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Dedicated hubs for quick-charging: the Audi pilot project

21.6.2021
Dedicated hubs for quick-charging: the Audi pilot project

A concept with a sustainable and modular design, that reuses electric car batteries and includes HPC charging with an output of up to 300 kW, stations that can be reserved by users and an exclusive lounge area.

Audi is accelerating its transformation as a provider of sustainable premium mobility. The German brand plans to ramp up its efforts by 2025 with a wide range of more than 20 fully electric models - and key to its success in this transformation will be the availability of charging infrastructure.

To this end, Audi is working on a pilot project to offer a premium-level experience for quick-charging of electric cars which will begin in the second half of the year and provide a practical test for a possible serial roll-out.

The importance of infrastructure

In 2021, for the first time ever, more than half of new Audi models launched will be electrified. The recently introduced Q4 e-tron series offers an attractively priced step into premium electric mobility and is also an important building block in the brand’s electrification strategy.

As the number of electric models grows, so too do the requirements and demand for charging infrastructure. The Audi charging hub could be a solution, but how exactly does it work? High-power charging (HPC) stations can be reserved in advance to provide a high level of planning security alongside a lounge area that provides an attractive and comfortable space to pass the time.

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Flexible charging

Different-sized cubes form the foundation of the Audi charging hub and house charging pillars as well as used lithium ion batteries for energy storage. These batteries come from Volkswagen Group electric vehicles that have reached the end of their life cycle and are reused as static batteries, thus giving them a new purpose. This reduces the batteries’ carbon footprint and allows them to store energy, doing away with the need for other kinds of fixed infrastructure with high structural costs.

The total storage capacity of the three modules that make up the hub is 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.

Rapid installation

11 kW of output is all that is required to fill and keep each module charged. Photovoltaic modules on the roof provide additional energy. The hub can be transported, installed and adapted to the individual location quickly – and largely independently of local network capacities.

The hub offers flexible, sustainable and powerful charging. Our customers benefit from the ability to make reservations, a lounge area and short waiting times thanks to the hub’s high performance. This is consistent with the premium concept,” says Oliver Hoffmann, Member of the Board for Technical Development of Audi AG.

Just time for a coffee

It only takes a little longer than a coffee break to charge an electric Audi. The e-tron GT, for example, reaches a DC charging capacity of up to 270 kW. That allows it to charge enough energy for up to 100 km in about five minutes (WLTP), with a charge from 5 to 80 percent taking roughly 23 minutes under ideal conditions. And, to make the wait a true premium experience, a lounge on the upper floor provides customers with the perfect setting for a relaxing stop, offering a variety of amenities and a range of snacks and drinks.

The pilot project will be launched in Germany in the second half of the year. The findings on its day-to-day operations and customer feedback will be carefully analysed and will be crucial in further implementing the concept. “We are carefully testing the optimal technical solution with a strong focus on the needs of our customers,” Hoffmann adds. The concept also allows drivers of other brand cars to use charging stations that are not reserved.

SourceAUDI AG

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