Audi has unveiled its charging programs for the E-Tron SUV, its first full-production modern EV, but they're not exactly straightforward, and while its fast chargers are pricey, it still appears cheaper than filling up with gas.
There are two tiers of plan available -- City Tariff and Transit Tariff. City Tariff is aimed at shorter-distance commuters, costing a base 4.95 euro (about $6) per month. It offers flat-rate charging for 22-kW AC charging and 50-kW DC charging, with the former costing 7.95 euro (about $9) per charging session and the latter costing 9.95 euro (about $11) per charging session.
Transit Tariff offers the same flat charging rate for AC and DC, but its 17.95-euro (about $21) monthly base price also offers access to Ionity's network of 150-kW fast chargers scattered about Europe. At the start of the program, E-Tron owners will only have to pay 8 euro (about $9) per charging session, but eventually it will switch to a rate of 0.33 euro (about 40 cents) per kWh. Thus, a full top-off of the E-Tron's 95-kWh battery will eventually cost 31.35 euro (about $36) once the introductory pricing goes away.
Here's a chart that puts all that info in a somewhat more straightforward manner:
Audi E-Tron charging schemes
||City Tariff||Transit Tariff|
|Basic fee||4.95 euro per month||17.95 euro per month|
|AC charging (22 kW)||7.95 euro per charge||7.95 euro per charge|
|DC charging (50 kW)||9.95 euro per charge||9.95 euro per charge|
|Ionity charging (150 kW)||N/A||8.00 euro per charge (for now)|
||0.33 euro per kWh (later)|
Things get a little more complicated from there. These figures only apply to chargers in Germany at the moment, due to what Audi calls "applicable legal calibration requirements." However, the program promises access to infrastructure in 10 different countries to start, with six more to follow in the first quarter, finally expanding to eight additional markets in Eastern Europe over the next year or so.
Chargers are accessed using an Audi charging card with NFC built in. To sweeten the deal and push users to the higher tier, E-Tron buyers get the first year's worth of monthly fees waived if they opt for the Transit Tariff package.
It's a little expensive, but it's still cheaper than a big ol' tank of petrol. For example, an Audi Q5 SUV has a gas-tank capacity of approximately 75 liters. With gas in Germany costing approximately 1.5 euro (a little under $2) per liter, that would put a full tank of gas at 112.50 euro (about $130). Even if the E-Tron's battery goes half the distance that a topped-off Q5 can, paying $72 sounds a lot better than paying $130. Under the introductory (per-charge) pricing, it's even cheaper.
Since Ionity's fast-charging network only exists in Europe, we'll likely see a vastly different charging structure when the E-Tron goes on sale in the US. It could partner with VW Group's own Electrify America subsidiary,, but Audi has yet to confirm anything.
: Check out our first drive of this new EV.
: For comparison's sake, read up on the I-Pace, too.