Audi Announces e-tron Charging Service

FEB 2 2019 BY MARK KANE 32

Audi is ready to charge e-tron drivers for charging

Audi announced the launch of the Audi e-tron Charging Service, which will offer more than 72,000 public charging points (about 80% of all public charging stations operated by 220 providers) in 16 countries in the European Union under one contract and one one access card/app.

Initially, service will be available in 10 countries (Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Switzerland), followed by 6 in Q1 2019, and another 8 in Eastern Europe by the end of 2019.

The service will be available through two tariffs:

  • City tariff – general offer for public stations
  • Transit tariff (with one-year waiver of the basic fee for Audi e-tron customers) – with higher monthly fee and access to IONITY network (but not free)

Audi e-tron Charging Service – prices for Germany (2019)

“To cover individual charging needs, the e-tron Charging Service offers two different tariffs. The “City” tariff is aimed primarily at urban commuters. It is available for a basic fee of €4.95 per month. For each charging process, customers then pay €7.95 for AC charging (up to 22 kW) and €9.95 for DC charging (up to 50 kW), regardless of the charging duration and how much energy is drawn.

For drivers who regularly travel long-distance, Audi recommends the “Transit” tariff. This costs €17.95 per month, although a one-year waiver of the basic fee is granted for first-time Audi e-tron buyers. With the “Transit” tariff, customers benefit from better access conditions with HPC contract partners such as IONITY, higher charging capacities and shorter charging durations. The Audi e-tron is the first series-production model capable of charging with up to 150 kW at their HPC (high-power charging) stations. This means that the electric SUV is all set for the next long-distance stretch of a journey in approximately half an hour. And what’s more, the majority of electricity in IONITY’s network is generated from green sources.”

We have mixed feelings about the offer, especially in Germany because the prices are per session instead for usage (but it could change over time). In other countries, there are fees per minute or per kWh.

Please feel free to leave a comment about what you think about the price levels proposed by Audi.

Audi e-tron Charging Service website is here.

Press release:

Audi e-tron Charging Service Goes On-Grid

  • One contract and one charging card for access to more than 72,000 charging points in 16 EU markets
  • Two charging tariffs for city and long-distance drivers
  • One-year waiver of the basic fee for Audi e-tron customers with the “Transit” tariff

The green light has been given for unlimited, trouble-free electric mobility. The Audi e-tron Charging Service is going on-grid in ten markets. The service will be rolled out in a further six markets in the first quarter and expanded in Eastern Europe over the course of the year. When driving abroad, Audi customers can charge their cars according to the local purchasing conditions without any extra costs. To cover individual charging needs, customers can choose from two different tariffs. Providing a premium charging offer, Audi makes 80% of all public charging stations in Europe accessible on the basis of just one contract.

The network coverage of the e-tron Charging Service is growing all the time, and the rollout in a further eight markets in Eastern Europe is currently being prepared. For more information about the network and country-specific market prices, visit www.e-tron.charging-service.audi

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32 Comments on "Audi Announces e-tron Charging Service"

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A long article about charging not available in the USA.

The world doesnt circle around the usa… 😉

It may come as a surprise to you, but the internet is sometimes also used by people not living in the United States… 😉

Well Tesla wasn’t mentioned either.

These are the prices in germany. In a lot of countries in europe the audi-prices are quite expensive.

VW Group are always looking for ways to gouge their customers on expensive extras. The bottom line is: would customers of ICE vehicles accept a monthly subscription cost to use a fuel station network? Clearly not, this pricing model will collapse fairly quickly.

Well. No, thanks. Tesla has a better offer.

Superchargers in Germany cost 0.40€ ($0.46) per kWh.

Meanwhile, if you pay the 10€ for a DC fast charge with the e-Tron, you will end up cheaper than the Supercharger as soon as you take more than 25 kWh. If you factor in the 5€ base fee, under the assumption that you only do a single public charging session during the whole month, then it’ll still be cheaper than the Supercharger if you take at least 38 kWh. Note that the e-Tron has a 90 kWh battery.

However, the Supercharger will obviously be faster. 50 kW charging certainly isn’t spectacular, even if it’ll be able to hold that peak rate at pretty much any SoC due to the amount of wattage headroom the battery has.

The Ionity network deal… yeah, that’s a bit less attractive. If you filled up the entire 90 kWh battery, it would cost you 0,42€ (or 0,48€ when counting the monthly fee). It’ll be faster than the Supercharger, but only a little bit. And while that number still sounds halfway fair, that’s just the best case scenario. If you only fill half the battery, as much, you’ll be paying 0.51€ (0.62€). Tesla does have the better offer there, definitely.

For now, yes. I think it is a decent deal but you are free to don’t take it and take a few apps/dongles with you. But Audi gives the opportunity to leaf that behind and just charge. People who can buy these cars might take this deal.

If Superchargers would charge by the kWh in Germany, Tesla would act against the law. There is no certified technology to measure kWh in DC. The technology is there, but it is not certified (bureocratic problem).

I would like to see a person who pays 80 000 € for an SUV and then starts counting cents trying to figure out if he would get 5 € better deal for fuel by buying completely different car or wasting his/her valuable time at slower charger ;)))

You know you can still buy Dacia Duster SUV for 11 490 € including VAT if you insist on saving money 😉 Factory LPG options or smaller cheaper cars are also available if you want to feel good & cheap at gas station.

Not quite what’s happening here. You need to buy a minimum 12 month subscription (214 €), then you need to pay per use on top of a per kwh fee on a vehicle with a shorter range (more stops) in this scheme just to do a single road trip. Forget Tesla, the scheme competes unfavorably with airplanes for the vast majority of drivers. Why would electricity cost you more than gas ever?

>Why would electricity cost you more than gas ever?

Because it does cost more than gas when you need expensive equipment and grid connection to deliver high power on demand. There is no free lunch. Either you pay upfront when buying car (itemized or not), or you pay later when you use it.

Per-use payment option looks better for me. It puts down naive ideas that infrastructure is free and avoids congestion, then accusations of “abuse” of service that was already paid for, avoids incentive for provider to cut off use, and so on. Just like with “unlimited” mobile data plans.

No. A gas station is much more expensive than a fast-charging station. In fact gas stations seem to cost as much as an entire transformer sub-station. Also, transporting gasoline with trucks or pipelines also seems to be significantly more expensive and less efficient than transporting electricity over transmission lines (one has to pump or drive the gasoline over large distances).

It hardly matters in this case because it it ridiculous to ask for 222 € + 0.33 €/kWh for the honor of charging your vehicle a single time. No matter what your financial situation is, that’s insulting.

If you’re going to charge your vehicle once a year then you don’t subscribe. This is presumably for people that drive a lot and will make use of the convenience.

I’m guessing most of the people purchasing this subscription will be doing so for business reasons and it’ll either be written off as a business expense, paid for by work, or used because it’ll turn out to be a lot easier for expenses claims than 15 different charges, using 13 different networks.

In Germany unfortunately only utilities are allowed to sell electricity per kWh by law. I hope that changes soon. Also stops apartment building developers/owners to put solar on the roof and sell it to the inhabitants. Stupid old legislation. Also not a fan of a monthly fee..

This is not true. But you are only allowed to charge for the energy delivered which means you have to measure on the DC side of the charger. Since until now no one has sold electricity in DC form there are simply no DC power meters available that are certified for such purposes.
This is going to change now since now there is a need for such a energy meter.

In other words:
– Ionity chargers cost as much as if you use them without having a charging card etc. = 8EUR/session.
– Using Allego chargers as customer of Newmotion or Plugsurfing is cheaper.
– All of that I wrote above doesn’t have a basic fee per month/year/…

And it’s definitely not true what Audi wrote concerning legal calibration regulations!
1. In the meantime there’re several charger models which meet the requirements. Ok, it will take some time until all chargers are replaced…
2. Paying charging per min is absolutly no problem, it’s even currently much more common than session prices!
So “only session prices […] are currently possible” is definetely wrong!

notting

PS: That “news” ist nearly one month old IMHO, see https://www.electrive.net/2019/01/07/audi-macht-tarife-seines-e-tron-charging-service-publik/ (in German).

If you’re primarily using this for trips and basically going from empty to full, then it seems like a good deal. But if you do frequent top up chargers then it looks like it would get expensive quickly.
Personally I think EV charging will get to the $/kWh model and market forces will push for faster charging speeds. Just like we see with current EV’s it will polarise around similar numbers, like at the moment the sweet spot is 60kWh to 90kWh batteries and 100kW charging speeds. In 10yrs I bet it will be closer to 200kWh batteries and 250kW charging speeds. I think 350kW charging speed will be an upper limit for a long time, mostly due to the cost/return model on these not making sense compared to 150kW chargers.

The mandatory 12-month monthly subscription fee kills the cost effectiveness in almost every use case.

Still way too complicated. Although not as complex as current conditions. Buying gas is more expensive but way more convenient. EV charging needs to be equivalent convenience to other fueling experience.

Having a monthly fee smacks of a nickel-and-dime approach to customer service. Just bill for the dang power and parking at a competitive price with Tesla and others. In other words, automatically enroll your customers. Like OnStar.

Can’t wait to see how GM handles this. So far GM customers are on their own for charging facilities.

I don’t think the consumer will see the complication. Just stop when you need a charge and they’ll calculate it for you,
Besides, charging at home in most places involves time of day rates, customer account charges and some places also have delivery charges, regulatory charges and tax. So if you’re used to this already, whats the difference?
Even traditional gas purchases need to factor in station to station price differences, cash discounts and percentage of ethanol (since that has only 60% of the energy of gas).

This pricing seems to leave a lot of room to come into the market and undercut these prices with a better offer and higher speeds.

All these gimmics. One charge to charge. A charger, a credit card reader. A price per kWh. All of these games just make it harder for gasoline users to understand how EVs will work for them.

Customer: Hi, I would like a Big Mac with fries.
Counter person: Are you part of the Mcdonalds eating network?
Customer: Huh?
Counter person: Its ok, we have a plan for people who are not part of our network. Its just going to cost more to get a meal.
Its going to cost you $10 start eating here, and $5 for each 1/2 you spend eating here.
Customer: can you direct me to the nearest Burger King?

It is indeed annoying, but plenty of big retailers do exactly this. Either you join and give something (your personal data as minimum) and get discount, or not.

Part of the cost needs to be paid either you use the network or not. So you have fixed per month/year cost.

I agree I would also prefer simple cash / bank card payment per use per kilo-joule charged.

One problem is in many countries only electricity can bill per kWh. Alternative is to bill for time “parked” at the charger parking place or per use. Membership fees is assure that people intend to use and participate in the cost of the infrastructure.

The EU regulation for public charging networks already cover this. Non-discriminatory adhoc payments are mandatory for new installations; currently this can take the form of card or mobile payments. Can’t remember what are the rules for updating older stations.

Your analogy would apply if Audi forced it’s customers to join that network which would suck. Still lots of retailers do exactly that and few complain (Costco comes to mind). The correct analogy would be for example Amazon Prime -> you pay subscription if you want to get some perks but noone forces you to.

“minimum term: 12 months.”

WTF, what genius at Audi thought this was a good decision? Proves their business is run by bean counters, and not customer focused people.

All on the road charging everywhere needs to move to a (posted in BIG numbers like a fuel station) rate per kWh plus (if necessary) a clearly defined charge if you stay too long or after the rate has dropped too low. Per kWh charges may need to be time of day based so as to not overload the grid. All EVs need to be able to charge at all stations. Then this whole mess will START being as convenient as buying gasoline. The big advantage for EVs will remain charging (relatively slowly) overnight on an off peak rate whenever this is possible.

The best way to charge money for charging an EV would be a (fixed) price per kWh. Just like a price per liter/gallon of petrol.

Playing games will always cost the consumer extra money. That’s why these games are invented. Their focus is on how to make the customers pay the most and not walk away.

Not sure I get it. Let’s say the vast majority of my driving is local, but once every few months I do a long-distance trip. I expect the vast majority of drivers, wealthy or not, have this driving pattern. The Transit plan seems to be too expensive for that — waste of the basic fee. But if I enroll in the City plan, there’s no ability whatsoever to charge opportunistically at the high-speed 150kW chargers? Even for more money for the session? Even if I’m an e-Tron owner? That would piss off every person I know. If this is indeed the case, it’s an idiotic system. Of course, I get that there are other networks & chargers. But one of the biggest advantages of such a large unified network like they’re setting up will be that’s it’s consistent to use once you’ve learned how, esp. in these early days of EVs where each network has its own separate user cards and/or apps and different usage & payment procedures. So what, Audi expects me to waste time on those rare long-distance charging sessions to figure out how to use an unfamiliar charger or download an app for a single use? There… Read more »