Conventional combustion engine or purely electric motor? This is a common question, when a more accurate answer may be a third option that works perfectly in today’s urban mobility: PHEVs or plug-in hybrids.

1. What exactly is a plug-in hybrid vehicle?

Hybrid vehicles are those that combine an internal combustion engine and an electric motor with its corresponding energy storage system. A characteristic of this hybridization is that the electric motor can act as the sole drive system at certain times to drive the car in zero emissions mode or it can also help the combustion engine with additional thrust capacity. The electric motor also serves as generator in recovery phases, converting kinetic energy into electrical energy and storing it in a lithium ion battery.

2. What is Audi’s formula for offering the best PHEV system?

The emission-free driving experience is guaranteed by a powerful electric motor delivering up to 105 kW (143 hp), depending on the model. This ensures fully electric operation over a wide range of speeds and in various driving situations. Cargo management is the second pillar in the development of Audi PHEV vehicles. In the models belonging to the medium and large segments, the charger has a power of up to 7.4 kW, which allows complete battery charge in approximately two and a half hours. Audi has also thought about recharging on road trips. The Audi e-tron Charging Service offer PHEV models card access to some 137,000 charging points in 25 European countries. In addition, the standard equipment includes a Mode 3 cable with a Type 2 plug for public charging stations.

3. What plug-in hybrids does Audi have in its current range?

At the moment, Audi plug-in hybrids are framed in the A6, A7, A8, Q5 and Q7 ranges. Except in the case of the A8, in all of them customers can choose between a variant oriented to comfort and a version with a more dynamic configuration, with a more powerful propulsion system, S line finish as standard, a sportier tuning of the suspension and higher performance.

4. What engines does Audi use in its plug-in hybrid versions?

Audi combines a pDirect injection turbocharged gasoline engine (TFSI) with an electric motor, whose lithium-ion battery is installed under the boot floor. On all plug-in hybrid models, the electric motor is integrated into the transmission. Just in front of it is the coupling mechanism that connects it to the TFSI engine. The Audi Q5, A6 and A7 PHEV use a seven-speed S tronic transmission, while in the Q7 and A8 PHEV a eight speed tiptronic transmission. Power, meanwhile, is transmitted to the ground through all four wheels.

5. What batteries do Audi PHEV models use?

The current that powers the electric motors is supplied by a battery with liquid-cooled lithium-ion cells, located under the boot floor. On medium and large segment models, the 385-volt battery stores 14.1 kWh; in Q7 it is 17.3 kWh. In the A6, A7 and A8 models, it consists of 104 cells grouped into eight modules.. The Q5’s battery consists of cells shaped like a prism.

6. How long does an Audi PHEV take to charge its battery?

Connected to a 400 volt AC three-phase charger with a power of 7.4 kW, takes about two and a half hours to fully charge the 14.1 kWh battery that is fitted in almost all models. In a household outlet 230 volts, the charging process is completed in six and half hours approximately.

7. How does energy recovery work?

In terms of recovery, the powertrain of a PHEV resembles that of the new fully electric Audi e-tron. It is designed for high efficiency and maximum resilience. During braking, Audi plug-in hybrid models recover up to 80 kW. The electric motor takes care of minor decelerations, that is, practically all everyday situations in which the driver steps on the brakes.

8. How do the two engines complement each other?

The drive strategy has been designed to offer distinct driving experiences, ranging from from maximum efficiency thanks to the use of the electric motor, up to maximum sportiness, in which the combustion engine comes into play to offer the highest thrust capacity of the system. In this situation both thrusters work together and the level of assistance of each will depend on the selected driving program.

9. What digital opportunities does the myAudi app present with PHEV models?

The myAudi app is a practical tool for car use, which allows you to manage Audi connect services via smartphone. Through this app the user can make remote inquiries about battery status and autonomy, schedule and start charging processes and access statistics on energy consumption.

10. Do PHEVs consume more fuel than cars with only a combustion engine?

Audi plug-in hybrids, with their sophisticated management system, are designed for maximum efficiency. Resilience and efficiency programs help achieve that goal. Audi takes advantage of the benefits that all this provides and places particular emphasis on electric conduction in city.