Audi is developing an electric vehicle that will be able to hold five passengers and travel up to 280 miles on a single charge, as the automaker takes aim at Tesla. It's unknown if the new EV will be based on current Audi models, or be a unique model designed specifically for the unique engine and battery. The vehicle is scheduled for release in 2017.
"Such a car is under development," confirmed Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Audi head of technical development. "I was able to engineer the R8 e-tron project and technology with the team and we are on the way to a range of 450 kilometers. Let's say that technology will also be carried over and is a trailer for another car with long range."
The Tesla S has a range up to 300 miles, easily outpacing other current electric vehicles, but Audi's efforts will give the San Francisco Bay Area automaker a true rival.
The EV auto market will continue to expand as automakers develop new batteries and vehicles with longer ranges - overall, prices remain high for these vehicles, but auto analysts expect added research will help make them more affordable in the long run.