Audi has taken its first steps towards moving to electric mobility in India; the German company has launched its range of e-tron all-electric SUVs in the country. The India line-up includes the e-tron 50, e-tron 55 and e-tron Sportback 55. These are high-end, full-size all-electric vehicles that offer driving performance that’s equal to or better than their IC-engined siblings.

Fully charged, Audi’s e-tron SUVs have a driving range of 359-484km (depending on variables like the driving style and city vis-à-vis highway use). Audi is providing a portable 11kW AC home charger with each e-tron and, through 2021, customers will also receive a complimentary 22kW ‘wall box’ charger that can be installed in homes for faster charging. Select Audi dealerships across the country will be equipped with a 50kW DC fast charger, which e-tron customers can use free of charge through 2021.

The e-tron range offers the power and performance that customers would expect from a high-end German SUV. The e-tron 55’s dual electric motors deliver an impressive 300kW (402bhp) and 664Nm of torque, allowing it to go from zero to 100kph in just 5.7 seconds and hit a top speed of 200kph. The e-tron 50, with 230kW (308bhp), sprints from zero to 100kph in 6.8 seconds and offers more than adequate performance for the real world.

Like other Audi SUVs, the e-tron gets quattro permanent all-wheel-drive for maximum grip and high-speed stability. There’s also adaptive air suspension, which takes care of maximising ride comfort without compromising the SUV’s handling abilities.

The e-tron line-up gets Audi’s typically plush, modern cabins with high levels of technology; panoramic sunroof, 4-zone climate control system, 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system and Audi’s ‘virtual cockpit’ digital instrumentation are all standard. The e-tron also gets powerful ‘digital matrix’ LED headlamps with very cool animated projections that are fun to look at.

‘The Audi e-tron [range of SUVs] is the perfect confluence of luxury, zero emissions, performance and everyday usability. With the three offerings, we have a proposition for every type of EV customer in the small but growing luxury SUV space. This is just the start of Audi India’s electric journey and you will hear from us very shortly on our next EV offering,’ says Balbir Singh Dhillon, Head of Audi India.

Ex-showroom prices start at Rs 99.99 lakh for the e-tron 50, Rs 1.16 crore for the e-tron 55 and Rs 1.17 crore for the e-tron Sportback 55. The e-tron range is offered with a standard 2-year warranty, with an 8-year/160,000km warranty on the high-voltage lithium-ion battery. Extended warranty, roadside assistance and buyback options are also available.

In India, the e-tron’s competitors include the Mercedes-Benz EQC and Jaguar I-Pace, both of which come with price tags that are approximately similar to the Audi’s, and offer somewhat similar performance. The Volvo XC40 Recharge all-electric SUV will also join the fray later this year, albeit at a significantly lower price point – perhaps at around Rs 50 lakh.

The Hyundai Kona and Tata Nexon are also there in the electric SUVs segment, available at prices that are within reach of the vast majority of buyers. The EVs battle has begun and we can expect to see the improved range, better performance, a wider network of charging stations and lower prices in the coming years. For the good old IC engine, which has served us so well for the last 100 years, it’s the beginning of the end.