibre-glass repair initially that I eventually removed and switched to a flexible Sikaflex 291 marine sealant. You can also use Captain Tolley's too that uses capilliary action to seal hair-line cracks.
I think I told them it was either the charge port or the sunroof...the misdirection as, confusingly, the problem first appeared after the offside charge port was replaced after that had failed. I don't have much of the technical detail other than that it was a leak in the area around the wind deflector at the front of the panoramic sunroof. It has certainly made me think twice about having a car with a sunroof as a second hand / out of warranty purchase. It has held up ok since it was finally repaired, but it took two dealers to sort it. I refused to return the car to the first after they had had the car for two separate two week periods, claimed to have fixed it both times, and returned it with an airbag warning fault on the second occasion.
 
  • Like
Reactions: spartacus

·
Registered
Joined
·
191 Posts
I had a long test drive (800 miles 😜) in an iPace First Edition. I did actually order one, but did have some reservations as I'd experienced flaky CCS charging during my testing, the GOM was a work of fiction and I was very unimpressed with the responsiveness of the infotainment. Went like stink though and was a really nice looking car.
I had read lots of reports about the range of the I-Pace and it was one of my main concerns to be honest and had the car not been available at a cracking price at the time I might not have got it. What has surprised me is that the range display seems to be very accurate so the opposite of what you found which seems odd. I drove a Tesla in the USA as a company car for several months and the range display on that was a complete joke and most definitely could not be relied on for anything and made me wonder why they bothered to include it. I understand that the guessometer thing has come about because these displays are not accurate but my experience with the display on the I-Pace has been that it is very accurate and seems to adjust automatically as the weather changes to maintain an accurate display. It is one of the things that has impressed me and given me confidence in the car as I was used to that bottom clenching experience in the Tesla when it seemed to just lose range for no reason at all it would even lose range when just parked up for a few days.

I do not use the performance of the I-Pace mainly as we do not drive anywhere where we could drive fast even if I wanted to but the acceleration seems very similar to the Tesla and I would be hard pressed to say which was quicker without looking at the numbers in the brochures. The Tesla felt quicker from a standstill but the I-Pace feels quicker when overtaking. The I-Pace feels a lot more stable on the road than the Tesla and just feels easier to drive somehow. The I-Pace is also nice and quiet inside where the Tesla was really noisy at freeway speeds with loads of very intrusive wind noise that was enough to need the stereo to be turned up a lot.

If the Audi had not had those teething troubles and had been available to me at the same price as the I-Pace in the specification that I wanted then I would have preferred it if I am honest as I have always loved the way that Audis were put together and finished.
 

·
Registered
Renault Zoe 50
Joined
·
23,052 Posts
I drove a Tesla in the USA as a company car for several months and the range display on that was a complete joke and most definitely could not be relied on for anything and made me wonder why they bothered to include it.
Clearly you never bothered to use the trip planner then!

The range display on the dash is at a fixed consumption, so is not even a GOM.
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Top