Lounge feel on the E-Pillar: Audi Charging Hub – Charging luxury isn’t for everyone

Lounge feel on the E-Pillar: Audi Charging Hub - Charging luxury isn't for everyone

Lounge feel in E-Pillar
Audi Charging Hub – Charging luxury is not for everyone

With a mix of lounges and charging stations, Audi wants to attract customers in the urban environment in the future. However, real luxury is only available to customers of your own brand. In the end, the choice of brand may depend on where you can “shop more beautifully”. Because competition never sleeps.

If you want to discover the ugliest corners of Europe so far, you should go for a long drive in an electric car: the traveler is guaranteed to know and fear the outskirts of the city, desolate industrial areas and the darkest corners. The truck stops in rural nowhere. Charging Station Adventure often shows that publicly accessible infrastructure has a stream of frustrating experiences in store, especially for frequent commuters.

Now comes the “Charging Hub”

It’s not a premium at the moment—and Tesla has long recognized it: That’s why Americans set up a network of so-called superchargers with their Stormer sales. Specially chic styled fast charger for customers at traffic junctions. There are currently about 2000 of them in Europe alone. only in mostly barren environments; The bread roll you brought with you and your cell phone is the only pastime while charging—and when it rains, it’s not uncommon to include a free shower when plugged in.

The large lounge area with balconies and soft armchairs is for Audi owners only.

(Photo: Audi)

Still: Learning from Tesla means learning to win – especially if you do it better: it’s an incentive for Ralph Hallmigg. The result of the work of the Audi project manager on this goal can be seen at the Nuremberg Exhibition Center a few days before Christmas. The manufacturer will open its first “charging hub” there on December 23rd.

Two minutes from the A73, the metro in front of the door, a new residential area across the street and a park just around the corner—”It’s the ideal location for us,” says Hallmig. Because Audi is targeting urban environments with its fast charging solution – sister brand Porsche aims to develop a concept for those who are in a hurry on a long journey. The Audi Hub resembles a mix of a covered charging station and lounge on the upper floor. This is what should motivate customers. “This should not only provide a solution for the extreme demands of the future, but should actively replace charging over a lifetime of use,” says Hallmig. In the 20 or 30 minutes the average visitor stays there, they can open the door on the first floor and take a break after entering a password that shows them the charging station.

It all depends on the make of the car

Wood class __- who_not_drive_Audi_drives, _sits_hard_during_the_loading process, _but_at least_warm_und_protected.jpg

If you don’t drive an Audi, you barely sit still during the charging process.

(Photo: Audi)

However, similar to some airports in economy or business class: those who wish to use a fast charger with a Hyundai, Ford, Mercedes, Dacia or BMW only have one with snack and coffee machines, hard benches and toilet access disposals. Small, barren room. , The Audi Lounge, which is four times its size with a balcony, sofa and a work area, is accessible only to those who arrive with an Ingolstadt-based car. And only he can reserve one of the six pillars to charge in advance, which are then blocked with a fold-out barrier for him shortly before.

There is no two-tier society when it comes to battery charging speed: all covers and well-lit charging points provide users with up to 300 kW of power. Charging the Audi e-tron GT from five to 80 percent is done in about 23 minutes under ideal conditions. If you use Audi’s own etron charging card, you initially only pay 31 cents per kilowatt hour in the pilot phase. Audi employees have not yet reported prices for third-party customers.

there should always be electricity

Behind the charging column_ are_sich_great_batteries_storage_-_so_the_station_not_high-voltage connection_ans_net.jpg

Behind the charging stations are large storage batteries.

(Photo: Audi)

Well, customers don’t need to fear that the power management systems run out of juice for interconnected poles when there’s a heavy rush—even if the charging hub is connected to a standard 400-volt high-voltage connection. Behind the black walls on the first floor is the trick: the so-called cubes serve as the base of the station. The flexible container cube, with expandable charging stations in front, used a lithium-ion battery from Audi test vehicles as a power storage device.

They are a buffer storage for direct current – and thus have five times the 960 kW charging capacity of the station’s total output. The public network practically “only allows green electricity to flow continuously as it is needed in the cube,” explains Hallmig. The output of 11 kW per cube is enough to continuously fill the storage modules to a total capacity of 2.45 megawatt hours and be able to charge them overnight. Solar cells mounted on the roof also help in recharging.

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Reserving a charging station at the Charging Hub is only possible for Audi customers.

(Photo: Audi)

Since the station does not require high-voltage lines or transformers, approval and construction are much faster and easier. In a month’s time, a new hub will form where Holmig will need it. The project manager doesn’t know exactly where it will be: “In the next three months we will test the first concept.” How many e-cars are coming? which brands? When? Do visitors use the e-scooters to lounge, car wash, test drive or rent in the hub? There are still many questions that Hallmigg has yet to answer.

Charging luxury can become a deciding factor in purchases

The success of the Nuremberg trial will also depend on whether Audi will place its charging hubs closer to cities across Europe. Handelsblatt recently estimated about 300 stations of various sizes – possibly in collaboration with a mineral oil company or the Ionity network. Volkswagen Group may operate hubs on its own, primarily for customers of its brands. Shops and lounges may soon be common in almost every major city.

The Ingolstadt-based company and its corporate allies shouldn’t hesitate for too long anyway: Electric arch-rival Tesla has very similar plans. Well-attended Supercharger stations are also about to become comfortable electric lounges. The Model S, 3 or Y then charges there by a rain-protected solar roof. During this time customers can buy food items in cash. In the future, an entirely different question may help determine the car’s choice: does it taste better while charging – and who puts on a good show?

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