It seems that after setting a new lap record for production electric cars at the Nurburgring further testing has led Audi to shelve the project. According to a spokesman for the German marque, the full electric R8 hasn’t met development targets.
With power generated by two electric motors, the test car produces 375bhp. As that’s only 55bhp less than the 4.2 litre petrol engine found in the V8 model, there’s been no problem with the electric motors. The issue has been the long charging times for the lithium-ion battery pack and the short range it provides. A full charge is said to take 12 hours and provides a 134 mile range, neither of which are thought to be acceptable for real world use and especially for a car with the R8’s price tag.
Audi have also cancelled development of the electric A2, but we don’t think it will be long before they return to the technology. After all they are the first manufacturer to win Le Mans with a hybrid machine, so a commitment to electric power is now part of the brand’s long term future.