Audi has an idea for charging stations, and it is predictable that it is a luxury. It’s called the Audi charging hub and the concept is quite simple: provide a luxury charging experience for buyers of its luxury cars.
The concept photos you are viewing here show a futuristic LED-lit hub with a pair of charging stations and an Audi branded building. That building has a lounge, similar to the lounges that frequent fliers and first-class passengers can enjoy on air travel. While you wait for your electric car to charge, Audi says you are supposed to relax and spend time in the lounge enjoying a range of snacks, drinks and other ‘non-food’ items. The lounge itself is intended to be a modern oasis, offering a similar premium experience to the interior of your Audi. Only three photos were provided of what to expect, but the buildings look quite high-quality and modern.
Audi says the chargers it offers here are of the high-performance variant. Theoretically, you could charge your new E-Tron GT from 5% -80% in about 23 minutes, as long as you get the maximum charging speed of 270 kW. We bet there’s plenty of time left for some tea and crumpets.
The hub itself is intended to be portable and modular in ways we don’t typically see at charging stations. Audi says there are ‘cubes’ that house the charging stations and are full of recycled lithium-ion batteries. In total, one charging station can hold 2.45 Mwh of energy and only requires a standard 400V connection instead of power lines and transformers. The cubes can be charged at night and then supplemented with solar panels on the roof during the day to add more green power to the mix. This entire hub is also designed to be easily transported and adapted to different locations as needed. Only six charging stations are assigned to the hub, which benefits mobility.
However, the limited number of stations also limits its usability. Audi says it expects many customers to reserve stalls before traveling. That’s great if you want to make sure you can charge right away when you drive up, but not great if you didn’t plan far ahead. There are plans for a test station in Germany, but as of today there are no plans to expand to the US.
Audi also left the door open for people who own electric cars from different manufacturers. As long as the hub is not full and there are no reservations, non-Audi owners could theoretically charge there. However, you can only access ‘parts of the lounge’. I think you’d better spend the money on those four rings if you want everything they have to offer.