Audi is working on its own rapid-charging concept for its electric cars and will create a pilot in the second half of the year to test a possible series application. The core of the concept is “premium” high power charging (HPC) in combination with a lounge offer. The power supply is to run via buffer storage.
In concrete terms, the “Audi Charging Hub” provides for six reservable charging points of 300 kW each. Built on two levels, the chargers are accessible on one floor, while a lounge area is available above as a place to stay.
The concept is based on modular container cubes that will also house used lithium-ion batteries as buffer storage. Audi is considering using second-life modules from dismantled development vehicles, avoiding the need for costly 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,” according to Audi.
“A flexible high-performing HPC charging park like this does not require much from the local electricity grid and uses a sustainable battery concept,” said Oliver Hoffmann, Board Member for Technical Development at Audi AG.
“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.”
Audi will open up the Charging Hub to other drivers during the pilot.
The setup is intended to facilitate the subsequent selection of possible locations, save costs and speed up the time planning. Audi also expects advantages in terms of flexibility and scalability from the cube-like structure of the concept: “The hub can be transported, installed and adapted to the individual location quickly – largely independent of local network capacities.”
The carmaker is planning for a pilot location to go into operation in Germany in the second half of the year. Talks on the location and possible partners are currently underway, according to Audi. Insights from the pilot and customer reception will inform further implementation of the concept.
Interestingly, Audi also wants to open up its Charging Hub to drivers of other brands during the pilot. The plan is for other drivers to be able to use “free and non-reserved charging points as well as parts of the lounge,” implying that the hubs themselves are planned as proprietary facilities.
“The charging hub embodies our aspiration for the electric era and highlights Audi’s commitment to ‘Vorsprung durch Technik,’” said Hoffmann.