The drive towards electric mobility is quite intricate. One that goes far beyond merely replacing internal combustion engines with batteries and electric motors.
Not only do dealers need to learn all the information regarding electric vehicles to pass on to owners, but they also have to be able to service and repair the parts not found in cars powered by internal combustion engines.
And it doesn’t stop there either. It is also crucial that first responders know what they are dealing with when faced with electric vehicles (EVs).
Audi South Africa recently concluded the facilitation of a training programme with 70 first responders hosted at their Dealer Training Academy in Pretoria. The German carmaker started rolling out the first models of its EV range, the e-tron, locally this year.
The safety and education initiative is the first for the local automotive industry and is part of Audi’s e-tron launch and electric vehicle roll out.
“As part of our planning towards the introduction of our fully electric Audi e-tron model range, we consulted with the Department of Cooperative Governance and the National Disaster Management Centre in South Africa and identified a need to progress the education and information of EVs to first responders,” explains Sascha Sauer, Head of Audi South Africa.
“These individuals, like paramedics and fire services play a vital role towards the safety and security of South African drivers, and with the growing transition towards e-mobility, there was definitely an important responsibility on our part to bring these teams along our local EV transition or journey.”
The training facilitated a programme to “train the trainer”, with South African National Fire and Emergency Services, enabling the team of trainees to be in a position to adequately handle EV incidents on South African roads.
The class room-based training content included education and awareness of EV product features; technicalities of charging; and battery operations and safety guidelines to handling an electrically operated vehicle in comparison to an internal combustion engine. Attendees were also exposed to recently launched Audi e-tron models through a practical exercise based on global best training practices.
“With the arrival of more and more electric vehicles on our roads and across the country, the training of this nature was invaluable to our first responder teams. It is great to see that the future of automotive is taking place in South Africa and that our teams are seen as an important stakeholder within this new era. Thank you to Audi to exposing us to this new topic,” says, Acting Director of Fire Services, Thibedi Jappie Lengoabala.
For more information on the Audi e-tron, visit the manufacturer’s website.