Audi demonstrated its prototype E-Tron all-electric vehicle at the Geneva Motor Show on Tuesday, the company’s first electric vehicle. To fully test the vehicle ahead of launch, Audi has sent hundreds of cars around the world to ensure that its first venture into electric vehicles can withstand extreme temperatures, a key concern for lithium-ion batteries.
“Audi sets an important milestone for the company’s future with its first purely electrically powered model,” said Rupert Stadler, chairman of the board of management of Audi AG. “In 2020 we will have three all-electric vehicles in our product range, with a four-door Gran Turismo – the production version of the Audi e-tron Sportback concept – and a model in the compact segment joining the sporty SUV.”
The sports utility vehicle — on display at the same show as Porsche’s Mission E Cross Turismo — looks like something that could take on the Tesla Model X for dominance of the space. It’s expected to feature a 311-mile range, and the prototype uses 150 kilowatt fast charging to prepare for the road in just 30 minutes.
Watch the car in action below:
Audi is putting the car through its paces ahead of launch, sending around 250 E-Trons on tests covering over three million miles and 85,000 hours on the road. They’ll endure climates anywhere between 122 degrees Fahrenheit right down to minus four, through Africa, Scandinavia, China, America and Germany.
Further specs are still largely unknown. A 2015 concept model featured 500 horsepower, but it’s unclear whether the final model will offer the same. It’ll need to be powerful if it wants to wow like Tesla — a video shared by CEO Elon Musk in January showed the Model X pulling a truck through heavy snow.
The production version of the E-Tron is set to reach Europe by the end of this year. Audi is not stopping there, though. At the show, Stadler highlighted the company’s goal to produce more than 20 electric cars and plug-in hybrid vehicles by the year 2025.