It can be done. In a groundbreaking feat that marks a new era for 100% electric vehicles in the country, the Audi Q8 e-tron 55 SUV completed a drive from Metro Manila to Baguio and back to Metro Manila without having to recharge its battery.
The achievement shatters misconceptions about EVs, addressing “range anxiety” among users while also reinforcing the Q8 e-tron models’ ample capacity to be driven daily under real-world conditions — with zero emissions, at that.
“While combining luxurious features, everyday usability and thrilling performance, the Audi Q8 e-tron models also offer a long driving range,” said Audi Philippines Managing Director Gian Paolo Brambilla. “With a fully charged battery, these 100% electric vehicles are capable of traveling more than 500 kilometers. So we are confident owners can comfortably drive their Q8 e-tron to Baguio and back to Manila. These models are ideal for both city driving and out-of-town trips.”
With four people on board, the Q8 e-tron started the daylong drive from the Audi Greenhills dealership on EDSA, Mandaluyong City, with a fully charged battery. The vehicle cruised through EDSA and entered NLEx with its drive mode set in Efficiency, and with the air-conditioning on.
Upon reaching SCTEx, the Q8 e-tron registered 85% of charge left, with 382 kilometers of range available. On the open stretches of TPLEx, Audi’s flagship electric SUV wafted over the tarmac, its air suspension soaking in road imperfections. Range drive mode proved most suitable in this condition, keeping the ride comfortable while also aiding energy consumption.
The Q8 e-tron offers several driving modes, each one suited to a particular condition or on driver preference. The modes alter power delivery, suspension settings, ride heights, and other factors, like reducing energy allotted for convenience features.
Equipped with two electric motors, the Q8 e-tron reinterprets Audi’s legendary quattro all-wheel drive system. Output is rated at 408 hp and torque at 664 Nm, letting the vehicle accelerate from a standstill to 100 km/h in 5.6 seconds, and on to a top speed of 200 km/h.
Past the northern expressways and onto the national highway, the Q8 e-tron faced the most challenging part of the trip: the uphill drive on Marcos Highway to the City of Pines. Hard acceleration and uphill drives are especially demanding on an EV’s battery, not stop-and-go traffic. So, expectedly, this stretch of mostly inclined sections required considerable energy. At Camp John Hay, the Q8 e-tron had 40% charge left after traveling a distance of 263 kilometers.
On the descent from Baguio City, the Q8 e-tron’s recuperation function came into play. The system harnessed kinetic energy as it helped decelerate the vehicle going downhill, turning this energy into electrical charge stored in the battery. And because the Q8 e-tron more often relies on recuperation rather than on its disc brakes, the vehicle actually added energy to its battery upon reaching the flatlands. From the available 124 kilometers of range when it left the mountain city limits, it registered a 221-kilometer range as it made its way back to the expressways.
Since the debut of the 100% electric e-tron range, shopping mall groups, energy companies and property developers have started rolling out destination chargers that support the residential and mobile charging solutions provided by Audi Philippines. Some of these destination chargers are already available in various locations in Baguio. A service station at TPLEx is also equipped with both AC and DC charging facilities suitable for the Q8 e-tron. But none of these convenient options were availed of. Because at this point, the vehicle had 40% charge left and over 200 kilometers of range still to be used up, so recharging was not necessary.
At the end of the journey back in Audi Greenhills, the vehicle had covered a total distance of 525 kilometers and still had energy to spare. This proves the real-world driving range of the Q8 e-tron, and sets the benchmark for fully electric vehicles.