Audi made a splash earlier this year when it simultaneously launched six e-tron models in its electric vehicle (EV) range in Cape Town. And last month it completed EV first responder training at its Dealer Training Academy in Pretoria.

The company says its safety and education initiative is the first for the local automotive industry, and part of the e-tron launch strategy. While it has offered the physical training to paramedics and firemen, Jaguar and BMW provide first responder and rescue guidelines for its EVs.

Sascha Sauer, head of Audi SA, says EVs are increasing in popularity and will have an extensive presence on the roads within the next five years, presenting new and unique challenges to emergency services.

Recently, the Mail & Guardian received the electric e-tron Sportback S quattro in “myth black” to test over a weekend. The vehicle has 370kW of power with 973Nm of torque, which was extremely powerful for our short stint with it, and more so for South African roads.

Its battery capacity is 95kWh and promises around 347-378km of range (WLTP figures). It can go from 0-100km/h in 4.5 seconds and has a top speed of 210km/h.

The vehicle is all black, including the brand’s signature four-ring logo, giving it quite a menacing look, which drew a lot of attention. It is a huge vehicle, thus having access to the optional 360-degree cameras while reversing and parking was helpful.

Our test unit also came with R376 600 worth of optional extras fitted, such as a night vision assistant, panoramic glass sunroof, Audi phone box (with wireless charging), LED door projector lights, head-up display, and the black styling package. It also performs a fun light show at start-up and when switched off.

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