Audi e-tron GT review - Range, charging and running costs
Zero tailpipe emissions will save company drivers thousands, but the e-tron GT will be relatively expensive to charge and maintain
No £80,000+ car is going to be a cheap date, electric or otherwise, but anyone who can run the e-tron GT as a company car is on to an absolute winner thanks to HMRC efforts to incentivise the uptake of electric vehicles.
2021 Benefit-in-Kind tax rates are set at just 1 percent for the first year, rising to 2 percent in following years. So, whereas a 45 per cent taxpayer driving a circa- £100,000 Audi S8 will be charged more than £16,000 per year for their company perk, e-tron GT drivers will pay less than £400 to HMRC.
There’s another financial incentive when it comes to road tax or Vehicle Excise Duty, as zero-emission vehicles are currently exempt from the luxury car premium. For comparison’s sake, the S8’s keeper would be paying £2,245 in first year VED charges, and nearly £500 per year for five years thereafter.
There are other savings to be made from driving a car with zero tailpipe emissions, and anyone commuting daily into the London Congestion Charge zone will be exempted from paying until 2025.
It’s not all a free ride though, and you can expect hefty service and maintenance costs from your Audi main dealer, while the combination of vehicle weight and performance means there’s the potential to need frequent brake pad and tyre replacements.
Electric range, battery life and charge time
Both versions of the e-tron GT share the same 94kWh battery, but the extra power of the RS model naturally affects the range you can achieve. Audi quotes an official maximum of up to 298 miles for the e-tron GT quattro and 283 miles for the RS e-tron GT, but naturally you can expect these figures to drop dramatically if you dig into the phenomenal performance at regular intervals.
Compared to the 412-mile range claimed for the Tesla Model S, the available range might be considered wanting, but the Audi fights back with a faster charging capacity of 270kW compared to 225kW for the Model S.
Charging an e-tron GT at peak performance means you can get from 10 per cent to 80 per cent charged in just 20 minutes, but as we’ve already pointed out there are few places where this can be achieved, and the Ionity Network only plans to site 40 of its 350kW chargers in the UK in total. You can of course use other public rapid charging facilities which are less powerful, and using a 150kW charger should get you from 10 to 80 per cent in around 40 minutes.
Audi drivers have access to the e-tron Charging Service (eCS) with thousands of charging points across Europe using a single membership card and benefitting from fixed tariffs. There are 11,950 charging points allied to the eCS scheme in the UK alone, all of which should be discoverable using the onboard nav system.
Charging an e-trong GT at home via a 7kW wall box installation will take around 14hrs, or 9hrs from a 22kW charger you might have at work or other public locations.
Insurance costs are not an area where e-tron GT drivers will be able to make savings, as the combination of extreme performance and expensive repair costs means premiums for all models are in the top bracket at Group 50.
German high performance saloons have typically looked extremely good value on the used market thanks to crippling depreciation numbers. It’s a bit early to say what the long-term prospects are for cars like the Audi e-tron GT, but in the short term novelty value should protect buyers from the worst ravages of depreciation, and it seems reasonable to expect the Audi to match the Tesla Model S which retains 57 per cent of its value after three years and 36,000 miles.
In this review
- 1Audi e-tron GT reviewSpectacular looks and performance, plus contemporary EV tech, make the Audi e-tron GT one of the most desirable luxury saloons around
- 2Engines, performance and driveBlistering performance is guaranteed from any luxury EV, but the e-tron GT is fantastic to drive
- 3Range, charging and running costs - currently readingZero tailpipe emissions will save company drivers thousands, but the e-tron GT will be relatively expensive to charge and maintain
- 4Interior, design and technologyStunning exterior design is matched by a suitably high-tech interior, although it’s not as futuristic as you might have wished
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spacePassengers are cosseted in fine style, but this isn’t the most practical of large saloon cars
- 6Reliability and safetyThere are no question marks over safety, but reliability has yet to be proven