As 2021 comes to a close, the EV market is experiencing record-breaking momentum. Production schedules are increasingly ambitious, and the demand for the latest EVs brought to market by key players like Tesla, Audi, Chevrolet, General Motors, Ford, and more, is ever-growing. But there still exists one common barrier to widespread adoption of EV – the perceived convenience and accessibility of EV charging, especially for prospective drivers that do not have built-in infrastructure for at-home charging.
With this in mind, Audi has just unveiled a new urban charging concept that is based around “modular hubs” that not only include DC fast-charging stations, but also offers drivers access to airport-like lounges.
These luxe charging hubs would provide an option for drivers who can’t charge their EV at home, and would presumably help to meet EV charging demand in urban areas in the near future. The lounge is described as being “similar to a high-end car dealership, with nice couches and large televisions and an area to purchase food and coffee, so owners won’t starve while they wait for their cars to charge.”
The lounge area would provide a perfect place for drivers to relax, socialize, or work while their EV charges, and the DC fast-charging stations are powered by second-life battery packs, so they don’t require a high-voltage hook-up to the grid. This reduces the cost and complexity of these stations, which will also reportedly utilize solar panels provide up to 30 kw of additional power.
According to the release, the proposed setup will power six charge points at up to 320 kW, which is enough to allow an E-Tron GT to charge at its maximum 270-kW rate. Audi expects that the charging hub will be able to charge 80 cars per day.
A pilot charging hub at the Nuremberg Exhibition Center in Germany was opened on December 23. At this site, customers will be asked to sign a charging contract with a flat price of 31 cents per kWh, regardless of charging rate, and the hub also supports the Plug and Charge protocol.