Audi has big plans for EVs. It aims to have 20 EVs available for sale by 2025 and claims that half of its current lineup is electric. (There are six e-tron models currently in their lineup. The Q4 e-tron and Sportback, e-tron and Sportback and e-tron GT and RS GT.) Recognizing that our current charging infrastructure isn’t cutting it, Audi is working on slightly dystopian-looking (at least at night) quick charging hubs for its vehicles.
While it might not be great to have individual companies setting up their own private charging stations, Audi is right that Tesla’s supercharger network is one of the company’s biggest perks, and something an Audi EV buyer is missing.
The backbone of these charging hubs is what Audi is calling cubes. The cubes essentially house everything needed to make the hubs work. From the lithium-ion batteries to charging pillars and other technical equipment. And what good would EVs be without sustainability? The batteries that power the hubs in the cubes are from development cars that have been disassembled. Audi says this creates less of an infrastructure requirement because there is no need for power lines or transformers.
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The hub will house six charging stations with a total combined output of 2.5 Mwh, or about 300 kW per charger. The whole system is actually self-sustaining. From Audi:
The six charging stations, which have a charging output of up to 300 kW, only need a standard 400-volt high-voltage hook-up. That makes output starting at 11 kW per cube sufficient to be able to fill the three storage modules with a total capacity of 2.45 Mwh continually and to charge them overnight. Photovoltaic modules on the roof provide additional green energy.
The whole hub is also modular, making the movement of the hub if needed easy along with offering greater adaptability depending on the location.
Aware that charging vehicles isn’t as fast as filling up a gas tank, the hub has an upstairs lounge area where vehicle owners can chill and wait on their cars to fully charge. Snacks, drinks, and various amenities will keep drivers entertained while waiting. That could go a long way from keeping new EV buyers in their green cars, as one in five EV owners go back to ICE cars due mainly to lack of charging options. Audi is currently seeking out a location for the launch of the first hub later this summer in Germany.