Audi is working on a concept for quick charging for premium-level electromobility: the Audi charging hub. A pilot project in the second half of the year will provide a specific outlook and a practical test for a possible serial roll-out.
For the first time, more than half of Audi’s newly introduced models are electrified. The recently introduced Q4 e-tron series offers an attractively priced step into premium electric mobility and is also an important volume building block of the electrification strategy. With the growing number of electric models, the requirements for the charging infrastructure will also grow.
A solution to peak demands in the future could be the Audi charging hub. The concept calls for high-power charging (HPC) stations that can be reserved in advance to provide a high level of planning security. A lounge area directly nearby will provide an attractive, premium place to pass the time.
Cubes form the foundation of the Audi charging hub. The flexible container cubes fulfill various technical requirements and house charging pillars as well as used lithium-ion batteries for energy storage. The use of second-life modules from disassembled development vehicles doesn’t just give the battery cells a new, sustainable purpose, it also provides a great benefit in their suitability as ancillary storage for direct current. This makes complex infrastructure with high-voltage lines and expensive transformers unnecessary.
With this huge interim storage—roughly 2.45 MWh—the six charging stations, which have a charging output of up to 300 kW, only need a standard 400 volt high-voltage hook-up. That makes output starting at 11 kW per cube sufficient to be able to fill the three storage modules with a total capacity of 2.45 MWh continually and to charge them overnight.
Photovoltaic modules on the roof provide additional green energy. This not only makes it easier to selection possible locations, it also reduces the planning time required and the costs while also saving resources. In addition, the modular concept provides maximum flexibility and scalability.
The hub can be transported, installed and adapted to the individual location quickly, largely independent of local network capacities.
It can take only a little longer than a coffee break to charge an electric Audi. The Audi e-tron GT, for example, reaches a charging capacity of up to 270 kW. That allows it to charge enough energy for up to 100 kilometers in about five minutes, with a charge from 5 to 80% taking as little as 23 minutes under ideal conditions. The upstairs lounge area offers a place to pass the time that is modern and in line with the premium concept. A variety of amenities and a range of snacks, drinks and non-food items can make the charging stop a welcome break.
The search for a location in Germany for the Audi charging hub pilot project and talks with possible partners are currently underway. It is planned to go into operation in the second half of the year. The findings about day-to-day operations and customer acceptance that are generated from this will be decisive for further implementation of the concept.