Audi is giving an idea of what electric vehicle charging might look like in the future by deploying more of its individual charging stations across Europe. If the concept is well received, there is potential for the international deployment of charging centers, including in the UK.
Designed to offer a “premium” charging experience with a variety of services provided at each location, Audi charging centers are centered around compact modular buildings that can be easily erected in urban areas and use used electric vehicle batteries to charge electric vehicles of any brand.
The firm built its first center in Nuremberg to test its concept, where it was found that 60% of users are regular customers. Such a center is equipped with a lounge area, catering, and grocery service.
Audi hopes that its charging stations will allow more efficient use of the driver’s time during charging, and the relative ease of their installation can make them an attractive solution for charging in urban environments, especially for those who cannot connect to the network at home.
Charging seats can be reserved using the myAudi app, and depending on the size of each center, up to six seats are available. The device is powered by mains energy and used batteries of electric vehicles. Solar panels installed on the roof can also provide an additional 30 kW of energy.
The charging hub can be assembled in just 1 month, and without the foundation of a typical building structure — only a smooth asphalt surface is needed. This greatly simplifies obtaining planning permission for the urban areas where they will be installed.
Given the positive response to the initial charging center, Audi will open another one in Zurich this year, and by 2024 it is planned to open new ones in Salzburg, Berlin, and other places in Germany. After that, the company intends to expand the geography of its charging.
According to the automaker, which is going to launch about 20 new electric cars on the market in the coming years, its own network of high—speed chargers will allow its cars to sell better – because currently, the issue of charging electric cars is as acute as possible.