Audi is working on an electric SUV to challenge Tesla Motors’ [NSDQ:TSLA] Model X, and today the German automaker marked a major milestone in the vehicle’s gestation. We are, of course, talking about the Q6 e-tron, which will be previewed in concept form at next month’s Frankfurt Auto Show before landing in showrooms sometime in 2018.

Today, Audi confirmed that Korean firms LG Chem and Samsung SDI will supply battery cells for the Q6 e-tron. Audi will help develop the cells, which in the Q6 e-tron will provide a range of at least 310 miles. The Korean firms will be responsible for manufacturing them at their European plants.

The battery cells are being designed to offer particularly high performance. An early version of the technology is being utilized for the R8 e-tron going on sale next year. In the electric supercar, a battery with a 92-kWh capacity has been selected—enough, Audi says, for a driving range of about 280 miles.

Audi R8 e-tron, technical details

Audi R8 e-tron, technical details

The range mentioned is almost certainly based on the European testing cycle, which produces longer range ratings than our own EPA tests. A reasonable rating for the Q6 e-tron might be 240 miles or so, while for the R8 e-tron expect close to 220 miles.

“Together with our South Korean development partners, we are bringing production of the latest battery‑cell technology to the EU and strengthening European industry with this key technology,” Audi procurement chief Bernd Martens said in a statement. “We will optimally integrate the innovative cell modules developed with LG Chem and Samsung SDI into our vehicle architecture, thus achieving an attractive overall package of sportiness and range.”

As Green Car Reports, LG Chem is one of the leading firms for the supply of electric car batteries. In addition to supplying batteries for the original Chevrolet Volt, the firm also scored contracts with the likes of the Ford Motor Company [NYSE:F], Hyundai, Renault and Volkswagen. Samsung SDI is a newer player in this field but has some key contracts including supplying batteries for BMW’s i cars as well as Ferrari’s LaFerrari flagship.


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