As part of an effort to increase charging infrastructure, Audi announced the opening of the first charging hub at an exhibition center in Nuremberg. The OEM says it is the only quick-charging concept of its kind in the world. The charging hub opened for customers on Dec. 23.
Charging stations can be reserved, and are geared toward electric car owners who don’t have charging opportunities at home. Audi says the hub is also intended to serve future peak demand for charging in urban environments.
“We want to use it to test flexible and premium-oriented quick-charging infrastructure in urban space,” says Ralph Hollmig, Audi charging hub project manager. “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.”
The hub is made up of flexible container cubes, which can be assembled and disassembled again in existing areas in a few days. The cubes provide two fast-charging stations for each unit and can be combined in various constellations, according to the announcement. Used and processed lithium ion batteries function as energy storage systems — second-life batteries taken from dismantled development vehicles to reduce cost and resources and to bring charging infrastructure where the electric grid is not enough.
With roughly 2.45 MWh of interim storage, the charging stations in Nuremberg require only a 200 kW green power connection to the low-voltage network that is already available. Solar panels on the roof additionally provide up to 30 kW of green energy. Customers can charge electric cars with up to 320 kW of power at six charging points. A total of about 80 vehicles can be charged per day without reaching the limits of the energy storage system’s capacity combined with the hub’s 200 kW power input.
For example, the Audi e-tron GT1 reaches a charging capacity of up to 270 kW — enough energy for up to 100 kilometers in about five minutes. A charge from 5% to 80% takes roughly 23 minutes.
“We’re providing people in urban areas with charging at the price they would pay to charge using the Wallbox at home,” says Hollmig. The Audi charging hub in Nuremberg is an open charging site. The entrance area is even accessible for drivers of cars of other makes.
Audi customers there can use the new reservation function in the myAudi app to book one of the six charging areas.
The tests in Nuremberg focus on the new reservation function, customers’ expectations of a premium charging experience, and technical aspects like the requirements for modern battery storage systems. Audi also wants to determine which times of day the facility is particularly frequently used. The company is also offering additional services on-site, including an exchange station for electric bike batteries, an electric scooter lending service, information about various Audi products, as well as test drives in theAudi Q4 e-tron and RS e-tron GT2, supervised by Audi experts. Additionally, Audi offers a just-in-time delivery service for food, an upscale automat, and mobile car care. Service staff look after customers in the roughly 2,153 sq. ft. lounge, which also includes a 431 sq. ft. patio. There, a car's current charge level can be retrieved.