Audi has mobile electric car charging plans

Moveable hub can charge six cars at once, at ultra-fast speeds

The Audi mobile charging hub is designed to be mobile and transportable, and can be installed wherever it’s needed.

The Audi mobile charging hub is designed to be mobile and transportable, and can be installed wherever it’s needed.

 

Audi reckons it has come up with a solution – a partial solution, at any rate – to a lack of public electric vehicle (EV) charging points, and indeed for those who can’t charge their EVs overnight at home. It’s a shipping container with plugs.

Actually, the Audi mobile charging hub is more sophisticated than that. Clearly taking inspiration either from Thunderbirds, or from the US army’s mobile army surgical hospitals (remember M*A*S*H?), it’s designed to be mobile and transportable, and can be installed wherever it’s needed, with minimal planning permission or local authority say-so.

The hub is made up of a series of modular components, the most important of which are the cubes which hold the batteries. These batteries are recycled units, often taken from older electric cars, and there’s a lot of them in here. Enough to store a whopping 2.45-megawatt/hours (Mwh) when fully charged. The hub can be connected to 400-volt high-capacity mains electricity which, Audi claims, would allow it to recharge overnight, and there are solar panels on the roof for a small power boost during the day.

Premium lounge area

As many as six EVs can be charged at once, at speeds of up to 300kW. For reference, the maximum charging speed of the new Audi e-Tron GT sports saloon is 270kW, and at that speed you can charge it from 5 per cent to 80 per cent power in just 23 minutes. That’s barely enough time to have a cup of coffee. Or two espressos. Which you’ll also be able to do.

Audi’s mobile charging hub isn’t just an overgrown power bank, there’s also a premium-style lounge area with coffee, snacks, and what Audi calls “non-food items” (Magazines? Books? Scrabble?) to help pass the time while your car charges. And your car won’t have to be an Audi – the plan for the pilot project is that any EV will be allowed to use the hub to recharge, although Audi hasn’t yet mentioned anything about how much it might cost. The carmaker is currently in talks with local authorities in Germany, and looking for a suitable site for the prototype hub.

“The charging hub embodies our aspiration for the electric era and highlights Audi’s commitment to ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’. A flexible high-performing charging park like this does not require much from the local electricity grid and uses a sustainable battery concept,” said Oliver Hoffmann, Audi’s board member for technical development.

“Our customers benefit in numerous ways: from the ability to make exclusive reservations, a lounge area and short waiting times thanks to high-performance charging. This is consistent with the premium concept. We are testing what the optimal technical solution is in a very realistic way. The focus in doing so is firmly on the needs of our customers.”