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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As we have discovered, annoyingly, the Q4 doesn’t have an in-built charging timer, and according to Audi Customer Service, there’s no date when this will be available. So for the time being I’m using the Pod Point app and a range extender to improve the signal. Where this is leading to is Audi CS in their reply have said even if there was an in-built timer, I would still have an issue using this if my home WiFi isn’t good enough. I didn’t think this was true, but could be completely wrong.

Your thoughts will be appreciate.
 

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When I first saw posts regarding the absence of an onboard charging timer on the Q4 I was astounded.

As the owner of a E-tron 55 SUV which has a perfectly good timer, why Audi don'yt just lift the software they have already developed onto the Q4 I cannot imagine.

Regarding your specific point, I guess that it goes without saying that if users want to communicate with their car to use the app they will need some form of data connection (Wi-fi or cellular) but if parked in a dead-spot it should still prompt the driver to set the timer when the car is shut down. Also (on the 55 at least) the car knows it is at home from it's GPS location and therefore uses it's saved settings for charging - if it is plugged in.

It can't be rocket science to port the software Audi already has surely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, and I was amazed the car lacked the in-built timer when cars from other manufacturers, that cost less than half what I paid for my Q4, have in-built timers from day one! And it’s almost as if Audi don’t care!
 

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Where this is leading to is Audi CS in their reply have said even if there was an in-built timer, I would still have an issue using this if my home WiFi isn’t good enough. I didn’t think this was true, but could be completely wrong.
I don’t think this is true either. Speaking entirely hypothetically, the Q4:
  • has a built-in 4G/LTE mobile data connection.
  • knows the current time.
  • has its own user interface.
Therefore it is feasible that the vehicle could use a decentralised model where it would remember a charging schedule set via the on-board user interface and action it at the appropriate time. As such the vehicle wouldn’t need an active data connection for scheduling to work.

It is also possible Audi choose a centralised control model (like PodPoint) where the vehicle would require an active data connection to Audi’s servers at the time the sheduled charge is due to start and end. This wouldn’t rely on your home Wi-Fi but would require 4G/LTE mobile coverage (for the mobile network Audi use) where the vehicle is parked.

Your Wi-Fi might be involved if you were using the myAudi app to setup or monitor the charge scheduling. The myAudi app to vehicle connectivity is likely to be indirect via Audi’s servers. So the phone/device running the app and the vehicle would independently need an connection in this scenario. The app may be using Wi-Fi but the vehicle would still be using bits own cellular connection.

I’d choose the first decentralised model for charge scheduling, but many of the other commonly requested myAudi features require an active data connection. So they could choose to use it for everything and control charge scheduling centrally. In either case though that still doesn’t require Wi-Fi connectivity to wherever the vehicle is parked.

I’m not sure the above helps as we will need to see what the requirements if/when Audi implement it.
 

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P.S. Be aware the charge scheduling of the ‘big’ e-tron is based on setting target battery state of charge and a departure time. Audi may choose to implement it on the Q4 in the same way.

That is useful to ensure the battery is charged just-in-time for departure with the benefit that the battery will be warm (and optionally the interior will be warned/cooled to the preset temperature) to maximise efficiency early on in the journey.

BUT that isn’t entirely useful to take advantage of cheap overnight/off-peak electricity though, as the vehicle itself chooses the charge start time based on the current battery state-of-charge.

If you want to use the schedule for the later purpose it is still likely best handled by a schedule at the charge point rather than the vehicle. And therefore getting a 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi extender to provide connectivity to your PodPoint may still be a good investment.

Setting schedules in multiple places is a recipe for conflict and confusion leading to failed charges, both at home and especially so when using public charging infrastructure. With smart domestic chargers being common and even offered for free when ordering a Q4, I can see their logic in perhaps thinking that not offering charge scheduling in the vehicle itself simplifies things whilst covering most user’s use cases.
 

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I have dual tariff electricity. So only use off peak to charge the car. Setting the charging time in my Pod Point app works well now 🤞. I set the charge percentage e.g. 80% in the car and in the morning all done. Plus the timed AC is running. So that is good, but it's a combination or car and app.
 

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Andrew, You make some good points regarding charging schedules but in my experience the charging timer on the E-tron 55 works well alongside a dual rate tariff. In fact it is my impression that this is exactly what it is designed for.

As you describe, the car will try to take charge to meet a departure time which the user has set. The geo-fencing 'knows' when the car is at home and therefore gives priority to the low-rate period set (in my case 00:30 - 04:30 as I am Octopus Go).

The car does a short check to see what rate of charge will be available (you can hear the relay click and see a short spike of charge if you change it) and then presumably calculates if it can get everything it wants in the period set. If it can then great, if not then it uses this four hour period plus whatever else it needs at the higher rate.

The really clever stuff is when you arrive home with a low state of charge and set a high requirement along with a departure date a few days hence. It will only take the charge in 4 hour chunks each night on the low rate, topping up the final bit on the last night.

I think that in the end we all find a method that suits our particular circumstance. I still have no idea why the Q4 is different though, it must be a pain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the advice. And good to know the lack of an in-built charging timer in the Q4 is something other owners aren’t happy about.

I‘m tempted to reply back to Audi Customer Service, but in all honestly, I’m not sure they would even bother to read my email!

Maybe one day we will get the in-built timer, along with the other functionality Audi made a big thing about in its pre launch publicity material for the Q4.

😆😆
 
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Andrew, You make some good points regarding charging schedules but in my experience the charging timer on the E-tron 55 works well alongside a dual rate tariff. In fact it is my impression that this is exactly what it is designed for.

As you describe, the car will try to take charge to meet a departure time which the user has set. The geo-fencing 'knows' when the car is at home and therefore gives priority to the low-rate period set (in my case 00:30 - 04:30 as I am Octopus Go).
Chasing Cars, Thanks for the clarification I wasn’t aware Audi’s on-board scheduling system was aware of both the cheaper charging period and your desired departure time. You mention geofencing, so am I right in thinking the vehicle knows it is at home and only uses its schedule there? (Avoiding the need to manually advance or cancel the schedule when using a public charging point)

If so that sounds good and flexible, albeit maybe a little complex to setup.

I don’t have my Q4 yet (latest build estimate is week 35) so was basing my information on what I can glean from other forum users and the owner’s manual. It’s good to get insight from current owners.
 

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Regarding whether having good wifi at home would affect scheduling a charge in the on-board system, coming from the big etron Quattro SUV, the answer is "maybe?" If you set up your timers through the MMI, then you should not have a problem. If you set it up using the awful MyAudi app (yes, the app is bad for all etrons), then any timer you set up via your phone must be transmitted (by home or phone wifi) to the MyAudi Cloud. Then, it is relayed by the Cloud Service to your car via the car's wifi base communication system. If your home wifi works ok for you, then the wifi should not be a problem. IF, your have extremely poor mobile service for whomever Audi has chosen to work in the car, then that might be a problem. In my experience, this data communication is VERY basic data communication, so even a minimal connection should work. Most often, there are FREQUENT problems connecting to the MyAudi Cloud--and that is a problem with the Cloud being VERY, VERY flaky. Also, often the Cloud cannot wake up your car to talk to it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi,

So from what you have said, if and when the Q4 gets the in-built charging timer and I use the MMI to set a charge, the need for a good WiFi signal isn’t necessary. This is what I thought, but wanted to check with other owners.

Many thanks.
 
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What’s really annoying is the charging timer is described in detail in the Q4 manual
Not that I can see in the electronic copy of the Q4 manual that was made available by another owner on this forum. Are you sure you weren’t reading the ‘big’ e-tron manual? If so, perhaps they changed that section to remove it in a later revision?
 

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Not that I can see in the electronic copy of the Q4 manual that was made available by another owner on this forum. Are you sure you weren’t reading the ‘big’ e-tron manual? If so, perhaps they changed that section to remove it in a later revision?
As an owner of the Q4, the app gives be access to a current version online 12/2021 in this case.
 

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I am also speechless because when I follow the link in the app I see a manual dated 06/2021 and no supplement.

The highlighted sections are completely missing.

My Q4 was registered October 2021 so I presume only later models have this capability.
 
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