Earlier this month, the Audi CEO caused a sensation by stating that electric cars in the future will not get as far on a charge of electricity as the current generation.

According to CEO Markus Duesmann, manufacturers will abandon ever-larger battery packs.

A logical development?

When the Nissan Leaf was launched about ten years ago, this electric car had a 24 kWh battery pack.

That was later increased to 30 kWh and to 40 kWh when the second generation Leaf appeared.

A 62 kWh battery pack is now also available.

Moreover, the stretch is far from gone.

Audi is supplying its new e-tron GT with a battery pack of 93 kWh (85 kWh net), while newcomer Lucid Motors provides its top model with a copy of no less than 113 kWh.

A driving range of more than 800 kilometers is not excluded, as Tesla has already shown.

Yet more and more manufacturers seem to come to the conclusion that a large battery pack and ditto driving range is a wretched way.

In conversation with NU.nl, a high-ranking BMW employee already announced a few years ago that ever-larger battery packs are not convenient from a cost point of view.

It makes the car unnecessarily expensive, it takes an awful lot of energy to recharge and if something goes wrong with it, chances are that the vehicle will be an economic total loss.

The bottom of the most expensive Lucid Air contains a 113 kWh battery pack.

The bottom of the most expensive Lucid Air contains a 113 kWh battery pack.

Photo: Lucid Motors

'Consumer still has to get used to'

Audi CEO Duesmann has the same opinion, although he does make a small comment.

According to Deusmann, a rethink will first have to take place, since the consumer still attaches great importance to the greatest possible driving range and still compares charging with refueling.

Once the consumer has got used to it and a widespread charging network has been installed, Deusmann says, we can start thinking about a different approach for electric cars.

Henk Meiborg, founder of consultancy firm Emodz, also sees this.

"The average European drives an average of 40 kilometers a day, but we still compare the range of an electric car with that of a fuel model. Also with regard to refueling or charging. However, for an electric car, parking is charging. So that comparison is no longer valid. It requires a completely different approach. "

Efficiency is just as important

A smaller battery pack offers many advantages, according to Meiborg, such as making the car cheaper.

In addition, a smaller copy is also lighter, making the car as a whole more efficient.

AutoWeek

recently found that the Kia e-Niro with a battery pack of 64 kWh performed better than a Volkswagen ID.4 with a 77 kWh unit, partly because the Volkswagen with a weight of more than two tons is about 300 kilos heavier than the Kia.

In addition, efficiency elsewhere, for example on the powertrain, means that you can achieve the same driving range with a smaller battery pack.

"Simply releasing a car with a large battery pack is not enough. You have to offer a total package," said BMW Netherlands product marketing manager René de Heij to NU.nl last year.

For example, the iX3 has a battery pack of 74 kWh, while the Mercedes EQC has one of 80 kWh and the top version of the Audi E-tron even has one of 95 kWh.

Yet BMW claims about the same range as the competition.

A larger battery pack is not necessarily better, as the above comparison showed.

A larger battery pack is not necessarily better, as the above comparison showed.

Photo: AutoWeek

Get back on the road faster with a smaller battery pack

Finally, the latest technology makes it possible to charge twice as fast, so that you can get back on the road faster with a smaller battery pack.

Meiborg, for example, expects a lot from the so-called 800 volt technology, which was introduced by Hyundai earlier this week with the new IONIQ 5 in a relatively affordable model.

Until recently it was only available from Porsche.

Thanks to 800 volt technology, it can be recharged more than twice as fast.

"If you can charge much faster than usual, you can also suffice as a frequent driver with a smaller battery pack. After all, you can also get on the road faster if you have to make a long journey", says Meiborg.

"You can keep the money you save on a version with a larger battery pack nicely in your pocket."

The much-heard argument that smaller battery packs are better for the environment also makes sense as far as Meiborg is concerned.

"The production of battery packs releases a relatively large amount of CO2. If you have a car with a large battery pack but you still drive only 40 kilometers a day, it takes longer to compensate for those CO2 emissions."

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Faster charging, as with the IONIQ 5, means faster back on the road.

Faster charging, as with the IONIQ 5, means faster back on the road.

Photo: Hyundai