Bill Gates once famously said that, “If General Motors had kept up with the technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25.00 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon.” He’s not wrong. The world of tech has usually moved at a rate that far outpaces that of the automobile. But as the age of the electrified car dawns, improvements in battery tech are coming faster than ever, and Audi has just announced upgrades to its Q5 and A7 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.
The two PHEVs were launched less than two years ago (along with a gaggle of other Audi PHEVs we don’t get here in the states) and made it to the U.S. market only recently. Now, Audi is announcing upgrades to the battery packs in both cars that make them even more appealing options. While these upgrades are debuting on non-U.S. models, we understand they will come to the U.S.-market A7 and Q5 PHEVs for the 2022 model year.
The plug-in Q5 and A7 now carry 17.9-kWh battery packs on board, up from the previous 14.1-kWh units. The change doesn’t come as a part of a major model changeover or even a refresh-the batteries were just “repackaged,” an Audi spokesperson told us, adding capacity without taking up more space. Just goes to show you that battery tech is already more efficient than it was two years ago, and the result is more EV range for both the A7 and Q5.
Since the EPA hasn’t rated these cars yet, we don’t know how much extra range either gets. The A7 PHEV and Q5 PHEV get 24 and 19 miles of EPA-rated EV range with the now-obsolete battery pack, so whatever the final number is we’re sure it’ll be more than that. For context, the A6 PHEV that Audi doesn’t sell in the states gets an increase of more than 20 miles of range on the New European Driving Cycle. We’ll have to wait for the EPA numbers to see the sort of gains we should expect here.