Audi R&D Chief Says Batteries Cost More than $100/kWh

Audi’s newly minted head of R&D, Peter Mertens says that price of making EVs is still too high to make volume offerings possible.

At €100/kWh ($112), the money spent on batteries is still high enough, Mertens tells Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport, that Audi believes high-end models are currently the best way to turn a profit on battery powered vehicles.

“We opted for a top-down strategy because most buyers will be found there today in this segment,” said Mertens. “Currently, a kilowatt-hour costs about 100 euros depending on the model.”

That, unsurprisingly, means that next year’s e-Tron, an electric SUV that uses a 95 kWh battery, will be a premium offering for customers willing to shell out some cash.

With parent company VW working on bringing the cost of batteries down, and other manufacturers getting in on the fun, too, prices are likely to drop quickly. Still, Mertens thinks the price will have to drop substantially before an electric A3 equivalent can be made.

“Only when we come well below that price, will E-mobility in volume segments be interesting,” says Mertens.

For now, though, he says that the e-Tron will turn a profit, but that it won’t be as big as the profit from traditionally powered cars.

Mertens also added that the e-Tron will have some autonomous functions, but not level 5 (full autonomy) yet.

[source: Inside EVs]