Audi says its pilot of a modular, lounge-like electric vehicle charging station has been successful, and it’s looking at rolling out more in Germany.
It opened an initial charge hub in Nuremberg, Germany late last year, targeted at electric vehicle owners who couldn’t charge at home.
Audi has confirmed that it’ll be launching an additional pilot site in Zurich from the second half of 2022 which will test out a “compact modular concept”.
Two more of these compact sites will open in Berlin and Salzburg “later this year”, with three additional sites to come in 2023. There are even more set to open in German cities by mid-2024.
Audi says its charging hub design is the first of its kind.
It’s built around what Audi calls ‘flexible cube-shaped containers’, but look like shipping containers. They can be set up or taken down in a few days, can be rearranged based on location, and each house two fast chargers.
As previously detailed, its pilot site in Nuremberg has six reservable ultra-rapid charging points that are capable of speeds of up to 320kW.
Power comes from recycled (or second-life) batteries storing a combined 2.4MWh of energy. There’s also a 30kW solar array on the roof, meaning all that’s required to keep the charge hub running is a low-voltage power source providing a power output of 200kW.
Charge prices are €31c (around A$50c) per kWh, meaning it would cost $43 to fully charge an e-tron 55 quattro SUV.
Between January and the end of April 2022, Audi says it registered around 3100 charges at its Nuremberg pilot site. 60 per cent of these charges were from return customers.
On average the pilot site did 24 charges at around 800kWh per day.
Upstairs there’s a lounge and terrace which was apparently visited by 35 customers every day on average.
“The numbers and positive customer feedback demonstrate our concept of offering flexible, premium quick-charging infrastructure in urban spaces was spot on,” said Audi charging hub project manager Ralph Hollmig.
As previously mentioned, the upcoming Zurich charge hub location will be more compact.
It’ll feature four 320kW fast-chargers instead of six and won’t come with an upstairs lounge, though it’ll feature two 55-inch TV screens which display content about nearby food, fitness, shopping and e-bike sharing facilities.
“The system’s modular design lets us react flexibly to on-site conditions,” explained Mr Hollmig.
It’s unclear if these urban-focused Audi charging hubs will ever come to Australia.