Audi Will Give EV Owners A First-Class Charging Experience

Electric Vehicles / Comments

This is what customer service looks like.

German automotive giant Audi, once plagued by emissions scandals, is moving towards an all-electric future with plans to be fully electrified by 2026, an optimistic date when compared to some of its competitors. Audi CEO Markus Duesmann recently told the media that fossil fuels are directly responsible for climate change; a bold statement for a leader in the automotive industry. It has now announced the start of Audi's new Charging Hub concept that is set to change the way Audi EV owners charge their cars.

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Audi

Audi's new concept was recently launched at its exhibition center in Nuremberg. The first Audi Charging Hub will go into operation today, December 23, and will be the first of its kind in the world, according to Audi. The new charging hub will be focused on serving Audi EV owners who don't have charging facilities in their own homes. These hubs will also serve as a charging point during peak demand periods in urban environments and include lifestyle elements such as a lounge area.

"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," says Ralph Hollmig, Audi charging hub project manager.

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The charging hubs will be constructed using container cubes that can be assembled and disassembled in a matter of days, making them extremely mobile and versatile. Processed lithium-ion batteries (repurposed from old EV vehicles) will function as energy storage systems, eliminating the need for high voltage power lines and expensive transformers. This will help deal with situations where the traditional electric grid can't meet the charging demand. The hubs can manage 2.45 MWh of interim storage, and only require a 200 kW green power connection to operate effectively. Solar panels will supplement the system with an additional 30 kW of energy.

Customers will be able to charge their cars with up to 320 kW of power at six charging points, and 80 vehicles can be charged per day without over-straining the system.

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Audi

The Audi e-tron GT for example has a charging capacity of 270 kW, which means it will be able to charge up to a range of 62 miles in about five minutes, and a charge from 5 to 80 percent should take around 20 minutes. In regards to price, Audi aims to match private Wallbox chargers. "We're providing people in urban areas with charging at the price they would pay to charge using the Wallbox at home," says Hollmig.

For added ease of use, Audi customers will be able to use a new reservation function in the myAudi app to book one of six charging stations. With simple connection and encryption tech, charging can't be more simple. Audi will also offer added services such as test drives in the Audi Q4 e-tron and RS e-tron GT, information about various Audi products, an electric scooter lending service, and an exchange station for electric bike batteries.

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Audi

Food delivery services, mobile car care, and an automat will also be available. Audi staff will take care of customers between 10:00 am and 7:00 pm, and charging services will run 24/7.

"Our customers will share multiple benefits. 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" says project manager Hollmig. This is the future of customer service folks.

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