[source: Audi AG]
- Four reservable quick-charging points with up to 320 kW of charging power
- Audi plans smart management for each additional charging hub
- High return rates in Nuremberg and Zurich validate the urban premium quick-charging concept
Audi is opening its third charging hub: Following on from the Nuremberg and Zurich locations, the brand with the four rings now turns to a local partner company in Berlin, using the existing power supply there. The neighboring Frischeparadies, with its attractive shopping market and gourmet bistro, is acting as a cooperation partner and providing its power connection for use by the hub. In the future, Frischeparadies and the Audi charging hub will get their power from a shared power line, on a needs- and load-oriented basis. Equipped with second-life batteries, the charging station will only charge the buffer batteries when Frischeparadies requires little power. The smart, dynamic load control system Audi has developed in-house thus ensures efficient use of the existing power infrastructure. In selecting the location, Audi relied on an in-house data analysis to determine on-site demand in advance.
“Our dynamic load control system enables us to shift our energy demands to a time of day when Frischeparadies is using less power from the grid,” explains Elias Hammer, the Audi Manager responsible for the rollout in Berlin and energy system integration for the Audi charging hub. “Berlin is yet another example of the success of our smart charging concept,” says Ralph Hollmig, Audi charging hub project manager. “In this way, we will manage all hub locations as efficiently and sustainably as possible. We are working on energy optimization. In the future, we can even imagine using smart trading to buy electricity from the energy exchange. This also means, for example, that we buy electricity from renewable sources when it’s affordable,” Hollmig adds.
The buffer storage unit utilizes second-life batteries from dismantled Audi test vehicles and allows the brand with the four rings to offer sustainable quick-charging wherever the power grid would struggle to constantly operate four high-power charging (HPC) points at up to 320 kW. While quick-charging infrastructure without buffer storage often faces long wait times for the required transformers, the Audi charging hub makes optimal use of the existing infrastructure.
Positive response at the Nuremberg and Zurich sites
Figures from Nuremberg and Zurich highlight how drivers of electric cars from Audi and other brands are embracing the urban quick-charging concept developed by the brand with the four rings. In Nuremberg, Audi has been operating its large charging hub with six charging points and a 200-square-meter (2,150-sq-ft) lounge above it since December 2021 and there, the customer return rate is 70 percent. “Customers there have now integrated charging at the hub into their daily routine,” says Hollmig. Audi has counted up to 62 charges per day in Nuremberg; on average, the first Audi charging hub registers 36 charges daily. Around half of the users come to the hub in an electric Audi model. “When we launched the Audi charging hub in December 2021, hardly anyone had predicted this level of success. By the end of January 2023, we already had our 10,000th visitor in Nuremberg,” Hollmig reports. “In Zurich, too, we are seeing similarly high demand. These figures completely validate our concept of urban charging instead of home solutions.”