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Audi Q7 Plug-In Hybrid: Electric-Only Range Test

Rory Reid tests Audi’s claim that their Q7 plug-in hybrid can drive up to 29 miles using electric only. How far will he get?

Published on 7 January 2021 | 0 min read

If you were driving a plug-in hybrid on electric power only, how many miles would you expect to travel before the battery ran out?
Well, if it’s the Audi Q7 PHEV, Audi claim you could get between 27 and 29 miles on a single charge before you defaulted back to petrol, but does that claim hold up in real world driving? Rory Reid finds out in our latest video.

A bit about the Audi Q7

The Audi Q7 is a plug-in hybrid, which means it can run on petrol or electric power. You can learn more about the different types of hybrid here.
We’ve already published our long-term review of the Audi Q7, so head over to YouTube for a full rundown of its features. There are different versions of the Q7: the 55 trim and the 60 trim. Both use a three litre V6 engine, paired with a 94-kilowatt electric motor for quick-feeling driving and good torque. In this video, Rory is driving the 55, which makes 375 horsepower and does 0-62 in 5.9 seconds. For comparison, the 60 makes 449 horsepower and does 0-62 in 5.7 seconds. The car’s efficiency comes from the 17.3-kilowatt electric battery pack, which is markedly better than many early electric cars.

Audi Q7 driving modes

The Audi Q7 PHEV comes with different driving modes, including:
• Efficiency • Comfort • Auto • Dynamic • Individual • EV mode We’ll be focusing on the last one. EV mode is activated by a digital button. Push it, and the Q7 PHEV will either hold the electric power stored in the battery for later, or use that battery power to run purely on EV mode and forego petrol altogether. Once in EV mode, Audi claim the Q7 can run anything between 27 or 29 miles. According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), the average commute is 10 miles – so you’d almost be able to do three days’ worth of commuting on any one charge if this holds true. To thoroughly test it, we’re going to drive through stop-start traffic, on B roads and take on some 70mph sections. Watch the video to see how Rory gets on.

What happens when you run out of electric?

As the Audi Q7 is a hybrid, it’ll switch to hybrid or petrol mode once the electric power runs too low.
You’ll get plenty of warning as the power levels drop (just as you would in a fully electric car), so you’ll have time to find a charging point if needed.

How do I fill up or charge the car?

The Audi Q7 PHEV has two fuel filler caps – one for petrol on the right and one on the left for electric charging.
The Q7 PHEV doesn’t have fast charge compatibility, so you’d have to plug it in overnight. This can take four to five hours if you have a dedicated charging station at home. The cost of charging your PHEV depends. If you’ve got an economy seven tariff, which lowers the amount you pay during off-peak hours (nighttime), you could pay as little as seven pence per kilowatt hour. As the Audi Q7 PHEV’s battery pack is 17.3 kilowatt hours, it works out somewhere in the region of 121 pence to charge. So you’re paying £1.21 to drive around 20 miles, not a bad deal. Learn more about charging an electric car at home.

Can I run a hybrid off electric all the time?

Not really. Petrol has a shelf life of around six months in your tank, after which it starts to go off – meaning it won’t work as efficiently or at all. So, you’ll need to burn off what’s in the tank and replace it at least every six months.
Beyond that though, there’s not much stopping you, so you can run it as an electric car the majority of the time.