Audi might consider a technology partnership that could speed up development.
Audi is in the very early stages of considering how to create a fully electric supercar, but existing battery technology is the big thing holding the company back, according to an exec.
“We consider everything at the moment but I personally believe we need a little bit more battery development," Peter Oberndorfer, Audi's boss of product and technology communications, told Motoring.
Oberndorfer believes that the future solid state batteries could be the key to achieving the necessary combination of performance and range. "Our development boss Peter Mertens is speaking of solid-state batteries, which are still a few years away, but I think it would be an advantage if it will be developed, so that batteries are getting lighter and need less space," he told Motoring.
To speed up the process of getting these batteries production ready, Oberndorfer also hints at the possibility of Audi taking on a technology partner. Samsung SDI seems like a potential collaborator, though. The South Korean firm already works with the Four Rings to create the batteries for the upcoming E-Tron electric crossover. Samsung SDI also showed off its progress with solid-state batteries at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit earlier in the year.
Audi can also work with fellow Volkswagen Group brands to put the next-gen batteries on the road. For example, Porsche believes the parts could provide the performance specs to make an electric 911 a viable option.
Competitors are developing the solid-state tech, too. In Japan, Toyota, Nissan, and Honda, in addition to battery firms Panasonic and GS Yuasa, are working together to create a production-ready component.
Solid-state batteries get their name from using a solid electrolyte rather than a liquid like in existing EVs. The change allows for much higher energy densities for extending a vehicle's driving range.
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