The Audi e-tron electric SUV has received a ‘free’ range boost as part of a new software update for the 2019 and 2020 model years. UK owners of the 1,655 e-tron 55 models of that vintage can add an extra 12.4 miles (20 kilometres) to their car’s maximum range by taking the car to an Audi dealer for a free update.

Available now, the software update expands the usable capacity of the e-tron’s 95 kWh battery to 86 kWh. That means the vehicles built between mid-September 2018 and the end of November 2019 will be eligible for a small increase in their maximum range.

At the same time, the new software update will also tweak the way in which the car controls its front electric motor. Already, the car will send most of its power to the rear wheels under normal conditions, but the software tweak sees the front motor almost completely disconnected and powered off, only coming to life when more power is needed. This, according to Audi, makes it even more efficient most of the time.

Audi e-tron

In addition, the update will also improve the car’s cooling. The thermal management system regulates the temperature more efficiently, with modifications to the coolant circuit enabling Audi to reduce the car’s energy consumption.

To take advantage of the new update, customers will first have to check if their vehicle is eligible, then take it to their local Audi service centre. The update will be carried out free of charge, and customers will also receive a complimentary vehicle health check.

Audi e-tron

“At Audi, we deliver progress through technology – and there’s no clearer demonstration of that than the free software and range update we’ve just launched for our existing e-tron 55 quattro customers,” said Andrew Doyle, the director of Audi UK. “As we shift our focus to the world of electric vehicles, we’re channelling our pioneering spirit and world-renowned technological expertise into the reinvention of our company as a leading light in the field of sustainable mobility.

“As one of the automotive industry’s first signatories of the Paris Climate Agreement, Audi is taking a holistic and uncompromising approach to meeting its environmental obligations. We have set ourselves ambitious sustainability targets that include the attainment of a 30 per cent reduction in vehicle-specific CO2 emissions throughout the product life cycle by 2025, operation of all Audi production sites with net zero carbon emissions by that same deadline, and full company-wide carbon neutrality on balance by no later than 2050.”

Gallery: Audi e-tron 55 quattro on tour