Audi has an idea for charging stations, and predictably, it’s a luxurious one. It’s called the Audi charging hub, and the concept is rather simple: Provide a luxurious charging experience for buyers of its luxury cars.
The concept photos you’re looking at here depict a futuristic LED-lit hub with a few charging stations and an Audi-branded building. That building has a lounge in it, not unlike the lounges that frequent fliers and first-class passengers get to enjoy during air travel. While you wait for your EV to charge, Audi says you’re meant to go relax and pass time in the lounge, enjoying a range of snacks, drinks and other “non-food items.” The lounge itself is meant to be a modern oasis, and offer a similarly premium experience as your Audi’s interior. Only three photos of what to expect were provided, but the buildings do look properly high-class and modern in design.
Audi says the chargers it offers here would be of the high-power variety. Theoretically, you’d be able to charge your new E-Tron GT from 5%-80% in about 23 minutes, so long as you’re getting the maximum charging speed capacity of 270 kW. We’d wager that leaves enough time for some tea and crumpets.
The hub itself is meant to be transportable and modular in ways we don’t typically see from charging stations. Audi says that there are “cubes” that house the charging pillars and are packed with recycled lithium-ion batteries. In total, a single charging station will be capable of holding 2.45 Mwh of energy and will only require a standard 400V hook-up instead of high-voltage lines and transformers. The cubes can be charged overnight and are then supplemented by solar panels on the roof during the day to add more green energy to the mix. This entire hub is also designed to be easily transported and adapted to different locations as needs arise. There are only six charging stations allotted to the hub, aiding its mobility.
The limited number of stations also limits its usability, though. Audi says that it would expect many customers to reserve stalls in advance of trips they plan on taking. That’s great if you want to be sure that you can charge right away when you pull in, but not so great if you didn’t plan far ahead. Plans for a pilot station are ongoing in Germany, but there are no plans to expand to the U.S. as of today.
Audi left the door open for people who own EVs from different manufacturers, too. So long as the hub isn’t full, and there are no reservations, non-Audi owners would theoretically be able to charge there. However, you’d only have access to “parts of the lounge.” Guess you better spend the money on those four rings if you want all they have to offer.