Audi launches premium electric vehicle charging lounge experiment

Audi has announced a pilot project that looks at making the electric vehicle public charging experience more premium.

The German firm says it is currently searching for a location in Germany for its test centre, which is expected to go live later this year.

Called the Audi charging hub, the concept is constructed from container cubes that are easily transported, which Audi says widens the scope for locations.

Audi charging hub concept
(Audi)

Furthermore, there are huge lithium-ion batteries on-site that feed the high-powered chargers. These are made from cells recycled from development vehicles, and mean that a standard 400-volt hookup is needed for the building, further widening the scope for locations.

The batteries can be constantly topped up by the regular power supply, while solar panels on the roof supply green energy.

Although the firm hasn’t revealed the charging capacity of the chargers, it’s likely they’ll be state-of-the-art units capable of charging at around 300kW. Audi notes that its new e-tron GT model can charge at up to 270kW, meaning 60 miles of range can be added in around five minutes. A longer charge from five to 80 per cent should take around 23 minutes.

Audi e-tron GT
(Audi)

To avoid unnecessary and frustrating wait times, drivers can book their place at a charger. Then, while waiting for their car to be topped up, they’ll have access to an upstairs lounge with a range of snacks, drinks and ‘non-food items’.

The concept is similar to the Gridserve Electric Forecourt that opened recently in Braintree. It’s the first service station focused on electric vehicles and has a sleek, modern design with pleasant waiting areas, shops and restaurants.