The future of driving is electric. Here’s your guide to understanding electric technology and common acronyms. Master these terms and you’ll be fluent in all things e-mobility.
e-tron is the product name for Audi’s fully electric vehicles. It means enjoyment while driving and unlimited suitability for everyday use thanks to the electric drive.
TFSI e is the product name for Audi’s Plug-in hybrid vehicles. Electric, hybrid or combustion – Audi TFSI e models combine the functionalities of a combustion engine with a powerful electric motor.
Electric vehicles (EVs)
A vehicle with an electric motor that is powered by a battery, which is charged by an external source of electricity. There are two main types of EV's - Battery electric vehicles (BEV) and Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV).
BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle)
BEV equals ‘Battery Electric Vehicle’. A BEV is a car powered by electricity instead of fuel, using an electric motor as its only source of power.
An engine that has an electric motor and a combustion engine that can be used at different times, depending on the style of driving. These cars rely on both traditional fuel and electricity, sometimes at the same time.
Hybrid electric vehicles (HEV)
An HEV has a combination of at least two engines, an internal combustion engine and an electric motor that uses energy stored in a battery. Unlike most electric vehicles, there is no charging involved. Hybrid vehicles charge their batteries using the petrol energy and via regenerative braking.
PHEV (Plug-in hybrids)
A PHEV is an upgraded HEV with a larger battery and more powerful electric motor. The rechargeable battery can be charged from a power socket and the combustion engine kicks in during longer drives. Plug-in hybrids can drive using just their electric motor for short range trips of approximately 45 - 60km, which makes them great for city dwellers who occasionally take longer trips.
Zero-emissions vehicle (ZEV)
This term refers to a vehicle that does not emit harmful exhaust gases when driven. A zero-emissions vehicle must also receive its energy from renewable resources to fully qualify.
World Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP)
The WLTP is a global standard for measuring new car fuel economy, electric driving range and emissions.
CO₂ (Carbon Dioxide)
CO2 is the main cause of greenhouse gases and a big contributor to global warming. It’s a colourless and odourless gas that is produced during the combustion process of running a conventional car.
These engines work by burning fuel and using its heat to create their mechanical power.
Every battery has a lifespan that is determined by the number of charges it can undergo before it starts to lose its capacity. Audi uses lithium rechargeable batteries which are great at retaining their capacity for charging; even when used daily.
Audi e-tron models include a limited warranty* on the battery for 8 years/160,000km (whichever occurs first). Audi has designed a battery with independent cells that can be replaced by an Audi certified EV technician, which may prevent the need to replace the entire battery if any repairs are needed.
*8 year/160,000km (whichever occurs first) high-voltage battery limited warranty coverage on MY21 and newer Audi e-tron vehicles. Battery capacity decreases with time and use. Warranty coverage may not return battery capacity to an “as new” condition with 100% net capacity. See owner’s literature or dealer for limited warranty details.
Regenerative braking is designed to save energy created by braking and use it to recharge the vehicle's batteries. It harnesses the kinetic energy expended to slow down, and converts it into electricity, tapping into the ability of an electric motor to turn into a generator.
A system that helps our cars save on fuel by stopping the engine when we’re stuck in traffic or coasting down a hill. The engine starts up again as soon as we press the accelerator or lift our foot off the brake. This is great for urban areas where cars often waste fuel when stuck in traffic.
Fuel cell vehicle
An electric vehicle that generates energy from hydrogen. The only emission is water vapour, making it a contender for the future of driving.
Electricity that’s been generated from renewable energy sources, such as the wind, sun and sea. This is the kindest type of energy generation for the planet as it doesn’t use our fossil fuels.
The more a vehicle weighs, the more fuel is needed to get it moving. Many manufacturers use a lightweight construction technique to save on weight, save fuel and reduce emissions.
Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries
A rechargeable battery that’s considered to be one of the best at retaining its charge capacity over hundreds of thousands of charges. The Audi e-tron features the latest in lithium-ion multicell battery technology, designed to help optimise performance in varying conditions and hold its strength.
The term used for the charge capacity that’s lost over time with certain types of rechargeable batteries. It’s thought that batteries begin to learn your average energy demand and only provide that volume of energy instead of the full volume that it can reach.
Electric motors are the most efficient way to drive, however to get the most out of your motor, you need a powertrain that can optimise the energy recovery. We call this powertrain electrification, and the ultimate objective is to create one that is a Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV).
A/C (Alternating Current)
AC (or alternating current) is the current supplied to our homes and work by the National Grid. It is most often supplied via a 3-pin socket. Because this current is easily accessible, it is the most common current used for electric vehicle charging infrastructure at home and on the public network. Your electric Audi uses a Type 2 plug to charge using this current, the most common plug type for electric vehicles. You can use the Type 2 (mode 3) AC charging cable that comes as standard with the car to charge with your home wall box or AC public charger (if untethered).
D/C (Direct Current)
DC (or direct current) enables faster charging because it has a higher voltage. Only fully electric vehicles, like our Audi e-tron models, can charge using DC, and this electricity is only accessible via specialised DC chargers. All DC chargers will have specialist tethered cables attached to their units. To charge using this current, your electric Audi uses a CCS plug.
Quick-charging with Combined Charging System (CCS)
Standard charging requires an alternating current using a basic cable or a wall box, however quick-charging uses a direct current and can only be used at specially designed Combined Charging System (CCS) stations. In 20-30 minutes a battery can be charged to around 80%.
A modern, more intelligent electrical grid that allows us to use pieces of technology that provide information and communication, like smart meters and smart appliances. It enables renewable energy sources to be integrated into the system; such as plug-in electric vehicle charging. Eventually, the smart grid will replace our current electrical grid so we can rely on more sustainable sources of energy.
TDI (Turbocharged Direct Injection)
A Volkswagen term that applies to diesel engines that have a direct injection and a turbocharger. This results in an engine that’s economical, has low emissions, high power output (torque) and very good power efficiency. It’s often considered to be a trademark of Volkswagen.
TSI (Turbocharged Stratified Injection)
A term used to classify a Volkswagen engine that uses a combination of turbocharging and direct fuel injection. The concept includes different charging versions and capacities and the technology allows these engines to be designed smaller, with lower fuel consumption and yet superior power.
This is the total environmental impact of a fuel throughout its life span; all the way from its production to its final use. With crude oil, this starts at the drill hole at the refinery and goes on to include the network of filling stations and vehicle tanks – we call this stage the “well-to-tank” path. The final stage of the fuel being used in a vehicle and the emissions generated as that vehicle burns the fuel is called the “well-to-wheel” path.