e-tron will not start off in EV mode on cold morning

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Well-known member
Jul 12, 2014
I'd be interested if any of our members, especially those from colder climates, have encountered a similar issue to the following.

I was unable to start off in EV mode one morning. The temperature in the garage was about +5°C while outside was about -2°C. An indicator lamp in the instrument cluster indicated that "e-tron mode: EV mode currently unavailable" because "the conditions for electric driving are not fulfilled", according to the owners manual. It also stated:

Conditions for electric driving
  • The high voltage battery must be sufficiently charged
    The high voltage battery must be at an appropriate temperature (not below approx.. -10°C
    The vehicle must not be travelling faster than approx.. 130 km/h
    The kick-down feature must not be used
    The selector lever must not be in the S position

None of these was applicable in my case, but then I noticed a note containing additional information:

  • For technical reasons, for instance if there is a build-up of condensation in the engine, the combustion engine may need to run for a longer period. During this phase it is not possible to drive on electric power alone. ​

I am assuming the latter was my problem as EV mode became available after driving for a few minutes.
I experienced something similar this week as it has started to get colder here in VT (my first winter with the etron). Started up just foje at about 10 degrees F but immediately went into IC mode even though the battery was fully charged. Once everything warmed up Five miles later I could switch back to EV mode.
I live near Ottawa Canada and as shown on the following picture of my instrument cluster, my Etron started this morning, it was in my garage and the temperature was -7 °C.


After driving a while (5 km) the outside temperature was -24 °C and as shown the car still ran in EV mode. One thing to notice is that the battery range decreased a lot faster than in warmer temperature.

Thanks for the feedback folks. As the original issue occurred almost two years ago and I have had a few software campaign updates since then, I can report that I haven't seen the issue since.