Audi Opens High-End Charging Hub for Its Upscale EVs
At the moment, charging an electric vehicle is a boring chore. The majority of electric chargers are located in the middle of nowhere, close to places that you can't spend a lot of time in. Since electric cars can take upwards of a few hours to get a full charge, most owners are left waiting in their car, scrolling on their smartphone or twiddling their thumbs. Audi thinks electric car owners should have a nicer experience when they charge their cars.
Charge In Luxury
In a new pilot program that will go live before the end of the year, the German automaker has introduced its first Audi Charging Hub. The first hub is located in Nuremberg Exhibition Center in Germany and will officially open its doors to owners on December 23. From the outside, the charging hub looks like a gas station for EVs. There are six chargers that can pump out 350 kW, though Audi owners will only be able to use these if they've reserved them.
All of this sounds pretty normal. Where Audi's Charging Hub differs from current charging stations is with its lounge space. The lounge is similar to a high-end car dealership, with nice couches and large televisions. There's an area to purchase food and coffee, so owners won't starve while they wait for their cars to charge.
Hubs Can Be Built Anywhere
One of the more interesting aspects of Audi's Charging Hub is that the automaker can build and remove the building within a matter of a few days. The hub itself is built from modular container cubes that Audi can assemble and disassemble in any location, with each cube offering two fast-charging stations. Audi's focused on sustainability with the hub, as it utilizes second-life batteries that are from old development vehicles. That's part of what makes this hub so flexible — there's no need for high-voltage power lines or transformers.
The pilot hub in Nuremberg will have enough juice to be able to charge roughly 80 vehicles per day. Not only will Audi owners have to reserve a charger, but they'll also be charged per kilowatt-hour depending on what vehicle they have. Owners with an e-tron Charging Service contract will pay roughly $0.35 per hour. That's not a horrible rate when you think about all of the activities Audi owners will be able to take advantage of.
Beyond the lounge and fast chargers, the hub also has an electric bike battery exchange station, a delivery service for food, a mobile car care service, and an electric scooter lending service.
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