Next week, Audi will open what it is calling “world’s first” charging hub concept in Nuremberg, Germany, complete with reservation options and a lounge area. Audi’s pilot project is intended to test charging solutions for the impending demand for EV infrastructure, particularly in urban areas where drivers might not have access to charging at home.
Audi AG is a German automaker founded over 100 years ago. Known for its automotive offerings in the luxury and performance segment, the company has recently begun to shift its vehicle lineup toward electrification, following suit with its parent company Volkswagen Group.
This past summer, Audi announced its electrification strategy, which includes an end date of 2033 for all new ICE models.
This began with Audi’s e-tron lineup of battery electric and plug-in vehicles – a family that continues to expand in the EV space. This includes models like the Q4 e-tron SUV and the new RS e-tron GT.
In anticipation of this growing group of Audi EV drivers (and EV drivers in general), Audi has begun planning the creative measures in which it can keep their vehicles charged, no matter where they live.
Part of this new strategy includes modular container cubes that can be combined to form hubs which can be easily assembled and disassembled to any desired footprint. To showcase this technology, Audi is opening a charging hub pilot project with a swanky lounge and food delivery.
Audi’s charging hub project opens December 23rd
Audi shared images and descriptions of the new Nuremberg pilot project through a press release, including videos of its charging cube technology.
This initial Audi charging hub in Nuremberg consists of six reservable fast-charging points, each offering with up to 320 kW of power, as well as a 2,153 sq. ft. lounge upstairs complete with a 431 sq. ft. outdoor patio.
According to Audi, an employee will be available during the pilot run to “attend to visitors’ wishes” each day between 10AM and 7PM. The charging stalls and lounge are accessible 24/7. Additionally, Audi is offering an exchange station for e-bike batteries, an electric scooter lending service, information about Audi products, and test drives in the Q4 e-tron and RS e-tron GT.
Not to mention food delivery service, an automat, and mobile car care. Ralph Hollmig, Audi charging hub project manager spoke about this initial pilot project:
We want to use it to test flexible and premium-oriented quick-charging infrastructure in urban space. We’re going where our customers don’t necessarily wake up in the morning with a fully charged electric car and at the same time thinking about increasing charging demand in the future.
Since Audi’s charging cubes have 2.45 MWh of interim storage, they only require a 200 kW power connection to the readily available low-voltage network. That connection, on top of the 30 kW of solar power from the roof, is enough to continuously keep the hub’s energy storage filled.
Audi believes about 80 EVs can be charged per day without reaching the limits of the charging hub’s energy storage system capacity. For the pilot program, anyone who uses the high-power chargers will have an e-tron Charging Service contract, allowing them to charge for 31 cents per kWh, regardless of rate.
Looking ahead, Audi will use Nuremberg charging hub to test its new reservation function, while gathering customers expectations of the overall charging experience. The German automaker also plans to determine which times of day the facility is most frequented – all to ensure future Audi drivers get the best experience as these charging hubs expand to other areas.
Nuremberg readers – Do check this hub out and report back!
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