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Audi e-tron range set to start SA’s ‘EV transition’

The Audi e-tron brand was officially launched in South Africa last night, amid high expectations for electric vehicles, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK

The new Audi RS e-tron GT performance electric car may start at more than R3-million, but the company can barely keep up with local demand. The allocation made available for its launch here has already been sold out, says Asif Hoosen, head of retail, planning and supply chain at Audi South Africa.

He was speaking to Gadget at last night’s Cape Town launch of the e-tron range – the first fully-fledged electric vehicle range from a premium automotive brand.

“The launch allocation has been sold out, and we expect to sell about 50 this year despite a R3,3-million price,” he says.

“Across the range, Customers are just waiting to test drive the cars before making their decisions. We expect very good uptake in the first 3 months across the range. Consumers are a lot further ahead than the industry realised. We are quietly confident the market is going to transition quicker than most people expect. It’s going to gather momentum.”

An e-tron 55 First edition model will be available in the second half of 2022, priced from R1,745,000.

Audi chose the palindrome date of 22.02.2022 for the launch, as it represents “a milestone moment in officially introducing premium sustainable and all-electric mobility for South African consumers”.

The event, held at the largest museum of contemporary African art, Zeitz MOCAA, included the arrival of the e-tron 55 SUV, e-tron 55 Sportback and S Sportback, as well as the high performance and halo models, the e-tron GT and RS e-tron GT.

Says Sascha Sauer, head of Audi South Africa: “Last night, we took the lead in progressing and contributing towards an electric future in South Africa. By accelerating our transition towards e-mobility, we are fully embracing Audi’s global mission in transforming towards being a provider of premium sustainable mobility and in line with our Brand’s global commitments towards the Paris Climate Agreement.”

Audi says its transition towards electric mobility has yielded positive results for the e-tron model range around the world already. Audi is the world market leader in the luxury electric vehicle market and offers the largest number of fully-electric models to its consumers around the globe. That is evident in Audi’s fully electric car deliveries in 2021, which increased by 58 percent year on year. Audi more than doubled its product portfolio of fully electric models in the past year.

Of the models launched last night, Audi has sold over 52,000 units globally, which represents two thirds of total Audi electric vehicle sales. The best-selling models are the e-tron and e-tron Sportback range.

Said Sauer: “From 2022 onwards, Audi South Africa is committed to grow the e-tron model range locally and will introduce at least one new electric model each year, to grow consumer choice and to demonstrate our commitment in securing a leading electric vehicle position within the premium automotive market from the start here in South Africa. But of course it doesn’t stop at just a product level. Audi has also partnered with GridCars and invested in building the largest and fastest electric vehicle public charging network in the country.”

As part of Audi’s e-tron launch efforts, an e-tron 55 First edition will be available for sale in South Africa from the second half of 2022 through ten e-tron dealerships nationwide. The e-tron 55 First edition will be available in limited numbers and for a limited time. This model will start from R1,745,000. As with all Audi e-tron models, the First edition model is supported by a five year/100,000km Audi Freeway Maintenance Plan and an 8 year/160,000 km battery warranty.

The full range of Audi e-tron models retailing in South Africa from now consists of three e-tron 55 derivatives, the e-tron 55 Sportback, e-tron S Sportback, and the pinnacle of the line-up, the e-tron GT and RS e-tron GT.

Pricing is:

  • e-tron 55 First edition – R1,745,000
  • e-tron 55 advanced – R1,990,000
  • e-tron 55 S line – R2,045,000
  • e-tron 55 Sportback S line – R2,115,000
  • e-tron S Sportback – R2,425,000
  • e-tron GT – R2,715,000
  • RS e-tron GT – R3,300,000
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