Audi turns to software program so as to add extra vary to its older e-tron EVs – TechCrunch

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Audi has rolled out a brand new software program replace to its 2019 mannequin yr e-tron electrical SUV that may add as much as 12 miles of vary to the battery.

Whereas the development won’t appear vital — it’s, in spite of everything, solely 12 miles — it does present how automakers are utilizing software program to enhance older electrical automobiles. On this case, Audi used software program to unlock extra capability within the current battery, basically enhancing its effectivity. The automaker additionally stated the software program updates have improved the effectivity of the entrance electrical motor and the battery’s thermal administration system.

The 2019 Audi e-tron 55 quattro is provided with a 95 kilowatt-hour battery and can now use 86 kWh of capability. That can push its vary from the unique 411 kilometers to about 441 km (274 miles) below the WLTP normal. (EPA normal is taken into account extra conservative; the unique EPA estimates for the 2019 was 204 miles.)

The software program replace is out there to all Audi e-tron 55 quattro manufacturing automobiles constructed between mid-September 2018 (mannequin yr 2019) and the top of November 2019 (mannequin yr 2020). In contrast to Tesla, which lets homeowners launch software program updates over-the-air, which means wherever they will entry Wi-Fi, Audi requires a go to to certainly one of its service facilities.

This can assist the older mannequin preserve apace of the newer 2020 and 2021 Sportback and e-tron SUV, which have improved software program and {hardware}.

One may surprise why Audi didn’t simply use that capability to start with. Audi and different automakers getting into into the EV recreation initially restricted the usable capability of its battery out of an abundance of warning to keep away from any degradation.

Different automakers are starting to make use of over-the-air software program updates, following Tesla’s lead, to enhance or add options. In February, Volvo launched its first OTA software program replace on its all-electric XC40 Recharge in Europe. Volvo launched an OTA this month that elevated driving vary by way of enhancements to the battery administration system and pre-conditioning timer. The corporate additionally launched a Vary Assistant app to assist drivers get essentially the most vary out of their batteries.

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