This is a pilot project that Audi is running in the German city of Nuremberg and is infact open to EV owners from any brandby Khris Bharath, on LISTEN 04:14
Audi recently unveiled its very own charging lounge concept. It is currently opening the first of them to the public at a very visible location, i.e at the Nuremberg Exhibition Center in Germany.
Audi is testing this new charging model in action for the first time with this pilot location. The fast-charging station features reservable high-power charging bays, along with a lounge area with a vending machine that will serve customers as they put some juice back into their EVs.
With advancements in battery technology like solid-state batteries and plummeting charging times, the EV space has evolved a lot over the past few years. However, charging and range anxiety still remains one of the biggest challenges that the EV industry is striving hard to curtail. Having said that with the market set to go electric, one way that manufacturers can distinguish themselves is by offering their own take on the charging experience.
Audi’s Innovative Take On EV Charging
Audi’s concept is based on a flexible system of so-called Cubes, which are container cubes with battery storage & two charging connectors that can be swiftly erected on any surface and layered to meet the needs of the user. It has two fast-charging points per unit and may be coupled in various configurations. Used and reconditioned lithium-ion batteries are used to store energy. These second-hand batteries have been sourced from decommissioned development vehicles.
“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.
Now because of the intermediate storage unit of roughly 2.45 MWh, the charging points in Nuremberg merely require a 200-kW renewable power connection to the existing low-voltage grid. Roof-mounted photovoltaic modules generate up to 30 kW of additional electricity. Electric vehicles can charge with up to 320 kW of power at Nuremberg’s six charging stations. Audi estimates that up to 80 EV’s should be able to use this facility every day.
The Audi EcoSystem?
Two of the six stands will be evaluated using simplified Plug-and-Charge (PnC) billing that does not require RFID (Radio Frequency Identification). When the charging cable is attached to the car, authentication via encryption software occurs automatically. This requires a plug-and-charge model from the e-Tron series as well as a contract with the e-Tron charging service.
The Audi Lounge
Although the Audi e-Tron GT, for example, already manages 270 kW of power and charges to 80 percent in just 20 minutes, the driver can kill time in the cozy adjacent lounge. One can then relax in the upper floor lounge during the 20 to 30 minute charging period.
Customers will be offered additional services such as the ability to get some refreshments, high-quality vending machine products, and mobile car care. There is also a battery exchange station for electric bikes from Swobbee, electric scooter rentals from TIER, and the ability to test drive Audi cars like the Q4 e-Tron or RS e-Tron GT.
A steward will also be on hand daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time, as part of a pilot experiment. This project will also help Audi to determine, customer behavior and engagement and what times of day is the facility at its busiest. However, the charging stations, like the lounge itself, will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The trial in Nuremberg will concentrate on the reservation function, customer expectations, and technical aspects. Okay, so here comes the best part. This lounge isn’t restricted to Audi owners. Drivers who own EVs from other brands as well will be able to use the Audi charging hub’s charging and additional services.
Audi really does want to democratize EV adoption and hey, it’s a perfect way to get more customers interested in the Audi experience by showcasing their lounge and offering test drives as well at the same venue.
You can check out Audi’s Innovative take on charging and its state of the art charging hub facility in the video below