The Audi e Tron range of electric vehicles has finally arrived on the African continent. We got to try the Audi e-tron 155 fully electric vehicle, already a common sight on European roads and now coming to a public charging station near you. Or, to your home charging station, because you can charge it from any plug point.
It has two plug points, one on either side of the car, very elegantly opened via the touch of a button and closed again the same way. On the passenger side, it has an AC plug point from where you can only plug it in at home. On the driver side, you have a dual plug point, with both AC and DC sockets. The DC flap only has to open when you go to a public charging point. There you can charge a car in less than half an hour. The AC is overnight.
But the most fascinating aspect is what the car doesn’t have. And that is side mirrors on the outside. Instead, it has a high-resolution camera and that camera transmits an image onto a seven-inch OLED screen inside the vehicle – and not just on the driver’s side but also on the passenger side.
In between, it also has Apple Car Play and Android Auto – I used the latter to mirror Waze seamlessly on my car.
But those side mirrors, or lack of side mirrors – the first in any production vehicle – are what truly sets this vehicle apart from anything else on the road.
The positioning of the screens does take some getting used to and you may also have difficulty in bright sunlight. And then, if someone knocks those cameras off the side, that’s an expensive repair.
But this is a true shift in the way auto manufacturers are thinking about cars.