On the 23rd of December, Audi opened its first charging hub, located in Nuremberg, Germany. Conceptually, the hub’s role is that of a lounge, where the drivers can read a magazine, get a drink, or just enjoy the outdoor scenery. Reminiscent of upper-level lounges at the airport. Audi Charging Hub offers six reservable fast-charging slots that can reach a charging power of 320 kW, as well as pricing comparable to the electric expenses at home. More on that below.
In China, a similar concept was introduced some four years back by the electric vehicle manufacturer NIO. Namely, they call it the “NIO House“, where the potential customers can see new models, talk to a sales rep, etc, and the current owners can go to a separate space, usually on the upper floor, to have a drink or meet with other people.
Audi is proud of its flexible container cube design, which can be assembled in a few days. Self-sufficiency and affordability are always the goal, and the charging hub achieves these through an innovative system of used batteries. The hub saves money and resources by using second-hand batteries from decommissioned research vehicles as energy storage systems. Another benefit of this system is that it does not necessitate the use of high-voltage power lines or costly transformers. Where the electric grid is insufficient, the charging hub’s battery-storage option will provide quick-charging infrastructure.
The Nuremberg prototype hub contains around 2.45 MWh of interim storage and just requires a 200 kW green power connection to the previously existing low-voltage network. According to Audi, the 200 kW is sufficient to continuously replenish the storage modules, with solar panels on the roof generating an additional 30 kW of green energy.
Customers may charge electric cars with up to 320 kW of electricity at six charging stations as a consequence of this design, which implies that a total of around 80 vehicles can be charged here every day without exceeding the hub’s energy supply constraints.
“We want to use it to test flexible and premium-oriented quick-charging infrastructure in urban space.We’re providing people in urban areas with charging at the price they would pay to charge using the Wallbox at home,” says Ralph Hollmig, Audi charging hub project manager.
Anyone with an e-tron Charging Service contract who uses the high-power charging stations at the Audi charging hub can charge their vehicle for 31 cents per kilowatt-hour. As a result, the Audi charging station is a viable substitute for charging at home.
The Audi charging station in Nuremberg is a free public charging station. Drivers of different car brands are also permitted to use the entry area.
Take a look at Herbert Diess’s (CEO of the Volkswagen Group) visit to Audi Charging station at the link here.