ELECTRIFYING LADAKH
Better Photography|November 2021
We knew our journey between Delhi to Leh in the Audi e-tron would be tough, and it would get harder as we progressed deeper into the Himalayas. Here then is what happened
BERTRAND D'SOUZA
Our journey while technically was supposed to begin from Chandigarh, began in reality from Delhi where we collected the e-tron and the support Q2s from the Audi workshop near Faridabad. On a full charge, the e-tron showed us a range of around 435km. This seems like a good number to begin with, but we lost almost 40 per cent of that charge just taking the Eastern peripheral expressway to get onto NH44 to Karnal. However with traffic building up on NH44 and with enough stop-go opportunities to brake and recuperate charge we made it to the Statiq high speed charger at Savoy Greens in Karnal.

The first challenge came at Chandigarh. At the Audi dealership we had substantial voltage fluctuations which meant our car only began charging at around 5 am. An 8 am departure meant in the 3 hours we were only able to get just around 30 percent charge which increased our range to a little over 330kms. Would that be enough to cover the distance to Mandi where we had set up the next charger? With around 80% charge in the battery, and a range of around 330kms we were flagged off from the J W Mariott Chandigarh. Unfortunately, we were still in the learning process of how to drive the e-tron which saw us dump battery charge down to almost 50 per cent just a few kilometres after hitting Bilaspur. Fear setting in our average speed dropped to around 30kph, we’d switched off the air-con and all electronics and opportunities to recuperate energy were few and far between. And to make matters worse, just a few hundred metres short of the Patyal petrol pump, ongoing road works to expand this highway, had caused a massive jam. Our leftover range was 33kms and battery charge almost down to 0! In hindsight, had we got a pick-me-up at the DC charger at Una, our state would probably not have been as perilous.

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