Audi is creating 4,500 e-car charging points

Audi is installing charging points for electric cars and plug-in hybrids at its German plants, with one in ten parking spaces at the sites due to be electrified by 2022. Most of the chargers will be publicly accessible. The project represents a major contribution to the energy transition in private transport.

04/07/2020 Copy: Bernd Zerelles Reading Time: 3 min

Audi e-tron charging at a publicly accessible charging point.

Power consumption, combined*: 22.7–20.6 kWh/100km (NEDC); 26–21.9 kWh/100km (WLTP)CO₂ emissions, combined*: 0 g/km

Power consumption, combined*: 22.7–20.6 kWh/100km (NEDC); 26–21.9 kWh/100km (WLTP)CO₂ emissions, combined*: 0 g/km

It goes without saying that in order for the transition to sustainable transport to be successful, we don’t just need to manufacture electric cars. Even more importantly, we need to build an adequate charging network for them. Audi is now taking a big step towards becoming a provider of premium, carbon-neutral mobility by investing 100 million euros in the biggest charging infrastructure project of any German employer. The company plans to install 4,500 charging points for electric cars and plug-in hybrids at its German plants by mid-2022 (3,500 in Ingolstadt, 1,000 in Neckarsulm), equivalent to one for every ten parking spaces. The charging technology will vary depending on location, with a mix of AC chargers and stations with DC charging points.

80% of electric car charging is done at work or at home

The Audi e-tron Charging Service currently has around 28,000 charging points in Germany, so 4,500 new chargers represents a substantial increase. Audi is improving infrastructure outside of Germany too, with a total of 100 charging points being installed at the Brussels (Belgium) and Győr (Hungary) sites. Charging infrastructure is also being built at the factory in San José Chiapa, Mexico.

The project is headed by Maximilian Huber, who is pleased by the progress. “At the current stage of expansion, all available charging capacity is in use during the day. We’re trying to drive the expansion forward as quickly as possible. 4,500 electric car users are already taking advantage of the offer.”

The new infrastructure expansion is primarily aimed at Audi employees. Maximilian explains: “As a responsible provider of sustainable, forward-looking mobility solutions, we need to win over our employees too with attractive offerings. We want to make it possible for anyone to drive an electric car. The number of apartment blocks that currently have charging stations is vanishingly small, so attractive employers will need to offer them at work. On top of that, all of our chargers use 100% green energy.”

Charging terminal for electric cars.
3,500 of the new charging points are publicly accessible. Anyone who drives an electric car or plug-in hybrid can use these terminals to charge their vehicle using 100% green energy.

Power consumption, combined*: 22.7–20.6 kWh/100km (NEDC); 26–21.9 kWh/100km (WLTP)CO₂ emissions, combined*: 0 g/km

Power consumption, combined*: 22.7–20.6 kWh/100km (NEDC); 26–21.9 kWh/100km (WLTP)CO₂ emissions, combined*: 0 g/km

Anyone can charge their electric car at the Audi plants

All publicly accessible charging points (i.e. those not in fenced-off areas) can be used by anyone with an electric car. There will be 3,500 such charging points in total.

Available charging terminals can be located in real time using a Google Maps-based navigation system, and the Audi project team provides the relevant data to all charging providers so that the Audi chargers show up in third-party apps too. Charging is billed based on an external agreement with the energy supplier.

Each charger has an output of 22 kW, which is enough to charge most electric cars over the course of a working day. There will also be around 50 fast-charging terminals at each site with a capacity of up to 350 kW. By comparison, electric car owners who charge their vehicles at home using standard domestic outlets can get a maximum of 2.3 kW, and these outlets are not designed to provide that level of power for hours at a time.

Planning for the biggest charging infrastructure project of any German employer began in 2016. This lead time was necessary because in order to electrify ten percent of its parking spaces, the company had to develop in-house energy management systems. The Ingolstadt plant, for instance, has two high-voltage substations to ensure enough power is available.

3,500 publicly accessible charging points for anyone who drives an electric car or plug-in.

Charging infrastructure expertise opens up a new area of business

Audi is investing 100 million euros in this project. However, the expansion of charging infrastructure isn’t intended to be confined just to its own plants. It could also be developed into a new area of business in the medium term.

During this project, Audi has learned a lot about setting up and running infrastructure and energy management systems. Other companies that want to expand their electric vehicle charging infrastructure could also benefit from this expertise.

In any case, the charging infrastructure project is the next logical step in Audi’s journey from pure automotive manufacturer to mobility services provider. It will also help the company meet its target of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.


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