Audi has big plans to ramp up its EV offerings, introducing more than 20 fully electric models by 2025, and it’s working on a concept for premium-level charging infrastructure in keeping with its market position as a luxury brand.
Audi plans to implement a pilot project in the second half of this year, which will provide a practical test for a possible serial rollout. The Audi charging hub will offer high-power charging stations that can be reserved in advance, and a lounge area that provides an attractive, premium place to pass the time. In the pilot phase, drivers of non-Audi EVs will be able to use unreserved charging stations, as well as parts of the lounge.
The foundation of the Audi charging hub will be flexible container cubes housing charging pillars as well as used lithium-ion batteries for energy storage. The use of second-life modules from disassembled development vehicles will help to reduce the need for complex infrastructure with high-voltage lines and expensive transformers.
The hub will have six charging stations, each with a power output of up to 300 kW. Thanks to a “huge” amount of interim storage—roughly 2.45 MWh—a standard 400-volt electrical service should suffice. Photovoltaic modules on the roof will provide additional green energy. The combination of renewable generation and storage is designed to makes it easier to select possible locations, and to reduce planning time and costs.
The hub can be transported, installed and adapted to an individual location quickly, independent of local network capacities.
“A flexible high-performing HPC charging park like this does not require much from the local electricity grid, and uses a sustainable battery concept,” says Oliver Hoffmann, a Member of Audi’s Board for Technical Development. “Our customers benefit in numerous ways: from the ability to make exclusive reservations, a lounge area and short waiting times thanks to high-performance charging. This is consistent with the premium concept.”
Audi is currently searching for a location in Germany for the charging hub pilot project, and talking with possible partners. It plans to put the hub into service in the second half of the year, and will use the findings about customer acceptance to direct further implementation of the concept.
“We are testing what the optimal technical solution is in a very realistic way. The focus in doing so is firmly on the needs of our customers,” Hoffmann adds.