Audi is planning to roll out its ingenious flat-pack charging hubs following a successful trial in Germany. The German brand has already started work on a second site and has plans to create a network of Audi charging hubs across Europe.
The first trial site located in Nuremberg, Germany has proved a big success with more than 3,100 charge sessions carried out since its commissioning in January. Despite being Audi branded, the site is open to all electric car drivers able to use a CCS rapid charging connector. During the launch period, around 50% of visitors were Audi owners, with Tesla drivers making up the second largest group at 18% of visitors.
Although charging hubs with multiple high power connections are nothing new, the design and construction of the Audi charging hub introduces a number of industry firsts. The entire structure is modular and built from individual containers that hold either chargers (320kW Alpitronic units), control systems or second-life battery packs. The Nuremberg site also has empty containers housed within the footprint of the building to allow for future expansion and additional chargers.
Another unusual feature of the hub is that it is free-standing and self-sufficient for water and drainage. In an effort to reduce build times and simplify planning permissions, Audi designed the entire structure around a base that sits on top of any flat tarmac surface. Bosses say the ‘circus tent’ approach to building the hub means that a site can go from empty to fully functional in under a month. Planning permission for the Nuremberg site was granted in just five weeks thanks to its simple layout that requires no groundwork or complex connections to services.