Audi launches their world-first electric vehicle (EV) charging hub as an urban quick-charging concept

With the growing number of electric vehicles (EVs), the demand for charging infrastructure is increasing. As a result, the first Audi charging hub is going into operation as the only charging concept of its kind in the world.

Located at the exhibition centre in Nuremberg, the Audi charging hub opens for customers on December 23. The modern quick-charging station with reservable high-power charging areas is aimed at electric car owners who don’t have any charging opportunities at home.

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The Audi charging hub is also intended to serve future peak demand for charging in urban environments. A connected lounge area also provides a premium charging experience.

Ralph Hollmig, Audi charging hub project manager, said: “We want to use it to test flexible and premium-oriented quick-charging infrastructure in urban space.

“We’re going where our customers don’t necessarily wake up in the morning with a fully charged electric car and at the same time thinking about increasing charging demand in the future.”

The cubes are the foundation of the Audi charging hub and can be assembled and disassembled again in existing areas in a few days. The cubes provide two fast-charging stations for each unit and can be combined in various forms.

Used and processed lithium-ion batteries function as energy storage systems. By using second-life batteries taken from dismantled development vehicles reduces costs and resources.

This makes complex infrastructure with high-voltage power lines and expensive transformers unnecessary, as well as avoiding time-consuming planning procedures. The Audi charging hub’s battery-storage solution will bring quick-charging infrastructure where the electric grid is not enough.

Thanks to the roughly 2.45MWh of interim storage, the charging stations in Nuremberg only need a 200kW green power connection to the low-voltage network that is already available. This is entirely sufficient for operating the Audi charging hub.

The 200kW are enough to continually fill the storage modules. Solar panels on the roof additionally provide up to 30kW of green energy too. Customers can charge electric cars with up to 320kW of power at six charging points.

A total of about 80 vehicles can be charged here per day without reaching the limits of the energy storage system’s capacity combined with the hub’s 200kW power input.

For example, the Audi e-tron GT reaches a charging capacity of up to 270kW ad allows the four-door coupé to charge enough energy for up to 100 kilometres in just five minutes. A charge up to 80 percent takes around 23 minutes.

Prices will be similar to having a wallbox at home. Currently, anyone who chooses to use the high-power charging stations at the Audi charging hub in Nuremberg and have an e-tron Charging Service contract can charge for 31 cents per kilowatt-hour, regardless of the rate. This makes the Audi charging hub a real alternative to charging at home.

The Audi charging hub in Nuremberg is an open charging site and the entrance area is also accessible for drivers of cars of other makes. Audi customers can use the new reservation function in the myAudi app and charging itself is quick and uncomplicated.

The tests starting in Nuremberg focus on the new reservation function, customers’ expectations of a premium charging experience and technical aspects like the requirements for modern battery storage systems. Audi also wants to determine which times of day the facility is particularly frequently used.

Audi is also offering additional attractive services on-site beyond charging electric cars. These services include an exchange station for electric bike batteries, an electric scooter lending service and information about various Audi products. They will also offer test drives in the Audi Q4 e-tron and RS e-tron GT, supervised by Audi experts.

Service staff will look after customers in the roughly 200-square-metre lounge. It also includes a 40-square-metre patio where users’ wellbeing takes centre stage so they can work or relax.

During the pilot project in Nuremberg, an employee will attend to visitors’ wishes between 10am-7pm. Six charging points and a lounge will be available around the clock.

Ian Osborne
Ian Osborne
Editor-in-Chief at ElectricDrives

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