The e-tron 50 is Audi’s entry level EV, the baseline model in their first range of production fully electric vehicles. In spite of its position in the e-tron family pecking order, the 50 is perhaps the most significant entrant.
Like its better specified sibling, e-tron 50 is still a premium Audi product; a sleek yet practical and well built machine that strikes a balance between vehicle and appliance in a way only Ingolstadt could pull off, and even more so because it lacks internal combustion.
Sure, its battery capacity has shrunk to 71kWh which yields a range of 300km according to the WLTP test cycle. However, for significantly more more money, the e-tron 55 uses its 95kWh lithium ion reserves to take it 100km in average range.
For most people who are already sold on the merits of a fully electric vehicle lifestyle, the e-trop 50 hits that sweet spot of capability and cost. To help the entry-level variant make the most of its charge capacity, Audi has given it a less powerful motor.
That doesn’t mean it’s any kind of slouch, either, with 230kW and an instant 540Nm that’s enough to get the zero emissions SUV to 100km/h in 7 seconds and a top speed of 189km/h. For £10,000 more, the 55 packs 300kW and 664Nm for a 5.7 second sprint.
Both share a dual motor setup as well, though their charge system differ slightly in terms of how much current they can accept at any given time while plugged in. Even so, with a peak charge rate of 120kW, Audi says the e-tron 50 is can be reach 80 percent capacity from a depleted state while using an appropriate fast charger.
The SUV’s intelligent use of regenerative braking means that it can recoup some energy back to replenish the batteries in more than 90 percent of all braking situations. They’ve also fitted it with an innovative electro-hydraulic brake assist system that activates when braking force exceeds 0.3g, resulting in all-round improvement in braking distances in all driving situations.
Hopefully we will continue to see premium manufacturers continue to offer more affordable variants within their electric vehicle portfolio as thus far only the most high end of the range get any kind of spotlight.
In the coming years, we will see more Mercedes-Benz EQ, Jaguar I-PACE, and BMW’s i family of cars hit the market. They have traditionally angled themselves to be attractive to the particularly deep pocketed, though we suspect the true fight in the EV space will be based on how successful one would be in mobilising the masses into electrification with smart decisions and reasonable compromises.