The gloves are off in the electric vehicle war, with Audi claiming it is working on technology that will offer customers faster acceleration times than Tesla’s truly ridiculous Ludicrous Mode.
Packing a 0-100km/h acceleration punch of just 3.0-seconds, Tesla’s Model S and Model X vehicles equipped with Ludicrous Mode offer the fastest acceleration times on the market for their respective classes.
Utilising a number of battery technologies to reduce risk, Audi thinks that prismatic cells are the go thanks to their compact nature, energy density and ability to utilise around 75 per cent of packaging space – as opposed to the cylindrical cells that Tesla uses, which consume only around 50 per cent of packaging space.
An increase in the current capacity of prismatic cells from 25 Ampere hours to 37Ah over the past three years means that Audi is able to begin getting creative with torque delivery and acceleration.
We spoke with Dr Peter Pilgram, Audi’s senior scientist for Li-Ion cell development, about Audi’s ability to create bona fide competition to Tesla’s range of electric vehicles.
When quizzed on the topic, Dr Pilgram thought that Audi was in with a decent shot.
“It’s difficult to comment on competitors, but we think we will make a very good offer. Our target is to have the best car available and this is why we are using prismatic cells and pouch cells, for example, which are really designed for automotive use [compared to the use of cylindrical cells by Tesla],” he said.
“We know they have a very high-cycle life and calendrical ageing — these cells are the best cells on the market.”
A question that elicited a chuckle from Dr Pilgram before answering was whether Audi had the skills to make a car as fast, or faster than Tesla’s Ludicrous Mode vehicles.
“Yes. These cells are very low DCIR cells, they are capable of a lot of power…and, yes: we will see which will be the faster car. If you want to sell cars — it’s always a challenge with other companies,” said Dr Pilgram.