German automaker Audi will put into operation a unique charging concept which utilises second-life batteries to create quick charging opportunities for EV owners who cannot charge at home.
Audi first announced this concept back in May and this week announced that the new charging concept will enter operation on December 23 at the exhibition centre in Nuremberg.
The ‘first of its kind’ charging concept is built around several different new ideas, starting with flexible container cubes housing second-life batteries which can be assembled and disassembled in only a few days.
Each ‘cube’ provides two fast-charging stations which, navigating Audi’s somewhat ambiguous press release, seem to offer a total of six charging fast-charging points with up to 320kW of charging power (assuming that each “fast charging station” operates three “fast-charging points”).
Similarly innovative is the fact that the cubes only need access to a 200kW green power connection through the low-voltage network that runs parallel to the primary electric grid. This low voltage connection is able to supply enough power to charge the batteries which act as a buffer, with 2.45MWh of interim storage.
Solar panels on the roof of the cube setup also provide an additional 30kW of green energy.
This combination not only provides a home for EV batteries that have reached the end of their useful life as a vehicle battery but also helps to reduce costs and resources in the building of necessary charging stations.
Similarly, by needing only a 200kW low-voltage connection, the Audi charging ‘cubes’ avoid the need for complex infrastructure such as high-voltage power lines and expensive transformers, and helps speed up delivery of vital charging infrastructure.
Audi believes that a total of around 80 EVs can be charged at each cube per day without taxing the maximum storage capacity combined with the hub’s 200kW power input.
As an example of what these cube-based charging stations can deliver, an Audi e-tron GT reaches a charging capacity of up to 270kW, which would mean the car could charge energy for up to 100-kilometres in around 5 minutes, whereas a charge from 5% to 80% would take around 23 minutes.
To further incentivise and meet the needs of potential customers, Audi’s charging concept also includes a number of “premium” charging experiences such as 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 GT.
It also features just-in-time delivery service for food, an upscale automat, and mobile car care.
The Nuremberg charging concept will be staffed between 10am and 7pm, but the six charging points and lounge area will be available 24 hours, seven days a week.
“Our customers will share multiple benefits,” said Ralph Hollmig, Audi charging hub project manager. “With an exclusive reservation option, a lounge area, short idle time thanks to high charging capacity, and a novel swivel arm to simplify handling the charging cable.”
“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.”