Audi Unveils Charging Station Fit For Electric Era

SEP 18 2018 BY MARK KANE 39

Audi envisions a charging station of the future

Right after the unveiling of the e-tron, Audi took a while to rest… accelerated the marketing campaign by presenting more stuff. The latest news from Audi is Charging Station Unleashed – a four-day experience near San Francisco’s Embarcadero (at 90 Broadway) that will display the all-new Audi e-tron, the championship Formula E racecar and the PB 18 all-electric concept car.

The German brand will present the vehicles, its technology, accept reservations (the special Edition One is already sold out) and make people familiar with its charging station from Electrify America that will play a key role in Audi’s BEV rollout by placing hundreds of DC fast charging stations with multiple chargers at each location.

The charging station is kind of a fancy vision of how the electric era will look like. In reality, we will be happy if there is a network of chargers with high reliability. Looks don’t matter much.

Audi e-tron will be one of the few models that can charge really quickly – at 150 kW it will need just a half hour to replenish 80% ofthe capacity of its 95 kWh battery. We need to add here that Audi deserves applause for the European on-board charging options – three-phase 11 kW (standard) and 22 kW (option), which is something the Jaguar I-PACE and Mercedes-Benz EQC lack.

Here are details of the demonstration:

Now, Bay Area residents can be among the first to check out the all-new e-tron at a four-day experience called ‘Charging Station Unleashed,’ located near the Embarcadero at 90 Broadway, San Francisco.

‘Charging Station Unleashed’

Audi envisions a charging station for the electric era, celebrating the new all-electric Audi e-tron SUV in San Francisco

In celebration of the global launch of the e-tron, Audi has reinvented the charging station for the electric era. Visitors to this interactive pop-up experience will have a glimpse into the future of electric mobility and be the first in America to see the 2019 e-tron in person and place their reservations. Other electric Audi vehicles on display include the championship winning Formula E racecar and the 764-horsepower, PB18 concept car, which debuted at Monterey Car Week in August (on display until Sept. 20).

“The heart of the experience is a modern take on what a charging station could look like in the near future – a place where drivers of electric vehicles can refuel themselves while their vehicle recharges,” said Loren Angelo, vice president of Marketing, Audi of America.

The experience will also offer complimentary charging from Audi for current electric car owners with chargers supplied by Electrify America.  Electrify America is investing $2 billion to create a nationwide network of highway, and community ultra-fast DC fast chargers, as well as Level 2 stations at workplace and multi-unit dwellings. These efforts are designed to take electric further than it’s ever gone before, and enable millions of American to discover the benefits of electric driving.

Interactive exhibits:

Interactive experiences will be on-site for consumers to see, touch and taste what the future of design and innovation can be in a future where ‘Electric has gone Audi,’ including:

  • A kinetic energy capture installation that showcases how electric power could come from anywhere in the future, even human movement. The activation will showcase the power humans generate walking, hopping, or dancing across the energy capture floors. The positive energy will then animate a wall installation in real time.
  • LED swings, nodding to the role the e-tron has in ushering in an era where technology, design and mobility are designed to combine to create a more thrilling experience.
  • An innovative menu of reimagined “electric provisions” curated by James Beard award-winning Chef Stuart Brioza and Chef Nicole Krasinski from State Bird Provisions.
  • The entire experience will run on social currency. Visitors won’t pay for anything in cash. Rather, they’ll receive special LED bracelets that let them access the station’s amenities when they share posts about the experience on social media.
  • On-site reservations for the Audi e-tron SUV. This is the first time the e-tron will be available for consumers to see and experience the new vehicle, review product specifications, stats and options, and place a reservation right on-site with a fully refundable $1,000 reservation fee ahead of delivery in mid-2019.
Audi e-tron
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39 Comments on "Audi Unveils Charging Station Fit For Electric Era"

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“Audi e-tron will be one of the few models that can charge really quickly – at 150 kW”….
Uh… actually, the etron is very soon to be the fastest DC charging passenger vehicle in the world!! Just say it like it is.

Yes, the charging experience really matters.

I finally drove a Model 3, it was a Performance one and HOLY CRAP is it mind-boggling fast and handles like its on rails as an aside.

Meanwhile, my brother and I had it as a loaner for the day and drove it over 300 miles around LA, when we stopped to supercharge at the Redondo Beach Superchargers it was at about 20% battery.
We ate across the street at Toms (great fast food btw) and returned to the car in 33 minutes with 207 MILES ADDED….in 33 MIUTES.
WOW!

Actually, those miles only took a “Personal Interruption Time”, or “Personal Inconvenience Time” (Either way, a “PIT”), of 1-2 Minutes, tops, for plugging in, and unplugging & putting the cable back! Maybe even less, at 30 seconds!

And the walk for food, ordering, and eating, time, was the 31-32 mintes part of that experience!

Agree, Im just saying that faster is better if you are in a hurry and a 1/2 hr break every 2-3 hrs of driving is about perfect for stretching and taking care of your personal needs.

When the e-Tron ships by mid-2019, Tesla might very well have upped their charging speed as well. Indeed they promised Supercharger v3 for later this year — though we don’t know yet how much of the extra power their current vehicles will actually be able to take…

What charging speed are you talking about? Is it for existing cars? Do you have a source for your belief?

Yes, I have a source for the belief that Tesla will present Supercharge v3 with higher power soon. Several statements, including one at the shareholders meeting.

I don’t know whether it will apply to existing cars, as I explicitly said in my comment… Though there are some fairly strong hints that the Model 3 at least should be able to take more power.

Showing neatly that Audi does not get it. One charger, in a drive up/drive off configuration modeled after current gas stations, which were modeled on the idea that cars would line up, fuel, then move off. This model is dead, dudes. Tesla has the correct model, which is individual parking spaces with chargers at the back so that the maximum number of cars can be packed in, and at least 10 spaces to guarantee sufficient chargers are available.

It would obviously be nice if Tesla would embrace the “service area” model. Right now, the standard algorithm is:

1. Place your car on charge.
2. Go search for a bathroom.
3. Decide if you want to shop, eat or go back to the car for r&r.

However, I suspect that nobody is going to care if they never do this. What is most important to Tesla users is to charge and go, since you are 30 minutes from the road. Other considerations are secondary.

You did read that this is a 4 day pop-up “experience” and not a permanent installation? Their take on what it **could** look like in the future (very likely with many more than one charging station but keeping the service area concept.

It’s not even remotely close to any realistic vision of the future. All that upscale infrastructure surrounding one single EV charger?

We can look forward to the day when EVs will typically super-fast-charge in 10 minutes or less; when EV charging stations will look a lot like gas stations do now, with a canopy to keep the rain off while plugging in and unplugging, and a convenience store adjacent to entice you into some impulse buys.

But profitable charging stations will never look like this.

Well, I did read it, but… Is the Green Tall box “Not” THE ONLY Charger in that Picture shown in this story? If not, where are the others hiding, or what color are they?

Also, while having 4 is good, or rather, better than 1, for fast chargers, as a “Station”, it seems like Tesla’s “Smallest Capacity” site, with just 4 Stalls!

Definitely smaller than the additional Supercharger Stations added near Toronto, Ontario, over the last year! They added 6 or 7 stations, each with 20 stalls, at 120 kW; plus 2 or 3 at Malls, with 16-20 @ 72 kW!

And, a LOT SMALLER, Than the newer 40 Stall Sites added in California, or the 50 stall one in China! Or their proposed 125 Stall Supercharger Site!

So, yes! Charging at 150 kW IS Great, and having a vision like this, is a great introduction to EV’s; it is just a “Start” of a good thing, that will Improve, we hope!

Not a joke. We will get to whole parking lots full of chargers by the time we reach %25 or more of total cars electrified.

Oooops! I read “4 Bay” not “4 Day”, so it is a “Circus?”

We have a fixed lication in Toronto, Ontario, that is an “Electric Vehicle Discovery Centre”, for about a Year, now!

It’s a waste of 4 days. 4 seconds looking at that image is enough to tell you that they don’t understand charging. You don’t need a canopy to plug in your EV. Only gasoline requires you to stand outside and supervise you filling. Whoever drew that image never owned an EV.

Tesla will have to change their own model when they release a pickup, where they’ll need a pull-through spot to charge with a trailer attached.
And once sub 10-minute charges are reality, the old gas station model will be back (or more correctly still exist).

Disagree. The gas station model was designed around having few pumps and sharing them over a broad number of users. There is no reason for EV chargers to follow that model. It makes every sense to put in many different chargers. Even if it is fast. There is a lot less required to move electrons than gasoline.

For highways being able to drive through is a lot easier than parking in a bay, especially with larger vehicles (or towing as mentioned). There will probably be variable options depending on location and space. It’s likely that existing petrol stations will be converted in future too, many of those close to or on main roads may just stick with the same model. There’s a reason there are large filling stations on major highway, and that’s not going to go away, especially when EV’s have shorter range.

While stopping for half an hour to pop to a restaurant or shop is ok in moderation, it’s not always going to be something you want to do. If i’m driving long distance for example I’d rather stay out of towns and stick to the main roads – stop off to refuel at the highwayside station for 5 minutes and then head off. Longer breaks are taken in more scenic locations, either for sight seeing or to eat a picnic somewhere nice. Something not possible with EV’s now.

It’s not like chargers can’t be installed in scenic locations…

Having a bunch of chargers and vehicles parked isn’t what I’d call a scenic location… But you’re right, you could put chargers in some of the more touristy places.

One of the problems is most scenic locations are in the middle of nowhere, meaning it would be cost prohibitive to install a high power line for just a couple of chargers on a potentially relatively minor route.

If it’s a minor route with little traffic, no high-power line is needed — just some batteries to buffer spikes.

(Also, Tesla has mentioned several times that they actually intend to go off-grid with most chargers in the future…)

It’s not at all clear that <10 minutes charging will ever become a reality. It would most likely require major trade-offs in other important factors (range, cost, durability); and the chargers too would become very expensive to install and operate.

If someone finds a chemistry that can easily offer the extra power while also being top-notch on all the other parameters, it might happen — but I wouldn't count on it.

I imagine it would have been just as hard to envision modern highways, and ubiquitous high-capacity gas stations everywhere, in the early days of the Model T. Even when they did start building purpose-built gas stations, at first the gas had to be pumped by hand. Using electric pumps, allowing a fill-up in just a couple of minutes, came later. The reality of modern gas stations, of which one single average one serves 1100 (eleven hundred!) customers per day, would have been inconceivable.

Demand will drive faster and faster charging, both with the technology of batteries allowing faster charging, and with more and more powerful EV chargers. I can’t imagine anything stopping that trend until the average charge time gets down to 10-12 minutes, or even less. The infrastructure for ultra-fast EV chargers may be expensive today, but when there are tens of thousands of such stations across the USA, then they’ll be a lot cheaper to build.

The point is that according to virtually everyone regularly driving an EV, there *isn’t* actually any meaningful demand for charging faster than some 20 – 25 minutes or so. Very likely not enough for it to happen, if it comes at the cost of other important parameters.

I think the necessity for the “gas station” model is safety. One cannot install gas dispenser on a parking mall. But chargers… I think chargers get much fewer objections to be spread around.

Yes but they’ll charge along side semis not cars if a trailer is attached.

And if you are towing?

Use the semi charger

So, one single pop-up “four-day experience” charging station.

Well, that really demonstrates Audi’s long-term commitment to the EV revolution, doesn’t it? 🙄

Well they are building EA

Volkswagen’s huge fine for the Dieselgate scandal is what is paying to build that. But what’s going to pay to keep it maintained? We’re already seeing reports of Electrify America chargers out of order, and they’re brand-new!

Tesla has a monetary incentive to maintain Superchargers, but for a true public network of EV fast-charging stations, we need them to be for-profit businesses. With profits comes a motive to make sure the stations stay in operation. Without it… we can already see what happens with EV chargers paid for with public funds. They are allowed to fall into disrepair, or are vandalized without being fixed, because nobody has any incentive to maintain them.

Proof of concept?

It will be ripped away in the next tropical storm which will likely become an annual event in coastal areas.

I don’t get their vision. Is that a dealer?.

Dealers ICE their charging stations to display more cars on their lots. Placing it smack in the center of the front is the worst place that you can put a charging station. A concept created by someone who knows nothing about EVs.

Terrible “BAD” Design .Looks Just Like A GAS Station…Give it Up Already ! …..

Cappuccinos and dry cleaning while you wait.

Fill ‘Er Up And Change the 0iL while U wait!………lmao

Seems like a pretty nice but quite big setup for only 2 EV plugs

Are there two chargers there? I see only a single charging cable, so I thought it was just one.

But either way, it’s a ridiculous setup. There should be at least 6 or 8 chargers with that much real estate tied up. IMHO 12-16 would be better.

Most “concepts” are ridiculous setups. By their nature they’re designed by designers without any real concept of practicality. The practicality comes later in “production” versions.

I’m not sure this is even meant to be a concept of a charging garage, rather a “popup” showroom of Audis EV vehicles so people can come and try them out/reserve them.