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Audi hails charging hubs as a success, confirms expansion

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Audi Charging Hub

Audi unveiled its charging hub concept last year, and it turns out it has been a roaring success. So much so, the company has committed to expanding the concept further. 

The first location of an Audi charging hub was in Nuremberg, where the company gathered feedback from electric vehicle drivers to gauge interest. Supposedly, drivers loved it, with repeat customers accounting for 60% of the charging sessions at the hub.

Following the success of the Nuremberg charging hub, Audi has confirmed it will be rolling out more sites across Europe. The first will come to downtown Zurich in the second half of 2022, while additional sites will pop up in Salzburg and Berlin. Additional sites that are yet to be confirmed will follow in 2023 and mid-2024, although all those will be located in Germany. 

Between January and the end of April 2022, Audi registered some 3,100 charges at its Nuremberg site during the pilot phase of the world’s first quick-charging station with six reservable high-power charging points, an average of 24 charges at about 800 kWh per day. 

Additionally, the near 200sqm barrier-free lounge that boasts a 40sqm terrace above the charging cubes was visited by an average of 35 customers every day, a figure that is on the increase. The charging and lounge experience, reservable via an app and with a catering offering, has garnered overwhelmingly positive feedback from users, according to Audi.

“The numbers and positive customer feedback demonstrate that our concept of offering flexible, premium quick-charging infrastructure in urban spaces was spot on,” says Audi Charging Hub Project Manager, Ralph Hollmig. Frequent use was also made of additional services such as the exchange station for micromobility batteries and a grocery delivery service.

The rise of charging hubs

Audi’s approach to charging hubs isn’t exactly unique. Sure, they leverage so-called cubes to serve as an energy storage system to charge cars using the most environmentally-friendly electricity available, but there are other charging hub concepts popping up all across Europe. 

In fact, right here in the UK the concept has seen equal success with Gridserve. Dubbed the Electric Forecourt, Gridserve’s concept already has two stations in operation at Braintree and Norwich, with an additional hub to open later this year at Gatwick Airport. That will be the first time an EV charging hub has been installed near a major international airport anywhere in the world. 

Curiously, like Gridserve, which announced a compact Electric Forecourt design for Norwich, Audi is also planning on shrinking its charging hub concept when it launches in Zurich. This is due to the urban nature of the site. Unlike Gridserve, however, the energy storage cubes of Audi’s charging hubs make it completely modular, making rolling out the stations much easier. 

Currently Audi has yet to commit to expansion of its charging hubs in the UK, but we’ll keep you apprised of the latest if that changes. 

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