Audi might not have launched the all-electric E-tron recently were it not for the rapid scale of events after Dieselgate that have forced many automakers to speed up the arrival of their electric vehicles. So it was that we found ourselves in Abu Dhabi, the home of oil and gas, for the launch of the pure electric Audi E-tron. We started at Masdar City, a project started in 2009 as a sustainable city in a land of petroleum. Set to be home to 50,000 people and the employment base for 40,000, it would cost 10 times less to implement today than it has cost over the nearly 10 years since it began, such has been the pace of change when it comes to the cost of technology. It has a 10MW photovoltaic electricity generation farm, streets that are angled towards the wind from the sea to reduce the temperature by up to six degrees Celcius compared to the rest of Abu Dhabi, and a hi-tech air cooling tower based on the same principles as those on top of many a home in the Middle East. It’s a proj...

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