In-depth reviews

Audi Q8 e-tron - Range, charging and running costs

The Audi Q8 e-tron gets more range and faster charging speeds than its predecessor, but its efficiency lags behind rivals

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Range, charging and running costs Rating

4.0 out of 5

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Before it was facelifted and became the Q8 e-tron, Audi’s flagship electric SUV was available with either a 71kWh or 95kWh battery, and offered between 198 and 254 miles of range. That was no match for the 292-mile Jaguar I-Pace or the 380-mile xDrive50 version of BMW iX.

Thankfully, the Audi Q8 e-tron gets significantly larger batteries than the pre-facelift model. The Q8 e-tron 50 uses a 89kWh usable battery and offers up to 281 miles of range (up to 290 miles for the Sportback), which is on par with the entry-level xDrive40 version of the BMW iX, as well as the Jaguar I-Pace and Genesis Electrified GV70.

Meanwhile, the Q8 e-tron 55 offers up to 330 miles and 342 miles of range, respectively, in SUV and Sportback coupe forms, thanks to a whopping 114kWh battery (106kWh of which is usable). This is the version we’ve driven most at this point and we’re yet to be convinced by the Q8 e-tron’s efficiency. You’ll do well to get more than 2.5 miles per kWh of energy, so you can lop 75 miles off the quoted range straight away, which equates to a real-world range of about 265 miles from this, the longest-range Q8 e-tron variant. In cold weather, or after more enthusiastic driving, don’t be surprised to see even less distance from a full charge.

Finally, sitting at the top of the Q8 e-tron range are the tri-motor SQ8 variants that use the same 106kWh usable battery, now feeding three electric motors rather than just two. This being the high-performance model, the official range drops to about 290 miles, with the Sportback model going slightly further on paper once again. However, when driven in the manner it was designed for, we saw the efficiency drop as low as 1.9 miles per kWh.

The downside of batteries of this size is they can take ages to charge. You’ll need approximately 14 hours to fully replenish the Q8 e-tron 50 using a standard 7.4kW home EV charger, or nearly 17 hours if you get a Q8 e-tron 55 or SQ8 e-tron. All cars get an 11kW on-board charger as standard, and a 22kW charger is extra, but not all home wallboxes can supply that amount of power because you need a three-phase energy supply to power them.

But as well as larger batteries, every version of Q8 e-tron has a higher maximum charging speed. The base Q8 e-tron 50 maxes out at 150kW, while the Q8 e-tron 55 gets up to 170kW. Either way, find a suitably fast ultra-rapid charging point and a 10 to 80 per cent top-up will take about half an hour.

Like all electric cars, the Q8 e-tron is exempt from road tax (VED) and escapes the London Congestion Charge until 2025. It also attracts a mere 2 per cent Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) for the next few years, compared to the 37 per cent company car drivers would pay for a less expensive diesel-powered Audi Q5.

Insurance groups

This being a luxurious electric SUV, the Q8 e-tron lands in very high insurance groups, starting in group 48 out of 50 for the most basic Q8 e-tron 50 in Sport trim. Upgrading to S Line spec or the Q8 e-tron 55 powertrain sees the insurance rating jump to group 49, with the rest of line-up landing in insurance group 50. It’s a similar story for the Q8 e-tron Sportback range, too.

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Residuals for the Q8 e-tron after three years or 36,000 miles have settled between 44 per cent of retained resale value for the Q8 e-tron 55 Sportback in Sport trim, up to 51 per cent for the Q8 e-tron 55 Black Edition. That’s broadly on par with the BMW iX, Mercedes EQE SUV, and Jaguar I-Pace over the same time period.

The few similar cars that do better include the Volvo EX90, which is expected to retain 54 per cent of its value and the left-hand-drive-only Tesla Model X. In Plaid form, it should still be worth 62 per cent of its value, according to our experts. Prices are holding firm because Tesla has stopped selling new right-hand-drive versions of the Model X in the UK.

To get an accurate valuation on a specific model check out our valuation tool...

News reporter

As our news reporter, Ellis is responsible for covering everything new and exciting in the motoring world, from quirky quadricycles to luxury MPVs. He was previously the content editor for DrivingElectric and won the Newspress Automotive Journalist Rising Star award in 2022.

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