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Monday, May 23, 2022

Audi reveals ultra-rapid charge hub concept

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Audi has shown off how it plans to make charging simpler for electric car owners who can’t plug in at home.

The brand says its hub, which opens on December 23 in Nuremberg, Germany, is the first of its kind. It can charge vehicles at up to 320kW.

“We want to use it to test flexible and premium-oriented quick-charging infrastructure in urban space,” said Ralph Hollmig, Audi charging hub project manager.

“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.”

The concept hub is built around what Audi calls ‘container cubes’, but what look like shipping containers. They can be set up or taken down in a few days, can be rearranged based on location, and each house two fast chargers.

Power comes from recycled (or second-life) batteries storing a combined 2.45MWh of energy. There’s also a 30kW solar array on the roof, meaning all that’s required to keep the charge hub running is a low-voltage power source providing 200kW power.

Audi says it can charge around 80 cars per day without challenging the limits of the energy storage. Charge prices are €31c (around A$50c) per kWh, meaning it would cost $43 to charge an e-tron 55 quattro SUV.

The chargers are ultra-rapid units capable of an 80 per cent recharge in less than 30 minutes. While owners wait, they can use the lounge sitting upstairs from the chargers.

It’s staffed between 10am and 7pm, and can be used for work, or to configure a new car on a giant screen.

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