Audi The pilot of a modular, lounge-like electric vehicle charging station has been successful and is looking to roll out further in Germany.
It opened an initial charge hub in Nuremberg, Germany, late last year, targeting electric car owners who cannot charge at home.
Audi has confirmed that it will launch an additional pilot site in Zurich from the second half of 2022 that will test a “compact modular concept”.
Two more of these compact sites will open “later this year” in Berlin and Salzburg, with three more to come in 2023. German cities are set to open more by mid-2024
Audi says its charging hub design is the first of its kind.
It is built around what Audi calls a ‘flexible cube-shaped container’, but looks like a shipping container. They can be set up or down in a few days, rearranged based on location, and have two quick chargers in each room.
As previously detailed, Nuremberg’s pilot site has six stored ultra-fast charging points capable of speeds up to 320kW.
Power comes from recycled (or second-life) batteries that store a combined 2.4MWh of energy. The roof also has a 30kW solar array, which means that what is needed to keep the charge hub running is a low-voltage power source that provides a power output of 200kW.
Charging costs € 31c per kilowatt hour (approximately A $ 50c), meaning an e-Tron 55 Quattro SUV will cost 43 to fully charge.
Between January 2022 and the end of April, Audi says it registered about 3,100 charges on its Nuremberg pilot site. About 60 percent of these charges were from customers.
On average, the pilot site charges 24 times at a rate of about 800kWh per day.
Upstairs there is a lounge and terrace which apparently was visited by an average of 35 customers per day.
Audi Charging Hub Project Manager Ralph Holmig said, “The numbers and positive customer feedback show that the idea of offering flexible, premium fast-charging infrastructure in our urban locations was justified.”
As mentioned earlier, the upcoming Zurich Charge Hub location will be more compact.
It will have four 320kW fast-chargers instead of six and will not come with an upstairs lounge, although it will have two 55-inch TV screens that will feature nearby food, fitness, shopping and e-bike sharing facilities.
“The modular design of the system allows us to respond flexibly to the conditions of the site,” explained Mr. Holmig.
It is unclear if these urban-centric Audi charging hubs will ever arrive in Australia.
More: Audi reveals very fast charge hub concept