Not all changes from the E-tron to the Q8 E-tron were made on the assembly line. The main ones involved battery cells.
E-tron’s first cells were provided by supplier LG. Now they are from Samsung SDI with different chemistries and improved anodes and cathodes.
As a result, the Q8 E-tron’s range is much more competitive. Up to 600 km (373 miles) in the global light vehicle test procedure cycle used in Europe.
When the Q8 E-tron arrives in dealerships, including U.S. showrooms, this spring, Audi of America expects it to have at least 30% more range than the current-generation E-tron. It is a conventional form-fitting counterpart under the more stringent EPA test cycle. This boost brings the Q8 E-tron’s range closer to 300 miles (approximately 300 miles).
Virtually carbon-neutral since 2018, Audi Brussels obtains its battery cells from its factory in Göd, Hungary, near Budapest, some 1400 km away, and transports them by train. “We used to transport by truck, but by switching to trains, we save about 2,600 tonnes of CO2 per year,” says Jan Marls, head of production at Audi Brussels.
Volkswagen may eventually adopt a similar strategy if it sets up a battery plant in Canada as planned, but will continue to assemble electric vehicles in Tennessee and Mexico.
At the battery assembly plant in Brussels, 100 workers work in two shifts, each accompanied by a number of towering yellow Fanuc robots. Factory officials, including Germann and Marls, declined to reveal its full capacity utilization rate, but Audi Brussels delivered some 43,000 of his E-tron last year amid industry-wide supply constraints. said to have produced
That figure could rise this year with the production of the Q8 E-tron and the addition of the smaller Q4 E-tron, which will join the Q8 in line in the second half of the year while still in production. Also in Zwickau, Germany.