Audi Commits To Nationwide 150 kW Fast Charge Network In U.S. – Video

2 years ago by Eric Loveday 50

Audi Announces Nationwide 150 kW CCS Network

Audi Announces Nationwide 150 kW CCS Network

In order to support its upcoming long-range battery-electric cars (R8 e-tron and a mystery BEV sedan) and SUVs (Q6 e-tron), Audi announced at the LA Auto Show that it will install a nationwide network of 150 kW CCS fast chargers in the U.S.

These chargers will be able to provide enough juice to drive 200 miles in approximately 30 minutes of charging time.

Outside of the U.S., Audi, along with several other automakers, have committed to making 150 kW CCS charging a reality on the global level.

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50 responses to "Audi Commits To Nationwide 150 kW Fast Charge Network In U.S. – Video"

  1. Speculawyer says:

    This is big news if real. Can the current SAE-CCS even charge that fast? I thought it was limited to 100KW?

    1. Texas FFE says:

      The CCS standard is really based on 200 amps. At 500V the power output would be 100 kW. For 150 kW the voltage would have to be 750V. Insulation on low voltage power wiring is usually rated for no more than 600V. The DCFCs I’ve looked closely at had a nameplate rating of 50 kW, I doubt there are any DCFCs in the US rated for 150 kW but I could be wrong. I think SAE is going to have to revise the standard before we get any 150 kW CCS chargers.

      1. Speculawyer says:

        Exactly. They seem to be promising to build a charger system that has no approved standard and no cars that could be powered by it.

        I guess if they crank up the Voltage, they can get up to 150KW on the current SAE-CCS connector. But no car or battery system has been designed to accept such a high voltage. I think most batteries around now top out at around 400 to 500 volts.

      2. JakeY says:

        The voltage range matters too. If you look at the sticker of a DC charger you will see most of them are for 50-500V. That means it can’t charge a battery that needs a higher charging voltage. The SAE CCS spec itself supports up to 500V. I think the European version supports up to 850V (but most chargers don’t).

        1. Only CHAdeMO operates from 50 – 500 volts. Neither Supercharger, nor CCS does.

          1. protomech says:

            Tesla is close. The nameplate rating on the Superchargers is 50-410V DC, 210A continuous and I think closer to 350A peak. Maybe they can hold 350A for a longer period of time with liquid cooled cables.

            Do you know if the Supercharger actually supports charging down to 50V? That’d be perfect for ~100V electric motorcycles..

            1. Anderlan says:

              I, too, am very interested in the minimum charging power of SC (and Chademo and CCS). Because *eventually* USB and vehicle charging will converge. It would also be cool to make your own Chademo or CCS or whatever interface between, say, a solar canvas and your car for the apocalypse or camping. Or even just putting an array in your windshield and trickle charging in the parking lot at work. The point is, you’d want your Solar-to-Car to be straight DC-to-DC.

      3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Texas FFE said:

        “Insulation on low voltage power wiring is usually rated for no more than 600V.”

        Yeah, any voltage above 600v is considered “high voltage”, at least in the USA. Above 600v you start needing special construction because high voltage electricity tends to jump spark gaps.

        As you say, Texas FFE, it’s not believable to think that high voltage public charging stations are going to be deployed at present, with the current state of EV tech. Even if the hazard to people wasn’t a concern, EVs are not currently built to handle high voltage charging. Even if the batteries could handle that, you’d have current jumping spark gaps inside the car. Perhaps someday EVs will be built to handle high voltage charging, but that day is not today.

        Now, please note that I’m not saying we’ll never see high voltage EV charging because of the safety hazard. It’s entirely possible with the right fail-safe design. But such a system will need to be thoroughly tested, and approved by regulators, before it’s deployed in “self-service” chargers.

        Hopefully we’ll get an actual charging standard (as opposed to competing formats) before that happens.

        1. Bill Howland says:

          “…Yeah, any voltage above 600v is considered “high voltage”, at least in the USA. Above 600v you start needing special construction because high voltage electricity tends to jump spark gaps…”

          Sorry Texas and Pupu:

          A Hedge-Fund manager is to be excused here, since “usually no more than 600” does not mean always. The NEC (National Fire Protection Asoociation #70) has made no distinction in wire handling from 0-2000 volts (although special precautions are still required at 601-2000) for over 25 years. I have a 1989 NEC codebook that proves it.

          Now as far as the ‘jumping sparks’ nonsense from PUPU, this is so wrong on so many levels. Anything over 2000 volts is ‘Medium Voltage’, – under 2000 is ‘low voltage’.

          As a teenager I had a 850 volt powersupply (heathkit hp23 2 transistor converter in the engine compartment) in my car feeding my modified HeathKit HW 101 ham tranceiver (20 tubes), with 13.8 , 300, and 850 volts. Of course the final tank circuit approached 2000 volts, which was ok because I specifically installed 3 kv coupling capacitors in it. There were no ‘sparks flying’.

          As another example, the Solar industry is starting to standardize on 1000 volt strings, and the last time I checked Solar panels were installed OUTSIDE of a building, exposed to the wind, rain, ice, and snow.

          What is really amazing is the NEC now of course allows 600 volts inside of a RESIDENCE, whereas before the popularity of solar panels 150 volts to ground was the ‘tops’ allowed.

          That fact is why my home-made 240 volt snow blower has exactly the same shock hazard as anyone else’s 120 volt snow blower.

          So since the solar panel industry is standardizing on 1000 volts, at least for non-residential, its not a big stretch to envision it for EV’s or their charging apparatus.

          I’m still curious who, besides our own Tom M, is going to pay for this party, and he’s only paying for 25 kw, let alone 150.

    2. GeorgeS says:

      I’ll try to publish this SAE slide again. (technical difficulties)

      1. vdiv says:

        Thanks! This is good.

        So what level is charging at ~120V 8A? Level 0.5? 😉

      2. Speculawyer says:

        Thanks for that but that is 2011 and a lot of the level 3 DC stuff is listed as ‘TBD’.

        Anyone have the current SAE-CCS DC charging specs? They cost $250 to buy a PDF but I just want to know those top numbers of volts, amps, & KW. Anyone have access to it?

        1. ClarksonCote says:

          I would guess the updated spec has something in excess of 150kW for DC Level 3, otherwise Audi looks kind of foolish.

          That being said, I would also like to know. 🙂

  2. bro1999 says:

    Hopefully these won’t be “Audi/VW only” stations?

    1. All BEV manufactures have as straggly to providing 100+ kWh charging.

      examples: in a recent post detailing Nissan’s 60 lWh battery, a careful look at slides notes 100 kWh DC. Kia has states the Soul EV can charge using 100 kWh stations. We’ll likely hear more details in 2017-19 as more 150-200 mile BEVs go on into production.

      1. mustang_sallad says:

        *kW. A kW is a unit of power (like charging rate) and a kWh is a unit of energy (like battery capacity)

  3. Khai L. says:

    When while they start deploying them? When can we start to use them? And when will we get 80% nationwide coverage?

    1. TomArt says:

      A long time after Tesla does.

    2. Rich says:

      VW aka Audi talks about a supercharger network, while Tesla opens a new charger almost every day.

      1. Dohn Joe says:


  4. CDAVIS says:

    Khai L. said:
    “When while they start deploying them? When can we start to use them? And when will we get 80% nationwide coverage?”

    Token small scale deployment: 1-3 years

    Nationwide Coverage: 5-10 years…if ever

    By then Audi will have likely lost much of it’s market share to Tesla. An EV car sans Supercharger Network is only half a car…the Supercharger Network is the other half…car makers are only now starting to understand that. Who wants to buy 1/2 a car when someone else is offering the entire car at near same price?

  5. mustang_sallad says:

    Cue all of the people who complain anytime Audi announces something in their upcoming plans before doing it. Because we would all rather be surprised I guess…

    1. jelloslug says:

      Well, considering they have not done anything BUT make announcements it’s understandable.

      1. Anon says:

        Speaking as a fickle American with a short attention span and absolutely no patients for those that only talk and never do, I say:


  6. Mister G says:

    Audi I have some vacant land available for a stand alone charging station in Central Florida.

  7. Texas FFE says:

    I’m looking at a evGO CHAdeMO charger nameplate right now, it’s rated for 120 amps and 50 kW.

  8. Reddy says:

    If (when?) this really happens, then we will know that EVs have gone mainstream. A US nationwide 150 KW SAE-CCS network would be HUGE for supporting EVs. Of course, this also means multiple stations at each location, stations properly located about 100 mi apart on all major roads (not just in selected markets in CA). Plus, the need for additional saturation in high populations areas. Hmmm, this is starting to sound like the Tesla network.

    Finally, this also means that all manufacturers will need to make vehicles to use this network. Station fragmentation into Tesla, Chademo, and CCS will not be good since the average driver needs it to be idiot-proof. Right now Tesla dominates and Chademo is second in certain markets. IF (and a big IF) CSS takes off, then Chademo vehicles could be left out. Nissan/Kia need to upgrade their L2-J1772 to a CSS combo (there’s plenty of room inside their charge port door) to reduce the risk of being stranded. Tesla will obviously produce a CCS adapter when there are enough stations to warrant it.

    Interesting times ahead. Let’s pull out the popcorn.

    I’m not in the market for a new EV, so I’ll just keep driving my outdated 2011 Leaf, with degrading battery, in town. I’ll just be watching from the sidelines for at least another decade, perhaps two.

  9. Chris O says:

    Okay, so now show us the map with all locations plus when each location will come online and don’t forget to make use of this network free for life.

    So convenient for Audi that all it needs to do is follow Tesla’s lead;)

    1. Braben says:

      I really hope they don’t do this “free for life” (really: price is baked into the car) nonsense. We need a sustainable business model that works for independent charging infrastructure providers. This or that car maker going it alone will never scale.

      1. Brandon says:

        Right on!! And free charging for customers who buy a new EV doesn’t seem to work too well. So what would be some solutions?

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          Tesla has shown the proper way to roll out a nationwide, or world-wide, network of EV fast chargers. Unfortunately, no other single auto maker has much incentive to duplicate this, since no other auto maker intends to build and sell PEVs (Plug-in EVs) in large numbers.

          Ideally, the other EV makers will band together, create a uniform charging standard, and subsidize a charging network to rival Tesla’s. Realistically… the chances of that actually happening are slim and none, and Slim just left the building.

          Honestly, I don’t know what a realistic solution would look like. Eventually it will happen, when enough PEVs are on the roads to create real demand for for-profit EV fast chargers, and when there is enough competition to drive down per-kWh prices to not too far above the local price for electricity.

          But given that 90% or more of EV charging will continue to be done at home and/or work, the demand is going to continue to be low in most areas. Sure, there will be a few “hot spots” in Southern California where it will pay for entrepreneurs to build a few for-profit EV charge stations. But a nationwide network of EV fast charge stations, as we now have gas stations? EV fast charge stations available within a few miles almost everywhere there are paved roads? I don’t see that happening, unless it’s subsidized in some way… as rural mail service and rural land-line telephone service are subsidized.

          Maybe someday, we’ll pay a per-kWh tax on EV fast charging, the way we now pay a tax on phone service to subsidize maintenance of rural phone lines.

  10. Taser54 says:

    What is now likely is that AUDI etc will push to upgrade the CCS standard to accommodate this.

    Given that the writing is on the wall wrt to long range EVs, the CCS consortium and SAE will fast track this standard.

    1. mustang_sallad says:

      This update to CCS has been in progress for some time. I think Ford was one of the earlier voices to pop up saying we need to go higher.

  11. tom911 says:

    It only took them 3+ years to get the A3 e-tron over here. Hopefully they can ramp this up a bit faster….

  12. pjwood1 says:

    The following expands on why Audi isn’t rushing to go electric. I believe engines are a central component German labor still builds, and with the influence the story depicts you can expect internal combustion will be difficult to get away from. VW’s problems go beyond management hubris, and margins:

  13. MTN Ranger says:

    I see a day when 25-50kW CCS chargers will be for local charging (say at a shopping center), while 150kW CCS chargers will be at major highway / regional highway stops outside of cities for interstate travel.

    1. mustang_sallad says:

      agreed. This is why the BMW/evGO announcement of 50kW stations concentrated in urban areas still makes sense. That’s where the majority of EVs will be, and there are plenty of things to do (and buy) while you charge, so it can make sense for the driver and the hosting businesses.

  14. wraithnot says:

    Do they also plan to properly maintain this network of chargers? I stayed at a hotel with a bank of four BLINK EVSEs and finally found a functional one after the first two I tried failed. One of the broken ones said it had failed a self test and was making pinging noises. When I looked on plug share, I found the following description from TWO YEARS ago:

    “rightmost stuck in failed self test beeping every 4s. 2nd right bad LCD. other 2 looked OK. didn’t have token/dongle with me so couldn’t test further. all getting very weathered in sun.”

  15. Marshal G says:

    I would also like to see their map of planned sites or at least planned routes. Did anybody notice the “map” behind him as he spoke? Quite a few diamonds along the coast, maybe 5 in the entire rest of the country, with REALLY long lines joining them? I get that that’s stylized, but it implies you can travel cross country. My guess is you can drive along the coasts, but there probably will only be clusters of chargers in interior cities like Denver with no way to get between them. Prove me wrong Audi.

  16. Hopefully, folks here are smart enough to know that there is no standard currently available for a 150kW public charger.


    So, what I expect is the usual BS. Yes, it will be “rated” at 150kW with maybe some crazy high voltage (750v?) at an amperage that the current CCS can handle (200 amps on the 9mm pins)..

    So, 200a * 750v = 150kW !!! Amazing!

    Except, the cars will likely still be 400 volts * 200 amps, or about 80kW max.

    For comparison, the current Tesla Supercharger is 365 amps at 400 volts (limited to 120kW into the car, however). Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus!

    When these committee designed CCS Gen 3 things show up, I absolutely GUARANTEE that Tesla will be up to the challenge… unless…

    The way German auto manufacturers deal with competition in Germany, and to a lesser extent the EU, is with good old fashioned back slapping protectionist laws.

    They may have their hands full with that in the USA, because I honestly don’t think our U.S. Congress will just forget that Tesla exists, or try to outlaw any competition (as they have done with only marginal success in EU).

    1. Someone out there says:

      So the standard will be updated, happens all the time. USB 1.0, USB 1.1, USB 2.0, USB 3.0, …

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      If you look carefully at the “SAE Charging Configuration and Ratings Terminology” slide that GeorgeS posted above, it says:

      “DC Level 3 (TBD)… 200-600V DC (proposed) up to 240 kW (400 A)”

      So at least in theory, these new chargers could use up to 400 amps.

      1. ClarksonCote says:

        Yep, and 400A at 400V? 160kW, so the stated power draw is available with today’s battery voltages, according to that dated slide that says “TBD” for level 3.

        Now we need to know if TBD has been updated! 🙂

    3. mustang_sallad says:

      I wonder if one of Tesla’s “advantages” on this front may end up slowing them down. They’ve certainly designed a very compact connector, largely thanks to the shared pins for AC and DC charging, but I wonder if they are already at the upper end of what they can pull through that foot print. Tony, I think you’ve probably had a close look at all three connectors, but I’m wondering if CCS has more room to grow while keeping things backwards compatible, say by going with deeper pins as Tesla did with the Type 2 connector in Europe for Supercharging. In either case, the cables themselves are already becoming a limitation (see liquid cooled supercharger cables) and I suspect Porsche was onto something with an 800VDC car that can charge at 300kW while still being backwards compatible with 400VDC stations.

  17. Someone out there says:

    It’s interesting to see how a few years ago people wanted Tesla to force other car manufacturers to make EVs but now that this is actually happening people get angry and say they will never beat Tesla!

    1. Mutwin Kraus says:

      In similar vain I never liked the negative comments about other EVs by Elon Musk (luckily less so recently). Don’t think that’s very productive.

  18. Priusmaniac says:

    The good thing is that Tesla is now soon going to match that and upgrade the superchargers to 150 KW or perhaps surpass by likewise percentage 11% and propose 166 KW. In theory, the Model S 85 being able to charge at 135 KW, the Model S 90 would normally be able to charge at 6% more, so that would be 143 KW. Adding some extra technology improvements and the 166 KW could be reachable without major brain damage. Of course if they do some heavy brain crushing we can imagine 200 KW coming out as well.

    1. mustang_sallad says:

      do you have a source to point to regarding Tesla bumping up their charging rates? I’d like to read more.

      1. Priusmaniac says:

        They said many times and do different steps concuring towards it like implementation of actively cooled cables and tests of robotic connection systems.
        Here is an article about fast charging with Straubel explainations:

        1. mustang_sallad says:

          Yes, I’m aware of the testing they’ve done with robotic arms and liquid cooled cables, but that’s far from Tesla saying they have concrete plans to upgrade their network (and cars, more importantly) to receive 150kW or 166kW. If anything, I think the fact that each charger is capable of 135kW, but each individual car can only receive 120kW is already a sign that they may be limited by the connector and not just the cable.