Audi is extending its new bespoke charging hub following an “overwhelmingly positive” pilot program recently conducted in Nuremberg, Germany, with the brand currently considering further locations nationally, and potentially, internationally.
Audi’s bespoke charge hub was erected in downtown Nuremberg earlier this year for use by urban EV owners unable to charge their vehicles at home. The flat-pack “flexible cube-shaped containers” require only a level tarmac surface rather than foundations, can be assembled and disassembled in short order, and can service up to six vehicles simultaneously. Each high-power charging point can be reserved ahead of time via the MyAudi app.
Up to 320 kW of recharging power – which, combined, provides roughly 2.45 MWh of interim storage – comes primarily from recycled, “second-life” lithium-ion batteries sourced from Audi’s EV e-tron fleet, meaning the Nuremberg location needed just a 200 kW connection to the local power grid. Solar panels on the roof also provided up to 30 kW of juice per day.
A key selling point for patrons of the station is the 200 sq m barrier-free lounge (plus concierge), which features a 40 sq m terrace overlooking the charging points and provides a modest catering service.
During what Audi calls a “an overwhelmingly positive” period between January and April this year, some 3,100 charges were registered at the Nuremberg location during the pilot program, equating to an average of 24 users and about 800 kWh per day. Up to 35 people per day were said to visit the terrace area on average too.
Significantly, repeat customers accounted for up to 60 per cent of that 3,100 figure, the “overall appreciation of the roofed Audi charging hub” now inspiring the German brand to extend its program to a second location in downtown Zurich later this year. The rollout will continue at other downtown sites across Germany in 2023 and mid-2024, with Ingolstadt considering locations further afield after that.
“The numbers and positive customer feedback demonstrate that our concept of offering flexible, premium quick-charging infrastructure in urban spaces was spot on,” project manager Ralph Hollmig explains. “The system’s modular design also lets [Audi] react flexibly to on-site conditions,” Ingolstadt announcing that the Zurich location, plus follow-up sites in Berlin and Salzburg later in the year, will be more compact than that at Nuremberg. Given that the cube can be erected with or without the lounge, it’s unclear whether the Zurich location will feature the concierge service.
Audi is “currently on the lookout for attractive locations and on-site partners” in downtown areas to extend the program.