The Audi PB18 E-Tron, a fully electric concept car says Audi. Just another concept car says we, no says Audi, it is a vision of the future, they say. Well… its kind of like a bit of both. The Audi PB18 e-Tron’s very essence is raised from Audi’s R18 e-Tron LMP1 dominant endurance racing car.
The PB18 e-Tron is designed to be an uncompromised racecar for the road. Audi uses adjectives like “propulsive power” to get their message across. Of real interest is the solid state battery design.
This is where, for the time being, the PB18 E-Tron remains a truly conceptual car. Why? Solid state batteries are difficult to manufacture. First proposed in the 1700’s by Michael Faraday solid-state batteries remain a modern-day enigma.
So why has it taken a few hundred years to get to a point where solid-state batteries are being talked about as the next generation of battery technology.
Let’s put things into perspective, even at this time, perhaps the most technologically advanced era in humankind, making a solid state battery is expensive.
If we use current state of the art technology then a 20Ah solid-state battery cell would cost US$100,000. An electric car with a high range would require between 800 to 1,000 cells.
Solid state batteries are more efficient, can last longer than lithium-ion batteries (up to 10 years) can charge faster, are safer and can be made to be very compact.
The PB18 e-Tron uses three electric motors, one mounted up front and two mounted in the rear. The front axle receives up to 150KW of power and the rear axle is good for 350Kw. In real money that’s a combined total of nearly 700bhp and 800nm of torque.
Such power in a car weighing 1,550kg allows the PB18 e-Tron to accelerate from 0-62mph in just 2.0 seconds.
The suspension is based on the Audi R18 e-Tron Quattro Le-Mans. Push-rod system on the front and a pull-rod system for the rear with adaptive magnetic ride shock absorbers.
Audi says the PB18 e-Tron has a 310-mile range and can be recharged in 15 minutes. It can also be wirelessly charged.
We just want to know if it does use a solid state-battery, because Audi has no internal manufacturing capability, let alone the investment, to produce one.
Solid state batteries are at least 10 years away from scaling up, but the PB18 e-Tron is a nice concept though.