Audi to test high-powered charging ‘lounges’ later this year

Audi is developing its own high-powered electric vehicle charging stations with a pilot set to launch later this year.

The core of the concept, which will look to improve electric vehicle charging in residential areas, is “premium” HPC charging in combination with a lounge offer. The power supply is to run via buffer storage.

The ‘Audi Charging Hub’ concept provides six reservable charging points of 300 kW each at the bottom, with a lounge area available as a place to stay at the top.

Audi has based the concept on modular container cubes that will also house used lithium-ion batteries as buffer storage, and the manufacturer is also considering the use of 2nd-life modules from dismantled development vehicles which will avoid the need for infrastructure expansion at the site with high-voltage supply lines and transformers.

“Thanks to 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,” Audi explained.

Oliver Hoffmann, board member for technical development at Audi AG, added: “A flexible high-performing HPC charging park like this does not require much from the local electricity grid and uses a sustainable battery concept.

“Our customers benefit in numerous ways: from the ability to make exclusive reservations, a lounge area and short waiting times thanks to high-performance charging. This is consistent with the premium concept.”

The setup is intended to facilitate the subsequent selection of possible locations, save costs and speed up the time planning.

The cub-like structure will also increase flexibility and scalability, according to Audi: “The hub can be transported, installed and adapted to the individual location quickly – largely independent of local network capacities.”

It added that plans are in place for a pilot location to go into operation in Germany in the second half of the year, with talks on partners and other locations also underway. Audi has also said drivers of other car brands will be able to use the charging hubs during the pilot.

Oliver Hoffman concluded: “The charging hub embodies our aspiration for the electric era and highlights Audi’s commitment to Vorsprung durch Technik.”

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